Steele's ACC Football Bowl Predictions And The Big Finish

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 28: The Toledo Rockets kick off to the Air Force Falcons during the first half of the Military Bowl at RFK Stadium on December 28, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Brian: Phil Steele is out with his 2012 bowl projections, predicting that our Eagles will be bowl eligible this season. Steele has the Eagles taking on Army in the Military Bowl in December in a rare regular season bowl rematch.

Here's how the ACC breaks down:

Steele also predicts no ACC team in the Orange Bowl (Oregon vs. USF) and North Carolina, Duke, Wake FOrest and Maryland are home for the holidays. Thoughts on Steele's early bowl predictions? Over/under the Military Bowl for BC?

Jeff: I think the predictions are very close to what mine would be with the exception of FSU in the national championship game instead of the Orange Bowl. FSU was 9-4 last season and I won't be surprised if they improve on that but that is still a long way from a 12-0 regular season and for now that is what we have to assume they need to do in order to get into the BCSNCG.

I think BC will get to bowl eligibility this season as long as they are not killed by injuries. Then as we know once BC gets to bowl eligibility, they are likely to fall to the bottom of the ACC pecking order unless they can get to at least 8 wins or finish with 2 more ACC wins than some of the 6-6 teams out of the ACC.

Brian: If BC is going to make a bowl game, I think it's far more likely that the Eagles are shipped to Shreveport to avoid the regular season rematch with Army. I think Florida State could make it to the National Championship Game this year given a weak schedule and some better luck when it comes to a healthy roster, but I'll believe it when I see it. We've heard that Florida State will be in the title game far too often in June and July.

I also wonder whether the Peach Bowl would invite the Tigers back for the bowl game given that Clemson begins the season against Auburn in ATL. I could see the Hokies getting that spot if they again win the Coastal Division. I think Steele is too high on Virginia and could see Wake Forest sneaking into a bowl, though I do agree that Maryland and Duke won't be bowling this winter.

North Carolina is banned from postseason play this year and it's unclear whether Miami will be banned too (or even reach six wins this season?). UNC's bowl ban, combined with a similarly banned or bowl ineligible Miami sets up a big opportunity for a school like BC. Should two of Florida State / Clemson / Virginia Tech earn BCS bowl berths and Miami / North Carolina reach bowl eligibility but remain ineligible for a bowl, the Eagles could conceivably fall up into an ACC bowl game they wouldn't otherwise get to in a normal year. Hit the 7-8 win mark and BC could very well be looking at a Russell Athletic or Sun Bowl invite when they would otherwise be looking at the Belk / Music City Bowl in a normal year.

There is an opportunity this season to improve our bowl position this season. Let's hope BC is able to capitalize.

Big Finish

Brian: Big East interim commissioner Joe Bailey isn't concerned with the league's future when it comes to access to the college football playoff. Should he be?

Jeff: Their access to the playoff is not an issue but their finances may be going forward compared to the top five leagues in the land.

Jeff: Who's enjoying their holiday week more - Mark Herzlich or Matt Ryan?

Brian: I love Matt but you have to go with Mark here, right?

Brian: Top prospect Robert Nkemdiche and Clemson recruit is using his leverage to help a high school teammate get a college scholarship. Props or outrage?

Jeff: I like it assuming he was not bluffing.

Jeff: I agree with HD here that at this point, Rogers' departure does not matter. Only winning does. Do you?

Brian: Rogers departure was made easier by the coaching staff mass exodus.

Brian: Can the ACC's new deal with the Orange Bowl stabilize the conference?

Jeff: The ACC remains outside the top four in football but way ahead of the #6 conference in football. Results on the field could get the league into the top four over the next decade.

Jeff: UConn is a long way away from competing with Boston College and Boston University in hockey but would you agree an on-campus arena is the first step?

Brian: 100% agree. May be the first time in the history of this site that I agree with something written over at The UConn Blog. Note date and time for posterity.

Brian: Last one. Is there anything left that will make Clemson fans happy to remain in the ACC?

Jeff: Clemson is staying in the ACC which most fans who attend the games prefer. The ones who attend the games and the ones who blow up in game threads are not the same people.

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