Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bowl outlook: ACC order clearing up

The outcome of the Georgia Tech-Clemson ACC title game will affect the first four bowl tie-ins for the ACC but not likely the last three.

North Carolina (Music City), Florida State (Meineke) and Boston College (Emerald) are tracking towards the last three tie-ins.

The top four — Orange, Chick-fil-A, Gator and Champs — will have to wait for the title game on Saturday in Tampa, Fla.

Two scenarios to consider, Georgia Tech wins:

Orange: GT vs. TCU/Penn State
Chick-fil-A: Virginia Tech vs. Ole Miss/South Carolina
Gator: Miami vs. West Virginia
Champs: Clemson vs. Northwestern

Clemson wins:

Orange: Clemson vs. TCU/Penn State
Chick-fil-A: GT vs. Ole Miss/South Carolina
Gator: VT vs. West Virginia
Champs: Miami vs. Northwestern

Regardless, the last three tie-ins potentially look like:

Music City: UNC vs. Kentucky
Meineke: FSU vs. Cincinnati-Pitt loser
Emerald: Boston College vs. Stanford

The biggest mystery is what the Gator would do with the choice of Clemson or Miami. The Tigers went to Jacksonville last year, and lost, but sold a ton of tickets.

You factor in the Tigers are playing in the state of Florida on Saturday, in Tampa, and the Gator would likely take Miami over a road-weary Clemson, which also would have lost two straight to end the season.

Miami has more television value and a history with West Virginia, which would offset some of the Hurricanes' shortcomings as a ticket draw.

Clemson, at 6-2, couldn't be jumped by a 4-4 team for the Champs.

Charlotte would be ecstatic with FSU and continue their improbable streak of strong matchups. The Cincy-Pitt loser (they play Saturday with the winner going to the BCS) wouldn't sell a ton of tickets but would likely be ranked in the top 25.

-- J.P. Giglio