Hometown bowl invitation possible for Yellow Jackets

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ATLANTA --- Georgia Tech players have been looking forward to playing a bowl game in nice weather.

How about a guaranteed 72 degrees?

The Yellow Jackets' reward for a 9-3 regular season may be their first invitation since 2000 to their hometown Chick-fil-A Bowl in the controlled environment of the Georgia Dome.

Chick-fil-A president Gary Stokan said Tuesday night he may announce his bowl's Atlantic Coast Conference representative today.

Stokan said his committee also was considering Florida State, Virginia Tech and Boston College for the Dec. 31 game.

Virginia Tech and Boston College will play in Saturday's ACC Championship Game in Tampa.

Stokan said his tentative plan for a Wednesday announcement was pending approval from the ACC. Otherwise, the bowl bids would be announced on Sunday.

In 2000, another nine-win Georgia Tech team lost to LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, and the committee could invite the 7-5 Tigers back to Atlanta.

The Chick-Fil-A committee's preference is to pick ACC and Southeastern Conference teams from outside the state of Georgia to sell hotel rooms in Atlanta. The committee has made exceptions, including in 2006, when Georgia beat Virginia Tech.

Local teams can be more attractive to bowls which struggle to sell out games, but ticket sales have not been a problem for the Atlanta game. The Chick-fil-A's streak of 11 consecutive sellouts is the third-longest among all bowls, trailing only the Rose and Fiesta.

Georgia Tech could land an invitation to Jacksonville's Gator Bowl if the Chick-fil-A selects Florida State or another ACC team.

"There are pluses and minuses to every bowl," running back Roddy Jones said Tuesday.

"There are definitely pluses to being here, with our fans being here and us playing most of our games here, but there are definitely pluses to being in Florida, too, going out of town and having the whole experience. ... It will be fun no matter what."

Johnson said he would make sure his players enjoyed the bowl experience, even if the team does not leave Atlanta.

"We'd check into a hotel and do the regular bowl stuff and I'm sure it'd be great," Johnson said Tuesday.

"There'd be a lot of positives to that. If we do go somewhere else, that'd be fine, too. We're just excited to be in a bowl and look forward to playing wherever we go."


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