Sunday, November 21, 2010

ACC bowl projections

Orange (Miami): Virginia Tech

The Hokies (9-2) have won nine straight and with the return of running back Ryan Williams, who ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns against Miami this week, they don't have the look of a team that's going to lose in any of its final three games.

The Hokies' opponent in the BCS bowl game will either be Texas Christian or the Big 12 title game loser, either Nebraska or Oklahoma State.

Chick-fil-A (Atlanta): N.C. State

At 8-3, N.C. State's one win away from the Atlantic Division title and a return to Atlanta for the first time since the 1994 season.

State has made seven trips to the Peach Bowl, as it was known pre-corporate sponsor, with a 4-3 record. Its last trip was a 28-24 win over Mississippi State on Jan. 1, 1995.

The Bulldogs (7-4) would likely be the SEC pick, since South Carolina (8-3) is going to Atlanta for the SEC title game on Dec. 4.

Florida State (8-3) would jump the Wolfpack with a win over Florida and an N.C. State loss to Maryland.

Champs (Orlando, Fla.): Florida State

The Seminoles haven't left the state of Florida for a bowl game in three years but the Orlando game can line up Notre Dame (6-5) on one side and the Noles on the other and win at the box office and television ratings.

This would likely be N.C. State if the Pack loses to Maryland and FSU beats Florida but Clemson, with a win over South Carolina, is also a possibility.

Sun (El Paso, Texas): Miami

Miami (7-4) is a colossal disappointment and it has no traveling fan base -- or one that shows up for its home games -- but the Canes can still draw a television number and that's all the Sun Bowl cares about.

Oregon State (5-5), Cal (5-6), Washington (4-6) are the possible Pac-10 opponents but have yet to qualify. The wild card is Notre Dame.

Obviously, CBS would renew the Catholics vs. Convicts series in a heartbeat but Notre Dame (6-5) has to finish 7-5 to qualify for the Pac-10's spot.

The Irish play at USC (7-4), which is banned from the postseason, on Saturday.

Meineke (Charlotte): Clemson

Technically, Charlotte picks before the Music City and has the ability to select UNC, which beat Clemson, but the Tar Heels have been to Charlotte two years in a row and Clemson (6-5) hasn't been yet.

The Tigers, who close with South Carolina, would sell more tickets with a win over the Gamecocks, but a matchup with West Virginia (7-3) would continue bowl executive Will Webb's string of unbelievable luck in finding compelling matchups.

Music City (Nashville): UNC

The Tar Heels (6-5) would be jumped by Maryland (7-4) if UNC loses to Duke and the Terps beat N.C. State. That would trigger the "BC rule" -- which doesn't allow a team with two or more losses to jump ahead in the bowl order.

That also requires UNC losing to Duke, which has happened once in the past 20 years.

On the SEC side, Tennessee (5-6) -- oh the irony, the team that backed out of a regular-season series in 2011 and 2012 with UNC because it was scared to lose -- is closing strong but needs to beat Kentucky (6-5) to qualify.

Georgia (5-6), which has to beat Georgia Tech, is another possibility.

If neither the Vols nor Dawgs qualify, Kentucky would go back to Nashville for the fourth time in five years.

Independence (Shreveport, La.): Georgia Tech

I think they've already started printing tickets for this game between Georgia Tech (6-5) and Air Force (8-4).

They should call it the Time Machine Bowl -- with both teams playing the option, it will look like the 1960s.

Military (Washington): Maryland

The Terps (7-4) need help from Duke to get out of this game at RFK Stadium in D.C.

Short of finishing two games ahead of UNC, the Terps will be relegated to this game against a Conference USA opponent, likely East Carolina (6-5), which given the Pirates' fan base, offense -- and defense -- could be a fun bowl game.

Kraft Fight Hunger (San Francisco): Boston College

The Eagles (6-5) became bowl eligible with Saturday's win over Virginia and will likely fill the Pac-10's spot in this game.

The WAC will fill its side of the equation and probably with Nevada (10-1), although there's a possibility this could be Boise State (10-0).

-- J.P. Giglio


Anonymous said...

Whoa, whoa, whoa I am not a UT fan in any sense, but to say they are "scared" to play UNC is laughable. I know you have to pander to the baby blue JP eventhough they completely suck at everything right now, but "scared?" Scared of what, an ACC team, when they play in the SEC. Speaking of scared, when is UNC gonna finally fulfill their commitment to come to Columbia to play SC?

Anonymous said...

Almost exactly what I was going to say. Look at who UT has played out of the conference the past 5 years - I doubt there's any fear of UNC in Knoxville. On the other hand, look at UNC's non-conference schedule and tell me why did UNC drop a scheduled game with Colorado last year to schedule an additional FCS team? Why did they ignore an offer from App State in 2008 for a game when their AD said in a national forum that they needed another game? Then they ended up scheduling another FCS team (McNeese). Don't call out UT for being "scared" when it's an epidemic in Chapel Hill.

Anonymous said...

Unless Clemson can pull out a win over the Gamecocks, they have NO business being considered for a bowl. 6&6 teams do not deserve bowl bids, esp if one of those wins was against Presbyterian.

Anonymous said...

yea, the Heels were so "scared" of South Carolina, that they dropped them for the team currently ranked #5 in the BCS (LSU). Gimme a break, they had a chance to gain national exposure and play in national TV in Atlanta to open the season. And yes, Dooley knows he has an uphill battle in Tennessee with the mess Kiffin left him with, so he's trying to make the schedule easier, therefore dropping Carolina.

Anonymous said...

“Going into the season having two BCS nonconference opponents is problematic when you’re trying to rebuild a team,” Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton said. “This is not a change in our scheduling philosophy, however.”

Sounds like they were scared to me. I'm an NC State fan. UT wimped out, plain and simple.

VT Fan said...

Well, let's see...the last time Tennessee couldn't duck an ACC team (Jan. 1, 2010), they got a 37-14 butt kicking in the Chic-fil-A Bowl from Virginia Tech.

Given their performance record this year, there's no doubt they're ducking the Tar Heels.

Anonymous said...

How have those Hokies fared against in the past against reasonably strong SEC opponents?
Signed, Nick Saban and Les Miles

Anonymous said...

reasonably strong? those LSU and Alabama teams both won the national championship. no shame in losing to the best team in college football. while they may not be a national champ caliber team like those SEC powers, VT owns the ACC right now (and consistently a top 10-15 team).

Anonymous said...

They may own the ACC, but they've had problems with the Colonial. If VT wins the ACC title, does James Madison get a bowl bid by default?

Anonymous said...

that game was an aberration. VT is 47-11 against the ACC since it joined in 2004.

Anonymous said...

that "1960's GT offense" sure does not seem to have a problem beating the 21st century UNC, Wake, Duke, and typically NCState teams!! : - )