Dec 23 2004


U.S. Senators George Allen (R-VA) and Richard Shelby (R-AL) today made a friendly wager over the upcoming Sugar Bowl game between the 9th ranked Virginia Tech Hokies (10-2) and the 3rd ranked Auburn Tigers (12-0). Allen anted up a world-famous Virginia Ham versus Shelby’s "Bates Smoked Turkey." The prize feast will be delivered to the victorious Senator’s office following the game which takes place Monday night January 3rd in New Orleans, Louisiana.

"Coach Beamer and his Virginia Tech team have had another truly outstanding season, winning the ACC Championship in their first year in the newly expanded conference," Allen said. "I’m well aware that the Hokies’ foe down in the Sugar Bowl will be formidable; the Auburn Tigers just finished an undefeated season in the toughest conference in the country, the SEC. They’re a powerful team with a real shot at winning at least a share of the national title, although I wish the NCAA had a play-off system. But the Hokies have proven this year that to underestimate them is a big mistake. I’m looking for Virginia Tech to represent the ACC well and upset the Tigers way down yonder in New Orleans. The Fighting Gobblers will have to somehow pluck the War Eagles for us to enjoy that Alabama Smoked Turkey."

"The Auburn Tigers are having their most successful season in school history, going 12-0 and winning the 2004 Southeastern Conference Championship," Shelby said. "Auburn boasts one of the best defenses in the land and has three NFL-caliber backs on offense. There are nine teams ranked in the top 20 that are members of the Southeastern and the Atlantic Coast Conferences. The Sugar Bowl will host the champions of those two conferences, Auburn and Virginia Tech. I look forward to watching Auburn win a hard-fought game between two of the best teams in the country and enjoying that delicious Virginia ham from my good friend Senator Allen."

This is Virginia Tech’s third trip to the Sugar Bowl since 1995. That year, then-Governor Allen won Texas ribs and red grapefruit from then-Governor George W. Bush following Virginia Tech’s defeat of the Texas Longhorns. Auburn is making its first trip to New Orleans since 1988. The Tigers lead the all-time series with the Hokies (3-1-1). The last time these two teams played was in 1978 when Auburn defeated Virginia Tech 18-7 in Blacksburg.