Friday, April 24, 2009

Champ Bowl (ACC vs. Big Ten) sets date

The 2009 Champs Sports Bowl game, an ACC-vs.-Big Ten matchup, will be played on Dec. 29 with an 8 p.m. kickoff in Orlando, Fla.

That’s a change from last season, when Florida State routed Wisconsin, 42-13, in an afternoon start on Dec. 27. As usual, the Champs game (one of 34 sanctioned by the NCAA for the 2009 postseason) will be televised by ESPN.

In its 20th consecutive year, the game has had an ACC representative for the past eight years and has been a productive stop for the league. ACC teams are on a 6-season win streak dating back to Clemson’s 55-15 loss to Texas Tech in 2002.

A North Carolina-based team last visited in 2003, when Philip Rivers capped his career at N.C. State by leading the Wolfpack to a 56-26 win over Kansas.

The Champs agreement with the ACC and the Big Ten expires after the 2009 game. It’s likely that an ACC renewal can be struck, but the league would prefer to land a deal with Orlando’s second bowl — the more lucrative Capital One Bank game that traditionally has been pitted teams from the SEC and Big Ten.

-- Caulton Tudor