Bowl bids up for grabs in ACC
Posted November 10, 2012
The ACC may soon hold a clearance sale on bowl games.
We're talking an "everything must go" blowout, but only for one season.
With two weeks remaining in the season, only four ACC teams are bowl eligible.
That's four – when the conference has eight bowl partnerships (and a ninth which is provisional).
Florida State (9-1), Clemson (9-1), Duke (6-4) and N.C. State (6-4) all have the requisite six wins. We know they're in, and we know North Carolina (sanctions) and Boston College (7 losses) will not go bowling. But after that, things get really murky.
Wake Forest, Miami and Georgia Tech are all at 5-5 – one win away from a postseason – while Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech are all 4-6, each needing to run the table to make a postseason bid.
And there is a scenario in which every single one of these teams doesn't make it to a bowl game.
This isn't what I want to see happen, but it's an interesting thing to watch for over the next two weeks.
We're starting with 10 teams – the four already eligible and the six still working on it.
The Cavaliers and Hokies face each other in their season finale, so they're mutually exclusive. At least one of them will stay at home. That leaves us with nine.
Now imagine Clemson, FSU, Duke and Carolina each win their remaining games. That's not unlikely for the Tigers and Seminoles, and it's at least a possibility for the Devils and Heels.
If Carolina beats Virginia, and then the Cavs beat Virginia Tech, both Commonwealth schools are out. Now we're at eight.
If Duke beats Miami and Georgia Tech, the 'Canes would have to beat South Florida and the Jackets would have to beat No. 5 Georgia. The Yellow Jackets have the more challenging opponent, but let's say the Bulls and Bulldogs both win. That eliminates Miami and GT, so now we're at six.
In this scenario, Maryland would lose to both Florida State and Carolina. So, they're done, leaving only Wake Forest.
The Deacons need one more win, but they're likely to be underdogs against both No. 4 Notre Dame and Vanderbilt. If they lose out (under this scenario, of course) the ACC would be left with only four teams to go bowling.
That nuclear winter scenario would send bowl committees in Charlotte (Belk), Nashville (Music City), Shreveport (Independence) and DC (Military) looking for at-large teams from the rest of the country.
Then there's the possibility of FSU or Clemson getting an at-large BCS bid. That would leave only three bowl tie-ins for the ACC, and El Paso's Sun Bowl would have to go fishing.
In truth, I suspect at least three more ACC teams will play their way into bowl games. And the possibility is there for as many as nine. But after what Virginia and Georgia Tech did to Triangle teams this month, you never know.