Brian: The ACC has announced that they will move the Champs Sports Bowl to the number three spot in the bowl selection order for the 2010 through 2013 seasons. Do you like this move?
Jeff: The Champs Sports Bowl is improving its reputation with this deal. However with the Capital One Bowl being held on New Year’s Day in the same stadium every year, the date of the Champs Sports Bowl will always be between Christmas and New Year's Day. The Gator Bowl hasn't produced great matchups recently but does have history and is on New Year’s Day. I really enjoyed my trip to Jacksonville for the ACC Championship Game a few years ago and was hoping to make it back there someday. Now, aside from the Orange Bowl, all ACC bowl games of significance will be played before January 1. I don't think I am a fan of that.
Brian: I have to say I am a fan of this. While it is true the Champs Sports Bowl plays little brother to the Capital One Bowl, there is much more to do in and around Orlando than there is to do in Jacksonville. In terms of travel, Orlando is a bit easier to get to via plane from the north. Finally, the ACC never really knew what they were getting with their relationship with the Gator Bowl the last few years. Were we going to play a Big XII team? A Big East team? Notre Dame? The conference bowl tie-ins for the Gator were confusing as hell, so I’m glad that the Champs Sports Bowl has an established relationship now with the ACC (sending their third best team) and the Big East/Notre Dame (sending their second best team). With the ACC’s “one-win rule” still in place, this could set up some great “made for TV” matchups in Orlando including ex-Big East teams (BC, Virginia Tech, Miami) and old guard “Big East” teams (West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame).
Jeff: Yes, the Gator Bowl had a bad four year deal which included two years of a Big XII team and two years of a Big East team. However, the ACC played against those teams every year and now that that bad deal is done and the Gator Bowl is moving away from a Big East team, now the ACC jumps ship? I don't know that I get it although I do agree with Orlando being easier to get to and having more to do. You didn't mention however that tailgating at the Citrus Bowl has got to improve. Hopefully more and more security can be on hand now that the game is going to draw a bigger crowd.
Brian: I would be a little upset at the Citrus Bowl security, too, if I had lost my grill at the 2007 Champs Sports Bowl. Like you said, the two knocks I have on this deal are the date of the game – as you mentioned – and the facilities. The Florida Citrus Bowl is in serious need of a renovation. Having gone to the 2007 ACC Championship and the 2007 Champs Sports Bowl, I can safely say that Jacksonville Municipal Stadium is a much better stadium to watch a football game than the Citrus Bowl.
Speaking of the Gator Bowl, the ACC will likely be cutting ties with the Gator Bowl starting next season. The Gator Bowl wanted the ACC to remove the “BC rule” so that they could choose whichever ACC team they wanted. Do you like that the ACC stuck up for the little guys and insisted on keeping the “one-win (read: BC) rule?”
Jeff: This is a rule that every conference should have and the conference need to stick by. The bowl television contracts are a huge part of how they make money and TV audiences are more drawn to matchups of teams that won a lot of games in that year. The Gator Bowl wanted to be able to select Florida State, Clemson and Virginia Tech every year just to put fans in the seats which is not entirely what the game should be about.
Brian: The Gator Bowl Association has never liked Boston College and the 2007 ACC Championship Game attendance issues put the nail in the coffin in terms of BC ever playing in Jacksonville in January. While the date and the facilities are much better than Orlando, I can't say I'm upset to see Jacksonville fall out of the rotation.