Prior to the start of the 2011 season, every University of Michigan fans had their personal guess as to which bowl game the Wolverines would appear in. Very few of them predicted the Sugar Bowl, and those who did most likely faced a lot of ridicule from their friends. But the Sugar Bowl is where the Wolverines will find themselves on January 3rd in New Orleans. Michigan will face ACC runners-up Virginia Tech in a rather unexpected BCS bowl game.
After a weekend that saw five teams ranked ahead of Michigan in the BCS lose (Virginia Tech, Houston, Oklahoma, Georgia and Michigan State), the Wolverines jumped up to #13 in the final BCS standings. By virtue of being in the top-14 in the BCS standings, Michigan became eligible for an at-large bid. This is the first BCS bowl bid for Michigan since 2007.
Higher ranked teams Boise State, Baylor, and Kansas State were all passed over in favor of Michigan, whose rich tradition and large fan base were most likely factors in their selection. Recent history has had Michigan fans watching lower bowls or no bowl at all, and a return to the BCS should motivate Wolverine fans (who already travel well) to make the trip to New Orleans (not a bad trip to have to make).
Michigan and Virginia Tech have never faced each other before, and had no common opponents this season. Virginia Tech is 11-2 on the season while Michigan is 10-2.