According to ESPN's Brett McMurphy, the ACC has reached agreements with the top six bowl games for the new bowl cycle, much like the old bowl cycle, starting in 2014. The ACC's champ will continue to play in the Orange Bowl when the game is not part of the College Football Playoff semifinals, and when the ACC champ isn't in the College Football Playoff. Why are you laughing?
The Russell Athletic Bowl will get second pick of ACC teams that don't qualify for the College Football Playoff or the Orange Bowl. However, when a Big Ten team faces an ACC team in the Orange Bowl -- at least three times over the first 12 years of the agreement -- the ACC would send its second selection to the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, replacing the Big Ten. When this happens, the Russell Athletic Bowl gets the third pick of ACC bowl teams, making the City of Orlando and the Citrus Bowl the unofficial Home of the ACC Almost Champion.
The second tier of ACC bowl games includes the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, a Gator / Music City rotation, Pinstripe and Sun Bowl. The Jacksonville-based Gator Bowl and Nashville-based Music City Bowl will each get an ACC and Big Ten school three times in six years.
Here's how the ACC's bowl lineup is shaping up:
College Football Playoff, or
Orange Bowl vs. Big Ten / SEC / Notre Dame, Miami
ACC Bowl Top Tier
ACC #2, sometimes: Capital One Bowl vs. SEC, Orlando
ACC #2-3: Russell Athletic Bowl vs. Big 12, Orlando
ACC Bowl Middle Tier (ACC #3-6 or #4-7)
Belk Bowl vs. SEC, Charlotte
Music City Bowl vs. SEC, Nashville
Pinstripe Bowl vs. Big Ten, Bronx, NY
Sun Bowl vs. Pac-12, El Paso
It appears that the ACC's bottom tier bowl games will include the new Detroit bowl at Ford Field vs. the Big Ten and the Military Bowl in Annapolis vs. the American Athletic Conference (refuse to call this conference "AAC" because). The Liberty, Advocare V100 and Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl are also reportedly in the mix. Yay.
The ACC could have as many as 11 bowl tie-ins starting with the first year of the
College Football Playoff Plus One in 2014. An official announcement on the next ACC bowl lineup is expected in the days leading up to the ACC's Football Kickoff starting on Sunday.