Friday, November 30, 2007

Wake not a lock, yet, for Charlotte

Some ACC observations from Jacksonville, Fla., where Boston College will meet Virginia Tech on Saturday in the ACC championship game:

  • While Wake Forest seems an almost certain choice for the ACC’s spot in Charlotte’s Meineke Car Care Bowl, bowl officials say there is a scenario that could send the Deacons elsewhere. If Washington defeats Hawaii and Boston College defeats Virginia Tech this weekend, there is a chance two ACC teams (BC and Virginia Tech) will play in BCS bowls. Under that scenario, there’s a good chance the Meineke and Music City bowls would both be considering Wake Forest and Georgia Tech, and it’s not clear where those schools would end up.
  • Expect a strong commitment from Clemson to coach Tommy Bowden when his contract extension is announced. The Tigers are 9-3 and almost certainly would be here at the ACC title game if a Cullen Harper’s pass hadn’t slipped through Aaron Kelly’s hands at the goal line against Boston College. Clemson officials believe the Tigers are on the verge of at least three or four years where they will remain in the hunt for an ACC title. Bowden’s recruiting has been solid, Harper gives the team an excellent returning starter at quarterback for next season, and the staff believes redshirting freshman Willy Korn is a special quarterback who will keep the team near the top of the ACC after Harper is gone.
  • Speaking of Clemson, Jacksonville would be in much better shape in its bid to play host to future ACC title games if the Tigers were here to play Virginia Tech. Word is that Boston College isn’t bringing a lot of fans, and one bowl executive speculated that the ACC title game will be like a Virginia Tech home game.Officials are expecting a crowd in the neighborhood of 50,000. Jacksonville Municipal Stadium seats 76,000, and if it’s one-third empty on Saturday, the bids of Charlotte and Tampa for 2008-10 will be more enticing to the ACC.
  • N.C. State football coach Tom O’Brien is talking to baseball coach Elliott Avent to find a way for Russell Wilson to participate on the baseball team. That won’t included missing spring practice. O’Brien said Wilson, a freshman who redshirted last season, can’t miss spring practice if he hopes to make progress as a quarterback. Wilson is on scholarship for football, and O’Brien has been impressed with his leadership ability and academics. “It looks like he has the temperament and ability to be a good quarterback,” O’Brien said.
- Ken Tysiac