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Headlines: Eagles to the Emerald Bowl and the 2009 ACC Lineup

Brian: The complete bowl lineup for 2009-2010 was announced yesterday, with the Eagles selected to play Southern California (8-4) in the Emerald Bowl. The game will be played on December 26 at 8:00pm EST and shown on ESPN.

Here is the complete rundown of ACC bowls (all times Eastern).

Bowl ACC Opponent Location Date/Time Network
Meineke Car Care North Carolina (8-4) Pittsburgh (9-3) Charlotte, NC Dec. 26 4:30pm ESPN
Emerald Boston College (8-4)
Southern Cal (8-4) San Francisco, CA
Dec. 26 8:00pm
Music City
Clemson (8-5) Kentucky (7-5)
Nashville, TN
Dec. 27 8:30pm
Champs Sports
Miami Fla. (9-3)
Wisconsin (8-4)
Orlando, FL
Dec. 29 8:00pm
Peach Virginia Tech (9-3)
Tennessee (7-5)
Atlanta, GA
Dec. 31 7:30pm
Gator Florida State (6-6) West Virginia (9-3)
Jacksonville, FL
Jan. 1 1:00pm
Orange Georgia Tech (11-2) Iowa (10-2)
Miami, FL
Jan. 5 8:00pm


Do you like the Eagles draw relative to the other ACC bowl destinations? Would you have rather faced Stanford?

Jeff: I'm very happy with the matchup the Eagles have this season. Playing USC - who might be the highest profile team not in a BCS bowl - is great for BC because the game will get plenty of attention and will get more attention than if the Eagles had played Stanford in the same game. Hopefully the matchup will also encourage more fans and alumni who live on the West coast to get to the game. Relative to other bowl destinations, I think the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte got a great matchup once again and I would've liked to be headed to Charlotte for our bowl to play Pittsburgh. Pitt is the third highest ranked team any ACC team is playing in a bowl game behind Iowa and West Virginia. The Eagles didn't deserve to fall to the last bowl in ACC selection but once again they did. But given the bowl they are in, playing USC is absolutely the best possible scenario.

Brian: Pittsburgh - just like USC - didn't necessarily finish off the season strong. Pittsburgh lost its last two games and blew a 21 point lead against Cincinnati with a BCS bowl berth on the line. Similarly, USC lost three of its last five games and dropped out of the Top 25 for the first time in eight years after their 21-17 loss to Arizona. In terms of a having a motivated, quality opponent, I like the USC draw much better than Pittsburgh. Besides, the ACC will have plenty of shots at the Big East over the next four years up and down the bowl lineup. With the ACC breaking ties with the Emerald Bowl after this season, it's not very often you get a shot at a solid Pac-10 opponent.

Second question. Did the bowls get it right this year?

Jeff: No. There is no way you can say the bowls got it right when 6-6 Florida State is headed to the Gator Bowl. Even though there were special circumstances surrounding Bobby Bowden in this game, I wouldn't be surprised if the ACC adopts another rule regarding bowl selection and 6-6 teams in order to avoid this in the future.

Brian: The Florida State to the Gator Bowl situation was ridiculous. As this year is the last year that the Gator Bowl is affiliated with the ACC, the Gator Bowl Association had nothing to lose in selecting FSU and screwing over Miami, Clemson, and BC. Obviously, the Block-C guys are none-too-pleased with Clemson falling to the Music City Bowl as the ACC runner-up (just like BC did a season ago).

In the end, Rick Catlett and the Gator Bowl Association got what they wanted, but how is this a proper sendoff for the Seminoles? FSU will likely get crushed by West Virginia and everyone will tune out by halftime. Plus the Gator Bowl on CBS will have to compete with the Capital One Bowl between Penn State and LSU, which is on at the same time on ESPN. I'm pretty disappointed in the Gator Bowl's decision and for the ACC for not sticking up for their more deserving programs. I'm more than happy to see the Gator Bowl fall out of the ACC bowl rotation next year.

Let's look at the rest of these matchups. First reactions as to how the ACC will fare this year? How many games you have the ACC winning? And will the Gator Bowl’s decision to select a 6-6 Florida State team end up helping or hurting the ACC’s bowl record this year?

Jeff: The lines are not out yet but 4 ACC teams should be favored to win their games this season and 3 will be underdogs. Miami has the easiest game as Wisconsin heads to Orlando to get destroyed by another ACC team this season just as Florida State put it on them last season. Florida State will be the biggest underdog of the ACC teams this season going against West Virginia. It's not impossible for the 'Noles to pull off the upset, but I would be surprised if they win. If Clemson or Miami had gotten the Gator Bowl invitation as they should have and Florida State fell to the Music City Bowl or a better matchup for them, the ACC would be looking at a better chance for a higher win total in the bowls this season.

Brian: I agree with you. BC stands to be heavy underdog against USC in California but I wouldn't be surprised if the Eagles can pull off the upset. Having watched USC the past few weeks, they are not nearly as dominant as they have been the past few years and I think the Eagles defense matches up well with their offense.

Gut reactions: Virginia Tech, Clemson, Miami, and Georgia Tech all win while UNC, BC and Florida State lose. If Florida State had been placed in the bowl game they deserved, I think the conference nets another win (Clemson over West Virginia in the Gator Bowl), sends Bowden out a winner (Florida State over Kentucky) and pushes their record to 5-2. As it stands now, looks like another ho-hum 4-3 performance from the ACC this bowl season.