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Headlines: A Bowl Team With No Home?

Brian: ATL gives us this link from the Mobile Press-Register about how the GMAC Bowl - the newest edition to the ACC bowl lineup - would prefer a southern team like Florida State, Georgia Tech or Miami over Boston College. That didn't take long, now did it?

"So it would stand to reason that if a Florida State, Georgia Tech or Miami were in the mix for one of the ACC's later slots, those teams might be more likely to visit Mobile. It makes sense that more fans would make the trip to Mobile from Tallahassee as opposed to supporters from Boston College. Particularly in these tough economic times, that kind of consideration is going to become increasingly important."

Say what? I guess beggers can be choosers. Tell the GMAC Bowl to get in line as the bias of ACC bowl games not selecting BC is certainly well documented:

  • Chick-Fil-A nee Peach Bowl - Passed over Matt Ryan and the ACCCG runner-up Eagles in 2007 (10-3, 6-2 ACC) for a Clemson team (9-3, 5-3) that BC beat in Death Valley
  • Gator Bowl - Jacksonville will never select BC after getting burned with the 2007 ACC Championship game attendance
  • Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl - Last year's bowl between BC and Vanderbilt generated only $9.97 million for the local economy, down nearly $20 mil year over year. Even though the bowl went with the local team, this shortfall can obviously be attributed to the fact that BC doesn't travel

If I remember correctly, the H-Bowl didn't like us very much either. Add to this the natural geographic biases of the Champs Sports Bowl (a Florida ACC team), the Meineke Car Care Bowl (a North Carolina team) and the EagleBank Bowl (Maryland / Virginia), and BC is certainly not feeling the love.

Jeff, short of Robert Kraft and the Gillette Company getting together and creating the Gillette Shaving Cream Bowl at Foxboro, will BC ever be embraced by any of these ACC bowls? Or is this simply a losing battle?

Jeff: Worrying about this is pointless because it is a losing battle. Unless a bowl game is played in Foxboro or the Meadowlands, BC is going to be the furthest ACC team from the site and still have one of the smallest student bodies / alumni base. Bowls don't get excited about Wake Forest either but at least the Deacons are more centrally located and more students could pile into a van to catch a bowl game in places like Jacksonville, Atlanta or Orlando.

This is not a problem specific to the ACC. In the SEC, a bowl could be thinking it might get Georgia or Tennessee and end up being forced to select Vanderbilt. In the Big Ten you can have a shot at Penn State, Ohio State or Michigan and end up with Northwestern.

I was happy with the turnout in Orlando two years ago but that was partially because of people like you and me who went to that game but did not go to Charlotte the year before or to Nashville last year. If the right matchup presents itself BC will travel well but never as well as a school located within a few hundred miles of the site or as well as Clemson or Virginia Tech.

Brian: You couldn't miss the Champs Sports Bowl in 2007 because BC fans simply didn't want that season to end. Quite frankly, I don't blame BC fans for not wanting to travel to Nashville last season for the bowl against a 6-6 Vanderbilt team. Unfortunately for BC, it's a perpetual downward spiral when it comes to bowl selection ...

  1. Get pitted against a crappy opponent in an inconvenient location between Christmas and New Year's.
  2. BC fans don't show up because they feel the team got slighted.
  3. This perpetuates the "BC doesn't travel well myth" and the cycle continues.

The good news is that the ACC contract with the GMAC Bowl is only for one year. Maybe the ACC can strike a deal with a bowl game in ACC territory going forward. Humble suggestions: the new Orlando Bowl for the Cure, Outback Bowl, Capital One Bowl. Even the Pizza (Papa John's) Bowl in Birmingham is relatively closer to the rest of the ACC than Mobile, Alabama.

Also, I realize that Florida State and Miami aren't the programs that they were in the late 1990s, but the GMAC Bowl is dreaming if they think teams like Florida State and Miami will still be available this season after the Gator Bowl, the Champs Sports Bowl and the Chick-Fil-A Bowl pick their teams. The only way those teams will fall to this bowl is if the eight bowls above them in the ACC pecking order are forced to pick a program like BC, Wake Forest or Virginia.