ACC Bowl Picture: A case for 11 teams (Part 2)
Last week, we looked at some of the scenarios that could play out to get 11 ACC teams in postseason play. And so far, the plan is coming to fruition.
With week 12 in the books, two more teams have clinched bowl eligibility bringing the total number of teams that will go bowling up to 8, with three more that are still fighting for the requisite six wins.
- Florida State (10-0)
- Clemson (9-1)
- Duke (8-2)
- Miami (7-3)
- Virginia Tech (7-4)
- Georgia Tech (6-4)
- Maryland (6-4)
- Boston College (6-4)
- Syracuse (5-5)
- North Carolina (5-5)
- Pittsburgh (5-5)
- North Carolina St. (3-7)
- Virginia (2-8)
With games remaining between Syracuse and Pittsburgh, the ACC is guaranteed to get at least 9 Bowl teams this year, and likely 10. However there is still a strong chance to get a total of 11 teams to bowl eligibility.
UNC – With two games remaining against Old Dominion and Duke, Tar Heels fans should feel pretty confident making their travel plans for a bowl game. Although Old Dominion is 8-3 in their first year as an FBS Independent, they have yet to win against an BCS team.
Syracuse – As expected, the Orange got blown out against Florida State. On the plus side, they didn’t ruin the ACC’s best chance of getting a team in the National Championship game by pulling an upset. With 2 games remaining the Orange have a good chance of getting to post season play with a win against newly bowl eligible Boston College or Pitt.
Pittsburgh – Following a big win over Notre Dame, Pitt lost to a surging UNC team. With two games remaining, the Panthers’ best chance to getting to 6 wins is at Syracuse on 11/23. If Pitt loses to Syracuse, then SU becomes bowl eligible and the Panthers will have to beat Miami to close out the regular season.
If SU loses to Pitt at home, then they will have another shot at home the following week against Boston College
in Chestnut Hill to close out the season and go bowling.
Wake Forest – Wake The Forest™ is off this week, but needs to win-out against Duke and Vandy in order to get bowl eligible. Not impossible, but not very likely.
In order to get 11 teams in bowls, the ACC will need to have 2 BCS teams and take bowl slots from other conferences.
Best case scenario, the bowl situation could look something like this:
Vizio BCS National Championship Game: Florida State
Discover Orange Bowl: Clemson
Chick-fil-A Bowl: Duke
Russell Athletic Bowl: Miami
Hyundai Sun Bowl: Georgia Tech
Belk Bowl: Virginia Tech
Franklin American Music City Bowl: Boston College
AdvoCare V100 Bowl: University of North Carolina
Military Bowl: Pittsburgh
Beef O’ Brady’s*: Syracuse University
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl**: Maryland
Poinsetta Bowl***: Notre Dame
* The American Conference will be hard-pressed to get 8 bowl eligible teams and barring some other conference arrangement that needed to be fulfilled, would probably love to have Syracuse play in front of the Florida snowbirds and the Quest for Beef will finally be complete.
** BYU is bowl eligible and will therefore play in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, so Maryland could (ironically) fill a B1G bowl slot since they may not have 8 eligible teams this year.
*** Notre Dame will be eligible for ACC bowl games starting in 2014, so the ACC is safe from losing any bowl slots to the Irish this year. Army is already eliminated from Bowl contention, so sliding in Notre Dame against MWC#2 makes sense.