The Kentucky Wildcats were set to face Indiana in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.
However, KSR’s Matt Jones reported there was some last-minute shuffling that led to Kentucky ending up in the Belk Bowl. Apparently, Tennessee argued it deserved the Gator Bowl more and ultimately won out.
I am told Tennessee ended up winning the argument— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) December 8, 2019
Kentucky and Virginia Tech in the Belk on New Years Eve
Now, it’s official. Kentucky will be facing the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2019 Belk Bowl, which will take place in Charlotte (NC) on December 31st at noon. It will be televised nationally on ESPN.
Our search is complete...@HokiesFB vs. @UKFootballhttps://t.co/7QOEVdYlKv pic.twitter.com/wCCwQNUcOE— Belk Bowl (@belkbowl) December 8, 2019
It’s still a good bowl for Kentucky to end up in, but the Gator Bowl vs. Indiana would have been a lot more tantalizing.
Regardless, it’s the fourth-straight year in which Kentucky has made a bowl game following a five-year absence from the postseason. Also, the Belk Bowl actually has the bigger payout, so at least there’s that.
The Hokies finished the regular season 8-4 with key wins over North Carolina, Miami, Wake Forest and Pitt. They also lost by just one point at No. 15 Notre Dame.
It’s unfortunate Kentucky had the Gator Bowl within its grasp, but the Belk Bowl is still a good bowl to make, and the Hokies will be a good challenge in the final game of Kentucky’s roller-coaster 2019 season.