CLEMSON -- Clemson's chances of making the Chick-fil-A Bowl have been sliced by a third.
Bowl president Gary Stokan said Tuesday that Virginia Tech officials have conveyed interest in returning to the Dec. 31 game in Atlanta if the Hokies lose Saturday's ACC title game.
By doing so, the Tigers can scratch the Chick-fil-A off their list of potential destinations if Boston College prevails as champion.
Virginia Tech finished with a 7-1 ACC regular-season record, and an ACC rule prohibits its bowl tie-ins from choosing a team -- in this case, Clemson (5-3 ACC) -- with two or fewer league wins.
There had been some internal speculation that the Hokies might ask the ACC to send them to the next tie-in in the selection process -- the Jan. 1 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla. -- because they went to the Chick-fil-A Bowl last year.
Stokan said he formally began the selection process Monday, speaking with ACC officials and athletics directors from the four schools that might be available, also including Virginia (6-2).
At that time, Virginia Tech made their intentions known, leaving Clemson out of the mix if the Hokies fall to Boston College.
"That is now fair to say," Stokan said.
There remain two scenarios in which Clemson could reach the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
If Virginia Tech triumphs Saturday, Boston College (6-2) could be bypassed because of its smaller fan base and the impact of a loss on fan morale.
The Tigers could also vault if the BCS gives the ACC its first at-large bid -- the more likely scenario if the Hokies, ranked No. 6, were to lose.
It is unlikely Clemson falls below the Gator Bowl, where it would likely be pitted against Texas Tech or perhaps Texas.
Technically speaking, Clemson could still qualify for BCS selection.
BCS officials narrowed its list Tuesday to 16 teams eligible for eight remaining spots in its games. By virtue of their No. 16 BCS ranking, the Tigers were included in the pool.