Kansas Gets Orange Bowl Berth Against Virginia Tech

Surprising Jayhawks get trip to Miami

Dec. 2, 2007

A week later than it wanted, Kansas beat Missouri. And an Orange Bowl bid is the surprising Jayhawks' reward.

The eighth-ranked Jayhawks (11-1) got their first Bowl Championship Series berth Sunday and will meet No. 5 Virginia Tech (11-2) in Miami on Jan. 3.

Kansas, which set a school record for wins, was an at-large pick. The Hokies got their Orange Bowl spot by beating Boston College for the Atlantic Coast Conference title.

The programs have never met.

Kansas' national championship hopes were dashed in a 36-28 loss to Missouri on Nov. 24, a game that sent the Tigers into the Big 12 Championship.

In the final BCS standings, sixth-ranked Missouri was two spots ahead of the Jayhawks, yet the Orange Bowl went with Kansas, a move certain to spark controversy.

Missouri led the BCS standings entering the weekend, then got knocked from the title game by losing to Oklahoma Saturday.

No conference can have three BCS representatives, so the Tigers ended up losing again Sunday when the Orange Bowl opted to give Kansas its first invitation to a January bowl game since 1969.

Neither Virginia Tech nor Kansas has ever won South Florida's showcase college game.

Kansas lost to Georgia Tech in 1948 and to Penn State 21 years later. The latter was the so-called "12th man game" when the Nittany Lions got the winning two-point conversion with 15 seconds remaining after Kansas was flagged for having 12 men on the field for the first try.

Virginia Tech's only Orange Bowl appearance was Dec. 31, 1996, a 41-21 loss to Nebraska.