CHARLOTTESVILLE, V.A. (WVIR) - The Virginia football team has moved back into the Top 25, following Friday’s 39-30 victory over previously 24th ranked Virginia Tech.
The Cavaliers are ranked No. 22 in both the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll.
UVa spent five weeks in the rankings earlier this season, peaking as high as No. 18, before dropping out of the rankings following a loss at Miami in mid-October.
This is the first time since 2007 that the Wahoos have been ranked in the month of December.
That’s also the last time Virginia won nine games during the regular season.
UVa (9-3, 6-2 ACC) won the Coastal Division Championship for the first time in program history this season, which sets them up for a date with Clemson in the Conference Championship game.
The defending national champions have won twenty-seven games in a row.
Virginia will be playing the Tigers for the first time since 2013.
The Wahoos captured the Coastal by beating the Hokies for the first time in fifteen years, and head coach Bronco Mendendall says that win has created the opportunity to catapult the program forward.
“What that has allowed is a caliber of an opponent on a stage of significance, that allows not only the testing, and the proving, and the battling, but the opportunity," says Mendenhall. "That’s exactly what we want from our program, and it’s exciting, it’s exhilarating, it’s challenging, all at the same time.”
Clemson is ranked No. 3 in the latest AP Top 25 Poll, and they are one of just three undefeated teams remaining in the nation.
The Tigers have won the ACC Championship game in each of the last four seasons, and they’ve won two of the last three national championships.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney says Virginia’s appearance in the ACC title game is the next step in building a championship program.
“It’s a massive moment for what Bronco has done with the program, and for them building their program, it’s a huge moment,” says Swinney. "They just won the Coastal, and they’re playing in a championship game. There’s a progression that you go through when you’re building something special, and I think that’s what they’ve been able to do to this point. Their focus is to try to go win the game, and they’re good enough to win the game.”
Virginia and Clemson will kickoff the ACC Championship Game on Saturday at 7:30 PM in Charlotte, NC.