Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bowl picture: Good day for UNC, Clemson

Clemson's 40-24 win over Florida State means the Tigers have to beat N.C. State, in Raleigh, and Virginia, at home, to win the Atlantic Division.

That's it and not even Tommy Bowden could screw that up (or only Tommy Bowden could screw that up).

Even if the spirit of Bowden possesses the Tigers, 4-2 in the ACC, and they lose once, they would still hold the tiebreaker over Boston College (3-2), which finishes with Virginia, UNC and Maryland.

That means Clemson and Georgia Tech, with a home win over Duke next week, will meet in Tampa on Dec. 5.

That's also good news on the bowl front for UNC, which improved to 6-3 with Saturday's 19-6 win over Duke.

Not only did UNC win, and get to within a win of its second straight bowl trip — and likely knock Duke (5-4) out of bowl contention — but Clemson's control of the Atlantic opens up the Music City Bowl in Nashville on Dec. 27.

Charlotte and San Francisco are the other possibilities for UNC.

If Boston College somehow wins the Atlantic, the Eagles could not fall further down the ACC bowl order than Nashville. If they don't win the division, BC would almost certainly go to the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco.

Florida State's loss also means the Noles can't finish better than 4-4 in the ACC and can't jump a 6-2 team, potentially Miami, Virginia Tech or Clemson, in the bowl order.

Notre Dame's loss was also good news for the ACC. The Irish, 23-21 losers to Navy, was effectively eliminated from a BCS bowl, possibly opening up a spot for a second ACC team, either Miami or Georgia Tech — if it loses to Clemson in the ACC title game. The Irish's loss also puts them in play for the Gator Bowl, against an ACC team.

Five ACC teams (Clemson, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Miami and Virginia Tech) are bowl eligible.

UNC needs one win while FSU (4-5) and Duke (5-4) need two wins. Wake Forest (4-6), Virginia (3-6) and N.C. State (4-5) need to win out while Maryland (2-7) has been eliminated from the postseason.

The ACC has nine bowl tie-ins but likely will fill only seven, leaving the EagleBank and GMAC bowls to choose from the at-large pool.

-- J.P. Giglio


MichaelProcton said...

Why does Duke need two wins? They only have one against a I-AA opponent.

Anonymous said...

Duke needs one win, which they shall get vs. Wake.