ACC will play Big Ten, SEC or Notre Dame in future Orange Bowls
Posted November 15, 2012
Greensboro, N.C. — The ACC champion will play a member from the Big Ten, the SEC or the University of Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl for the next 12 seasons, according to a release from the conference Thursday.
The highest-ranked team in the final BCS standings from the Big Ten, SEC or Notre Dame will oppose the ACC champion with the limitations that Notre Dame may not participate more than twice and a representative from each of the SEC and Big Ten must participate at least three times over the 12 years.
“We are pleased to have finalized our long-term partnership which brings tremendous exposure and value to the ACC and our member institutions,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “The Discover Orange Bowl has a rich history of prestige and featuring our teams against opponents from the Big Ten, SEC and potentially Notre Dame provides attractive matchups year in and year out.”
One caveat to the game is that if the ACC champion, or a qualifying member from the Big Ten, SEC or Notre Dame, falls in the top-four of the final BCS standings, they will then play in the national semifinal as outlined by the newly implemented BCS playoff structure set to begin in 2014. In that event, a replacement team from the qualifying pool will play in the Orange Bowl so long as it is not one of that season’s semifinal contests.
It is anticipated that with the new playoff structure, the Orange Bowl will host at least four national semifinal games during the term of the contract. In the event the ACC champion team is not one of the top-four in the final BCS standings during one of those years, that team would then be relegated to one of the other three host bowls.
The contract also stipulates that the game will be played in an exclusive prime-time window on either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day and broadcast on ESPN.
“A game pitting the ACC champion against the SEC, Big Ten or Notre Dame ensures a great match up for sports fans,” said John Skipper, ESPN President. “The Orange Bowl has a great history and we are very proud to be part of extending that into the next decade.”