The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Archive for the tag “orange bowl”

Highlights of the 2014 BCS Discover Orange Bowl


1.       Winning the 2014 BCS Orange Bowl—Awwwww yeah! It literally came down to the last minute when Ohio State was down 40-35 with the ball at the 50 yard line. Braxton Miller threw a beautiful interception, caught by Clemson’s own Stephone Anthony. This sealed the deal for the Tigers and bonus points: Urban Meyer didn’t react by punching Anthony in the throat.

2.       Tajh Boyd—In his final game as a Clemson Tiger, Tajh went out with a bang. As Dabo Swinney said, “He put an exclamation point on his legacy.” Tajh finished the game with five touchdowns and 505 all-purpose yards, 78 more yards than the Ohio State Buckeyes. We’re really going to miss his leadership and I can’t wait to see him play on Sunday’s.

3.       Dabo Swinney—You could probably make a highlight reel of just Dabo after the game, he was animated to say the least. Personally, his best moment was this magnificent sound bite, “we are the first team from the state of South Carolina to ever win a BCS game”. Ah yes, not only did we get the sweet victory but getting to rub it in Steve Spurrier’s face doesn’t hurt either. For whatever reason, if any Gamecocks are reading this, I say, suck it up. Spurrier is no angel in this fight. You’re mad because Dabo’s comment was the truth and it was said on a bigger national stage. You know, seeing as it was the stage of a BCS Bowl. BOOM, roasted.*

4. Sammy Watkins—Saving the best for last. Sammy set an Orange Bowl record with 16 receptions and a Clemson and Orange Bowl record with 227 receiving yards. He was unbelievable. With an average of 14.2 yards per catch, he was Tajh Boyd’s go to receiver and his talent is going to be greatly missed. As a true junior, Sammy has declared for the NFL Draft. While we’ll miss his lightning speed and magnetic hands, he’ll represent Clemson well in the NFL next season.

Honorable Mentions:

  • The Clemson Defense—While the score might reflect a shootout, it was truly entertaining watching the Tigers contain Ohio State QB, Braxton Miller, to a mere 35 yards rushing. They completely shut him down on the ground. With 18 carries, he rushed an average 1.9 yards per carry, his lowest of the season.
  • Santa Claus—if you read my last article, the only thing on my Christmas list was a Clemson win. Ole’ Saint Nick pulled through. Thanks big guy.
  • The Referee’s—One song comes to mind when trying to describe the officiating from Friday night, “these boys can’t hold us back, these boys can’t hold us back, we too deep (ay, ay)”. The anthem of a generation Clemson Football. Good try ref’s, you’ll need some more flags to stop this excessive celebration.

Check out the video here:



*Let the record show I have a much deeper opinion on this matter but for lack of reader attention span will not disclose it here.

ORANGE You Glad We’re Not Playing Alabama

As this college football season comes to a close, so does the Bowl Championship Series (thank goodness, bring on the playoffs). In the final season of BCS bowl games, the Clemson Tigers will make the trek down to Miami to play in the Discover Orange Bowl, their second trip in three years.  The Tigers are looking to prove the naysayer’s wrong with a win against the Ohio State Buckeyes on January 3, 2014. The theme of this year’s Orange Bowl is one of redemption.

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Jim Grobe Resigns

Jim Grobe stepped down today from his position as HC at Wake Forest.

I was able to listen to portions of the news conference live on the radio this afternoon (12/2) and it played out like an absolute lovefest.  AD Ron Wellman spoke first, praising Grobe for his affection for his players and what he had done for the schools football program, most prominently the 2006 ACC title and subsequent Orange Bowl berth.

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ACC 2013 Bowl Schedule (Dates and Times)

The Atlantic Coast Conference, our beloved ACC, has issued a release sharing the 2013 bowl schedule, including dates and times.  As previously noted, it will be interesting to see if there are changes to this lineup in the future.   But here is the key data you need for 2013:

Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman
Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 2:30 p.m. ESPN
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (conditional)
Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 9:30 p.m. ESPN
Russell Athletic Bowl
Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013 6:45 p.m. ESPN
Belk Bowl
Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013 3:20 p.m. ESPN
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
Monday, Dec. 30, 2013 3:15 p.m. ESPN
AdvoCare V100 Bowl
Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 12:30 p.m. ESPN
Hyundai Sun Bowl
Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 2 p.m. CBS
Chick-fil-A Bowl
Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 8 p.m. ESPN
Discover Orange Bowl
Friday, Jan. 3, 2014 8 p.m. ESPN

Note that all games are on ESPN, except the Sun Bowl.  Also, the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl is conditional.

You will also note that there are 8-9 bowl games for the 14 teams in the conference.  That may or may not pose a problem for 2013.


Reports: Orange Bowl Deal Finalized

CBS Sportsline is reporting that the Orange Bowl deal has been finalized.  According to the report: “The ACC champion will play the highest-ranked team among Notre Dame and available teams from the SEC and Big Ten beginning after the 2014 season.  As the article notes, this deal secures the ACC within the five power conferences that will be dividing most of the college football money.

Left unsaid, of course, is how it will be determined that an SEC or Big Ten team is “available.”  Nevertheless, even the 3rd or 4th best team in these two conferences will present an outstanding gate/matchup for the Orange Bowl.  Georgia-Virginia Tech anyone?  Clemson-Nebraska?  Florida State-Michigan?  LSU-Miami?  Notre Dame-Wisconsin?  Yeah, the ACC and the Orange Bowl will be fine.

The report also notes at length the way the playoff structure will work in just a few years.  There will be ample tie-ins for the 5 major conferences, and then six more slots reserved for all teams.  If it is 6 SEC teams in the top 12, so be it.  If it is 3 teams from the Big East, so be it.  Everyone will have the same access and it will be filled based on merit.  Or, at the very least, the merit as determined by human beings.

Orange Bowl Details Still Being Finalized

As reported last week, the Orange Bowl is looking to set itself up with an ACC team on one side and Notre Dame/SEC/Big 10 on the other.  ESPN is now reporting that a deal is close–details are being discussed as to how to make the determination of opponent.  This is important to the ACC, which owns the TV rights to the game.  Locking up the valuable ND/SEC/B1g trio will be huge for marketing purposes.

The interesting thing is that Notre Dame’s arrangement means that they could be on either side of the game.  If, for example, Florida State is a playoff team, the Orange Bowl could select the ACC runner-up–say a 10-3 Virginia Tech team to play a 10-2 Notre Dame team.  Or, if Virginia Tech played the Orange Bowl the year before, perhaps it would select 10-2 Notre Dame to be the ACC team and have the Irish play a team like Wisconsin, Nebraska, Ohio State, Michigan, Florida, Auburn, South Carolina, etc.  The flexibility of the Orange Bowl will give it additional marketability.  To be sure, Virginia Tech getting bumped in that example will be controversial.  But the financial rewards for the conference as a whole will be significant.

What is clear is that the Orange Bowl will NOT be an ACC vs. Big East game.  And, for that, the Confidential is pleased.

The Orange Bowl Issue

A few months ago, the SEC and Big XII announced a Championship Bowl that would add another pile of money to those conferences’ already large piles of money.  Many saw this as a sign that the ACC was relegated to second tier status as a football conference (or 19th tier, if you are a Florida State fan and looking for excuses for why the team cannot win 10 games anymore).  Some time later, the ACC announced that it had extended its relationship with the Orange Bowl AND earned the right to take the TV revenue from that game.  On the heels of that, the Confidential noted that Notre Dame would likely be a partner with the ACC in the Orange Bowl (here) or perhaps more.  Well, with the news of the ND/ACC partnership, left under-discussed was this tweet from Notre Dame’s athletic director Jack Swarbrick: “We are on track to participate in other side of the Orange Bowl along with SEC & Big Ten. Details to follow.”

This is huge news for the ACC.  Granted, the SEC or Big 10 opponent would be a #3 or #4 level opponent, but these are outstanding matchups.  With all the SEC power teams, the Orange Bowl would feature an outstanding matchup from a regional basis.  If it is a Big 10 school, Miami becomes a great vacation destination.  The Orange Bowl could see a Florida State-Nebraska game.  Of course, if both programs return to their 1990s days, they would be playing that game in the playoffs.  But assuming those teams are 9-10 win teams, that would be a great TV matchup, meaning more revenue for the ACC.  Needless to say, Notre Dame being an option is also very lucrative from a TV standpoint.  While the potential for a rematch is always there, with ND playing only 5 games, that is far from a certainty.  This, of course, is why the Orange Bowl would have the flexibility to go the B1G or SEC route.

One has to note the absence of a comment by Swarbrick regarding a Big East relationship with the Orange Bowl.  Maybe that was an oversight.  Or maybe the Orange Bowl wants nothing to do with the Big East programs.  While Louisville would probably be a good fit, as well as South Florida or Central Florida for geographic reasons, it is doubtful that an ACC-Big East matchup involving those schools would move the TV dial.  And Boise State is just too far away from Miami to think that there would be a large crowd.

In any event, ACC fans will have to continue to monitor this Orange Bowl situation.  Like the TV contract, the Orange Bowl is about ACC revenue.  The more, the better.

UPDATE: Frank the Tank is FAR more optimistic that the Orange Bowl opponent will be a high-quality SEC or B1G opponent, with the arrangement being one of timing:

The upshot of this would be that ACC #1 will be playing either Big Ten #1, SEC #1 or a highly-ranked Notre Dame team in the Orange Bowl in any given year, which will likely yield a media rights payout for the ACC that will be in line with what the Big Ten and Pac-12 are receiving for the Rose Bowl and the SEC and Big 12 are receiving for the Champions Bowl.  Thus, any chicken little beliefs that the ACC is going to end up playing subpar opponents in the Orange Bowl are going to go by the wayside.

If so, the Confidential was way off in suggesting that it would be a #3 or #4 conference representative in the Orange Bowl.  All in all, with the exception of the TV revenue flowing from the ESPN deal, ACC leadership has really rallied quite well.

Notre Dame, the Orange Bowl, and the ACC

Previously, the Confidential noted that the ACC signed a new deal with the Orange Bowl securing its status within the power structure of college football.  Of course, the most important aspect was that the ACC gets to keep the TV revenue.  The latest word is that Notre Dame is in discussions with the Orange Bowl to make regular appearances.  There is also Internet talk as to whether Notre Dame is considering a relationship with the ACC that would allow several games a year between ACC teams and the Fighting Irish.  This is, again, all good news for the ACC.

First, the decision to pair up Notre Dame with the Orange Bowl makes complete sense.  For the Orange Bowl, a 10-2 Notre Dame team trumps any other ten-win team in the country and most 11 win teams.  Even if Notre Dame is unfairly selected, the buzz alone will be worth the trouble.  People will care, even if it is simply to root against Notre Dame.  For the ACC, having Notre Dame as an opponent makes great sense too.  Notre Dame is located in Indiana, but the heart of its fan base is nationwide and certainly heavy along the Eastern seaboard–locations where the ACC has a presence.  Given that the ACC controls the TV revenue, having a 10-2 Notre Dame in the game is much more lucrative than just about any other conceivable opponent.  For Notre Dame, it once again shows that it can remain fully relevant without the shackles of a full-time conference affiliation.  All it has to do is win 10 games and it is in a lucrative bowl.  And if it does better, it will not be in the Orange Bowl, but playing for a national title.  A classic win-win, albeit a win-win-win.

Second, the ClemsonInsider ( has the following interesting snippet posted:

For several months has been telling its members that the chances of Notre Dame joining the ACC were much higher than Clemson leaving for the Big 12.  The ACC has been courting the Irish for a long time but those discussions picked up over the past few months as we’ve reported. has now confirmed with sources close to the situation that the discussions have progressed to the point where Presidents from a number of ACC schools are having discussions with Notre Dame to try to finalize a deal.  The ACC Presidents would love for the Irish to join the ACC as a full member, but they are also interested in other alternatives that could help the league.

Having Notre Dame play four games a year against ACC opponents is yet another win-win.  For ACC teams, having Notre Dame visit is always going to be lucrative at the gate and on television.  It is also helpful for scheduling strength.  Further, it prevents the Big 12 landing Notre Dame in a similar relationship.  For Notre Dame, scheduling is going to get more complex in the future–having an agreement with the ACC will allow more flexibility in that regard.  And, given that Notre Dame often plays at least a few ACC teams per year, there is really not that much of a change.

Of course, it remains to be seen how these two discussions work together.  The potential for a rematch in the Orange Bowl could pose some problems.

But, overall, it looks like Notre Dame is warming up to the ACC as a partner in multiple ways.  While Notre Dame as a full-time member would go a long way towards fixing all that ails the ACC, the ACC is going to have to slow dance with Notre Dame for a while.  Hopefully, it works out better for the ACC than it did for the Big East.  Fortunately, the monetary benefit is far greater for the ACC to do so.

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