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ACC, Pinstripe Bowl Reach Six-Year Deal: Future ACC Bowl Lineup Takes Shape

Chris McGrath

On Monday, the Pinstripe Bowl and the ACC reportedly reached a six-year deal in which the ACC will send a team to the Bronx, New York-based bowl opposite the Big Ten starting in 2014. Last month, the Big Ten, which will soon be at 14 programs with the additions of Maryland and Rutgers, signed a eight-year deal with the bowl.

Get ready for alternating Rutgers-Syracuse and Penn State-Notre Dame Pinstripe Bowl matchups for all of the New York City television sets.

As part of the deal, Yankee Stadium will feature an ACC sign for all Yankees home regular-season games starting in 2014, rendering the conference's addition of New York's College Team (TM) useless.

So where does the Pinstripe Bowl fit into the ACC's bowl lineup? ESPN's Brett McMurphy explains:

Beginning in 2014, the Pinstripe Bowl will share the ACC's third through sixth selections with the Belk, Sun and Gator/Music City bowls, sources said. The Orange Bowl will get the ACC champion -- or the league's first selection after any ACC teams that have qualified for the College Football Playoff semifinals.

The Russell Athletic Bowl will get the ACC's next selection after the Orange Bowl, sources said. The ACC also will have a deal with the Capital One Bowl that will allow the league to replace the Big Ten in the bowl if the Big Ten sends a team to the Orange, where it would play the ACC, a source said. In the Capital One Bowl, the ACC would play a team from the SEC.

In the ACC's new bowl lineup, the league also is expected to be part of a new Detroit bowl against the Big Ten, ESPN reported in May.

This bowl lineup sounds similar to the Big Ten's recently announced tiered bowl selection, meant to freshen up the bowl landscape for programs that are regular fixtures in the postseason.

"It's counterproductive to send the same teams to the same bowls in consecutive [years] or four out of five years," commissioner Jim Delany said Monday on a conference call with reporters to announce the Big Ten's six-year agreements with the Holiday and Kraft Fight Hunger bowls for the 2014-19 seasons. "Someone will obviously select first, but they may or may not get the team they want because that team may have been in that region two years in a row. We're trying to make sure there's freshness. It's hard when a team goes to say Florida five times in six years to get them really excited."

Boston College fans are no strangers to the bowl fatigue many fan bases are experiencing these days. The program's record 12-year bowl game streak from 1999-2010 included three separate trips to San Francisco (including consecutive years in 2009 and 2010), two trips to Charlotte (2004 and 2006) and two trips to Nashville (2001 and 2008). When BC wasn't going back to the same city year after year, the Eagles were relegated to destinations like Boise, Detroit and Tempe.

With the ACC's new bowl lineup, it looks like the Pinstripe will be paired with the Belk, Sun, Gator / Music City bowls in the conference's "middle tier":

Champ: Orange / College Football Playoff
Top Tier: Russell Athletic (ACC #2), Capital One (conditional ACC)
Middle Tier (ACC #3-6): Gator / Music City (sharing a tie-in over a six-year cycle), Pinstripe, Belk, Sun
Lower Tier: new Detroit bowl (managed by Detroit Lions lol), Independence?, Military?

With any luck, the ACC will employ a more flexible selection process that doesn't place the same program in a single bowl every other year.

In other bowl lineup news, the ACC will lose out on the San Francisco-based Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, which recently inked a new six-year deal with the Pac-12 and the Big Ten. Though BC fans likely tired of the San Francisco bowl after the program's third appearance in eight seasons, I think it's unfortunate that the league dropped the tie-in with the West Coast bowl; especially in light of the bowl game moving from the San Francisco Giants' AT&T Park to the 49ers new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. The ACC's new bowl lineup is already heavy with Big Ten and SEC matchups and light on Big 12 and Pac-12 ones (the Sun Bowl vs. the Pac-12 #5 is the only rumored tie-in with either the Pac-12 or Big 12).

Plus, bowl games in football stadiums > bowl games in baseball stadiums.