More on the ACC Bowl Picture
Great article by MCaffrey regarding the bowl situation. Here is some more info.
Notably, it is not overall record, but conference record that determines the picking order. See here. So, here are the overall standings at this point using that particular metric:
- 8-0, Florida State
- 7-1, Clemson
- 6-2, Duke
- 5-3, Virginia Tech, Miami, Georgia Tech
- 4-4, Syracuse, Boston College
- 3-5, Pitt, North Carolina, Maryland
So, although Syracuse was the last team to qualify, its 4 conference wins actually places it in the top 8 in the bowl rankings. However, the bowls are contractually allowed to deviate by one win.
Given the name recognition for teams in 1 to 4, it seems very unlikely that Syracuse or Boston College would jump up into the top 6. So figure that those teams will go to: BCS Bowl, Chick-fil-A Bowl, the Champs Sports Bowl, the Hyundai Sun Bowl, the Belk Bowl (formerly the Meineke Car Care Bowl), and the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.
This leaves the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl and the Military Bowl. Working against Syracuse and BC being selected ahead of a team from #6 is the fact that they are small, private, northeast schools. And Maryland is interesting–with locality for the Military Bowl, but lack of loyalty to the ACC perhaps justifying a move. Working against BC is the fact that Syracuse beat it head-to-head. Working against Syracuse is the fact that 2,000 yard rusher Andre Williams would give any bowl a storyline. Losing to bowl-ineligible Penn State and Northwestern does not help either. BC’s five losses were to USC, FSU, Clemson, NC, and Syracuse–all bowl eligible. Gotta figure most bowls would look at Boston College as the #7 team. But even more likely is that a team from #6 above would jump both Syracuse or BC for ticket sales purposes.
For ACC teams, the analysis is further complicated by the pending title game. The conference still needs FSU to beat Duke for the greater good of the conference. A national title game appearance and, better yet, a national title, is huge for getting the ACC’s reputation restored. Moreover, this would still leave open the possibility of Clemson to the Orange Bowl, opening up another bowl slot for an ACC team. With 11-teams eligible, this would be much needed. While one might be compelled to root for the underdog (Duke), this is one week where ACC fans outside of Durham should be rooting for Florida State.