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ACC Bowl Lineup All But Finalized

Brian: Now with one-third of the ACC done with their ACC slate of games, there really is little mystery left as to which ACC programs are bowling and where. What little hope BC had of going to a better bowl by forcing the "BC Rule" over a team like Florida State, North Carolina and Miami is now gone. With a ceiling of 5-3 in conference for the Eagles, BC can’t force the better ACC bowls to pick them over Florida State (4-4) or North Carolina (4-3).

Seven teams from the ACC are bowl-eligible. The remaining five are now no longer bowl eligible (Duke needed seven wins and in falling to Miami is the last team to become bowl-ineligible). A lot of dominoes would have to fall for Miami or Virginia Tech to make a BCS at-large. It’s looking like the Big Ten will send a second team (Iowa or Penn State at 10-2), Boise State will get at an-large, and the SEC Championship Game runner up will be the replacement for the Sugar Bowl. Another year and only one BCS bowl slot for the ACC. With the ACC Championship Game matchup set with Clemson and Georgia Tech, there are really only two scenarios remaining for the ACC bowls.

If Georgia Tech wins the ACC Championship ...

Orange - Georgia Tech
Peach - Clemson
Gator - Virginia Tech
Champs Sports - Miami (Fla.)
Music City - North Carolina
Meineke Car Care - Florida State
Emerald - Boston College

If Clemson wins the ACC Championship ...

Orange - Clemson
Peach - Virginia Tech
Gator - Georgia Tech
Champs Sports - Miami (Fla.)
Music City - North Carolina
Meineke Car Care - Florida State
Emerald - Boston College

Jeff, where do you have the seven ACC bowl eligible teams bowling?

Jeff: Assuming Geogia Tech wins the ACC Championship Game and all favored teams win their games this weekend, here's what I am thinking will happen this season.

Orange - Georgia Tech
Peach - Clemson
Gator - North Carolina
Champs Sports - Virginia Tech
Music City - Miami
Meineke Car Care - Boston College
Emerald - Florida State

At 6-6, if the Seminoles are coming off a poor showing against the Gators, I think the Meineke Car Care Bowl will pass up Florida State and go with the better team in Boston College. Getting Florida State fans to travel to this bowl game the day after Christmas is unlikely and therefore the bowl will look at 8-4 BC instead of 6-6 Florida State and get a more competitive game for their TV audience. Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Notre Dame are the potential opponents in this game and the bowl will not want a 10-win Pittsburgh team, or an 11-win Cincinnati team going against a 6-6 team. If Notre Dame fills the slot, I think the bowl will not have to worry about ticket sales as much and therefore can go with BC. For this scenario to play out, BC certainly needs to win Saturday and some style points wouldn't hurt either.

Brian: I definitely don't see the Meineke Car Care bowl getting Cincinnati, Pittsburgh or Notre Dame though. The winner of Cincinnati/Pittsburgh will be headed to a BCS bowl and the Gator Bowl will scoop up the runner-up in all likelihood. The Meineke Car Care Bowl will then get to choose from West Virginia, Rutgers or South Florida. Notre Dame will have to beat Stanford to be considered for a Big East bowl slot before West Virginia, Rutgers or South Florida, as Big East rules stipulate that all teams with a winning record have to be taken over a 6-6 team. Even if the Irish do somehow manage to beat Stanford, I don't see the Car Care bowl putting BC in a rematch against Notre Dame. Bowls don't generally pick regular season rematches and that would be the third time in six years that BC makes a bowl trip to Charlotte.

Jeff: I think Virginia Tech, at 9-3 will fall a few spots in the ACC bowl selection because the Hokies have already played in Atlanta this season and also played in the ACC Championship Game in Jacksonville two seasons ago with a poor showing in terms of attendance. If North Carolina loses Saturday though, they will not be eligible to be selected before Virginia Tech, Clemson, or Georgia Tech at only 4-4 in conference. Also, a Virginia Tech loss in their rivalry game would change everyone's current bowl projections.

Brian: I wouldn't be surprised if the Hokies again end up in Atlanta but as you said, they have to first beat the Cavaliers this weekend in the Commonwealth Cup. The Peach Bowl is high on the Hokies and Atlanta is a close enough trip from Blacksburg that I think the Hokies would travel to avenge their 2 losses in Atlanta this season.