ACC Bowl Projections: Way-Too-Early Bowl Projections Have Eagles Home For The Holidays

Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Spor

How ACC bowl selection works in a College Football Playoff world.

These are bound to be wrong because ... May.

Bowl Date Location Matchup Brett McMurphy Mark Schlabach Jerry Palm
Military TBA Annapolis, Md. ACC vs. American North Carolina Pittsburgh Syracuse
Russell Athletic TBA Orlando, Fla. ACC vs. Big 12 Clemson Notre Dame Duke
Music City TBA Nashville, Tenn. ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC North Carolina North Carolina
Duck Commander TBA Shreveport, La. ACC vs. SEC Duke Georgia Tech Louisville
Birmingham TBA Birmingham, Ala. SEC vs. American Georgia Tech
BWW TBA Tempe, Ariz. Big 12 vs. Pac-12 Notre Dame*
St. Pete Dec. 26 St. Petersburg, Fla. ACC vs. American Pittsburgh Louisville N.C. State
Pinstripe Dec. 27 Bronx, N.Y. ACC vs. Big Ten Miami Virginia Tech Pittsburgh
Sun Dec. 27 El Paso, Texas ACC vs. Pac-12 Louisville Duke Miami
Belk Dec. 30 Charlotte, N.C. ACC vs. SEC Virginia Tech Miami Virginia Tech
Detroit Dec. 30 Detroit, Mich. ACC vs. Big Ten Syracuse Syracuse Boston College
TaxSlayer Jan. 2 Jacksonville, Fla. ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC Notre Dame
Orange Dec. 31 Miami, Fla. ACC vs. Big Ten/SEC/Notre Dame Florida State Clemson Clemson
Sugar Jan. 1 New Orleans, La. Semifinal Florida State
Rose Jan. 1 Pasadena, Calif. Semifinal Florida State

* replacement team

Don't get too bent out of shape about Boston College's exclusion from both Schlabach and McMurphy's way-too-early projections. The bar is so low (6 wins) and the schedule manageable enough (CSU is a solid opponent, but a 3-1 non-conference record is assumed to go along with BC's eight games in Massachusetts) that I'm not too worried about the Eagles reaching a 6-6 mark next season. If BC gets to six wins, they'll find a spot in a bowl game.

Boston College's one true believer, Jerry Palm, has the Eagles opposite Tulsa in the new Detroit Bowl. Catch the excitement!

Where these bowl projections are mildly informative is in showing how college football's postseason will work in the first year of the College Football Playoff. Some ACC bowl selection specific changes for this coming season.

-- In the first year of the College Football Playoff, the Sugar and Rose Bowls will serve as the national semifinals. Schlabach (Sugar) and Palm (Rose) both have FSU in one of the two semifinals, while McMurphy has the Noles in the Orange Bowl as a non-playoff team. With FSU projected to the playoff, Clemson takes FSU's spot as the ACC champ in the Orange Bowl.

-- With a few exceptions, you'll notice there's no longer a selection number alongside each bowl as there's been in years past (e.g. the AdvoCare V100 Bowl receiving the ACC's no. 7 selection). That's because going forward, the conference will work with its bowl partners to place teams in bowls to keep matchups a little more fresh. Expect a heavy dose of the Pinstripe / Detroit / Military Bowls for northern programs like Boston College, Syracuse and Pitt moving forward.

-- Obviously there's Notre Dame, taking up a spot in one of the conference's choicest non-playoff bowl games. McMurphy has the Irish in Jacksonville while Schlabach has ND in Orlando. Interestingly, Palm has Notre Dame in Tempe as a replacement team for the Big 12. Palm projects six of 10 Big 12 teams to a bowl game, but two of those -- Oklahoma and Baylor -- are slotted into the playoff bowls, leaving two bowls with Big 12 ties needing a replacement team.

-- You can start to see how the ACC/Big Ten relationship will work with the Music City, Capital One and TaxSlayer Bowls will work. The Russell Athletic Bowl will get second pick of ACC teams, or Notre Dame, that doesn'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 -- which will happen at least three times over the first 12 years of the agreement -- the ACC would send its second selection to the Capital One Bowl, replacing the Big Ten. When this happens, the RAB gets third pick of ACC bowl teams.

-- The Gator and Music City will each get an ACC and Big Ten school three times in six years.

-- Looks like McMurphy is already banking on an ACC team serving as a replacement team for the Birmingham nee BBVA Bowl. McMurphy has FOUR SEC teams in the selection committee bowl games, paving the way for Georgia Tech to replace an SEC team in the Birmingham-based bowl. Really, though, we know that Pitt will land here.

Specific bowl lineup changes:

-- Instead of facing a BCS at-large, the ACC champ (or representative) will face a team from the Big Ten, SEC or Notre Dame.

-- With the Peach Bowl's inclusion in the selection committee bowl games, the conference loses a tie-in with the Atlanta-based bowl (was ACC no. 2 vs. SEC).

-- The conference has traded in American Athletic conference tie-ins for the Russell Athletic and Belk Bowls with the Big 12 and SEC, respectively. They regain an ACC vs. American bowl with the Military Bowl (was ACC vs. at-large last year).

-- In addition to the new Gator and Capital One bowl tie-ins mentioned above, the ACC has new bowl agreements with the Detroit and Pinstripe Bowls (both vs. the Big Ten) and St. Petersburg Bowl (vs. the American).

-- With the CFP bowl games pushing many bowl games up on the calendar, the Sun Bowl, the nation's second oldest bowl, has been bumped from its traditional New Year's Eve date to December 27 this year. It's the earliest the Sun Bowl will have been played since 1993. The calendar change seems to make the only ACC vs. Pac-12 bowl a slightly less attractive destination.

Ridiculous bowl name changes:

-- BC's 2013 bowl game, the AdvoCare V100 Bowl, is now the Duck Commander Bowl.

-- The unofficial home of the Pitt Panthers, the BBVA Compass Bowl, is now the Birmingham Bowl. Birmingham's nickname is "Pittsburgh of the South." I kid you not.

-- The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl is no more, replaced by the Detroit Bowl operated by the Detroit Lions. Presumably so that the franchise can feel included in some sort of postseason.

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