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Beamer defends choice of Virgina Tech for a BCS bowl

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer is well aware that the No. 17 Hokies were one of the most controversial teams included in the BCS bowl lineup, and he has a ready defense of his program.

The Hokies will play No. 13 Michigan, another controversial choice, in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 3 in Louisiana. The selection committee chose them over No. 8 Boise State and No. 11 Kansas State, noting Virginia Tech and the Wolverines have rich traditions and larger followings.

“I don’t think we have to apologize to anyone,” Beamer said, noting the Hokies are the winningest team since 1995 and the one team to have won at least 10 games in each of the past eight seasons.

The Hokies, Beamer noted, also have been on the other side of the decision.

In 2001, Michael Vick’s final season as the quarterback, Virginia Tech finished the year ranked fifth in the BCS standings, but lost out on a spot in a BCS game to No. 11 Notre Dame.

Coaching changes

• Hawaii coach Greg McMackin is retiring after a disappointing 6-7 season and missing the postseason for the second time in his four years with the Warriors. He was 29-25 overall at Hawaii, including 0-2 in bowl games, with one winning season in 2010.

• South Dakota has hired former Montana coach Joe Glenn. Glenn, a South Dakota graduate, had most recently been head coach at Wyoming, where he was fired after six years in 2008.

• Several schools named new head coaches on Monday, as reported.

Curtis Johnson, who had been an assistant coach for the New Orleans Saints, takes over at Tulane.; Mississippi hired Hugh Freeze, who led Arkansas State to a 10-2 record in his only season; former Arkansas offensive coorinator Garrick McGee takes over at UAB; and Florida Atlantic hired Carl Pelini, the defensive coordinator for his brother, Bo Pelini, at Nebraska this season.