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ACC Bowl Projections, Week 10: Seven Tickets Punched

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The dudes become the ACC's seventh bowl eligible team with a win over Virginia Tech.

Michael Shroyer

With wins over conference opponents in week 10, Boston College (6-3) and Miami (6-3) became the sixth and seventh bowl eligible teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Florida State (8-0), Duke (7-1), Georgia Tech (7-2), Clemson (6-2) and Louisville (6-3) had previously punched their postseason tickets earlier in the season. So has Notre Dame (7-1), which will slot into the ACC's bowl lineup unless they get into the College Football Playoff or one of the "New Year's Six."

Here are this year's ACC bowl tie-ins:

Tier 1
ACC Champ / ACC No. 1 -- Orange Bowl, Miami, Dec. 31 vs. Big Ten / SEC / Notre Dame
ACC No. 2 -- Russell Athletic Bowl, Orlando, Dec. 29 vs. Big 12 3

Tier 2 / Conditional Tie-Ins with Big Ten
ACC Nos. 3-6 OR Big Ten Nos. 5-7 -- Gator, Jacksonville, Jan. 2 vs. SEC 3-8
ACC Nos. 3-6 OR Big Ten Nos. 5-7 -- Music City, Nashville, Dec. 30 vs. SEC 3-8

Tier 2
ACC Nos. 3-6 -- Belk, Charlotte, Dec. 30 vs. SEC 3-8
ACC Nos. 3-6 -- Pinstripe, Bronx, Dec. 27 vs. Big Ten 5-7
ACC Nos. 3-6 -- Sun, El Paso, Dec. 27 vs. Pac-12 5

Everything Else
Independence, Shreveport, Dec. 27 vs. SEC 10 (C-USA conditional)
Military, Annapolis, Dec. 27 vs. American
Quick Lane, Detroit, Dec. 26 vs. Big Ten
BITCOIN, St. Petersburg, Dec. 26 vs. American

Let's break down the bowl picture for the ACC's remaining seven programs:

Needs 1 win:

N.C. State Wolfpack (5-4, 1-4 ACC)

Wins: 5
Needs: 6
Remaining: 3 -- 11/8 Georgia Tech, 11/15 Wake Forest, 11/29 @ North Carolina

How To Get There: Beat Wake. Pretty simple. Even with a loss to the Demon Deacons, the Wolfpack can get there. But the best remaining shot at bowl eligibility remains N.C. State's November 15 home game vs. Wake Forest.

Bowl / No Bowl? Bowl.

Need 2 wins:

North Carolina Tar Heels (4-5, 2-3 ACC)

Wins: 4
Needs: 6
Remaining: 3 -- 11/15 Pittsburgh, 11/20 @ Duke, 11/29 N.C. State

How To Get There: The Tar Heels need two wins over their final three games of the season to go bowling. It's not the easiest of remaining slates with Coastal Division games remaining against Pittsburgh and Duke. The good news is that two of those final three games are at home and the Heels get an extra week to prepare to host Pitt.

Bowl / No Bowl? Bowl. It won't be easy, but I think Carolina can win two of its final three games to make the postseason. Wins over Pitt and N.C. State are the most likely path to bowl eligibility, but the Heels could upset a Duke team that's been cutting it really close past few weeks with close wins over Georgia Tech, Virginia, and Pittsburgh.

Virginia Cavaliers (4-5, 2-3 ACC)

Wins: 4
Needs: 6
Remaining: 3 -- 11/8 @ Florida State, 11/22 Miami, 11/28 @ Virginia Tech

How To Get There: The 'Hoos need two wins in their final three games. I really can't see it. This weekend it's a trip to Tallahassee to take on the second-ranked Seminoles. If UVA can't nab an upset victory over FSU, they'll need to take both of their remaining games against fellow Coastal Division members Miami and Virginia Tech. This might be the year that Virginia gets back in the win column against Tech, but I can't see Virginia notching wins in two of the remaining three.

Bowl / No Bowl? No bowl.

Pittsburgh Panthers (4-5, 2-3 ACC)

Wins: 4
Needs: 6
Remaining: 3 -- 11/15 @ North Carolina, 11/22 Syracuse, 11/29 @ Miami

How To Get There: The Panthers need two victories to become bowl eligible, but blew a HUGE opportunity to get a step closer when kicker Chris Blewitt shanked a potential game-winning FG in regulation against Duke. Whether or not Pitt goes bowling probably comes down to their next game on November 15 against North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Win that and Pitt is in good shape, needing one win over its final two games. Lose, and I just can't see the Panthers winning both of their final games against Syracuse and at Miami.

Bowl / No Bowl? No bowl. See Pitt dropping both road games and coming up a game short.

Virginia Tech Hokies (4-5, 2-3 ACC)

Wins: 4
Needs: 6
Remaining: 3 -- 11/15 @ Duke, 11/22 @ Wake Forest, 11/28 Virginia

How To Get There: The Hokies need two wins over their final three games to extend the nation's second longest active bowl game streak. Crazy that a team that pulled off the huge road upset over Ohio State in week 2 is in this position, but here we are. Even on the road, Wake leans win, and I think the Hokies extend their dominance over in-state Virginia (though that game is probably more of a toss-up than Virginia Tech fans are comfortable with).

Bowl / No Bowl? Bowl.

Need 3 wins:

Syracuse Orange (3-6, 1-4 ACC)

Wins: 3
Needs: 6
Remaining: 3 -- 11/8 Duke, 11/22 @ Pittsburgh, 11/29 @ Boston College

How To Get There: Win out. Not happening.

Bowl / No Bowl? No bowl.

Needs 4 wins:

Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-6, 0-4 ACC)

Wins: 2
Needs: 6
Remaining: 4 -- 11/6 Clemson, 11/15 @ N.C. State, 11/22 Virginia Tech, 11/29 @ Duke

How To Get There: See Syracuse above. Again, not happening. Nothing to see here, really.

Bowl / No Bowl? No bowl.

With Virginia Tech, North Carolina and N.C. State joining FSU, Duke, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Louisville, BC and Miami, the conference would have ten bowl-eligible teams. Should Florida State win out, the Seminoles would almost certainly represent the conference in the College Football Playoff. With Notre Dame, even with losses to USC and/or Arizona State, have to think a 9-3 Irish team would put together a compelling enough case to get into one of the "New Year's Six" bowls and not take up an ACC bowl slot.

Unfortunately things get a bit more complicated if Notre Dame finishes the year 9-3 or 8-4 and falls out of the major bowl game lineup. With games remaining against Arizona State, USC and Louisville, that's entirely possible.

Best guess as to how this shakes out below with four weeks to go:

College Football Playoff -- Florida State (13-0, 8-0 ACC)
"New Year's Six" At-large -- Notre Dame (10-2)

Orange -- Clemson (10-2, 7-1)
Russell Athletic Bowl -- Duke (10-3, 6-2)

Music City -- Louisville (8-4, 5-3)
Belk -- Georgia Tech (8-4, 5-3)
Pinstripe -- Boston College (7-5, 4-4)
Sun -- Miami (8-4, 5-3)

Independence -- N.C. State (6-6, 2-6)
Military -- Virginia Tech (6-6, 3-5)
Quick Lane -- North Carolina (6-6, 4-4)