Sunday, December 5, 2010

Pack players eager for Champs Bowl trip

Senior linebacker Nate Irving waited until the end of the news conference announcing N.C. State’s bowl destination, then said what was on his mind.

“We’re going to Disney World,” he said, smiling.

The Champs Sports Bowl announced Sunday night that N.C. State (8-4) will meet No. 22-ranked West Virginia (9-3) in the game in Orlando, Fla. – the home of Disney World. The game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 28 at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium and will be televised by ESPN.

It's the most high-profile bowl trip for the Wolfpack since its Jan. 1, 2003 win over Notre Dame in the Gator Bowl. N.C. State administrators pushed hard for it, sending senior associate athletic director Chris Kingston to Orlando to hand-deliver the school’s marketing plan.

“Our fans are just known to travel well,” said athletic director Debbie Yow.

N.C. State’s ticket allotment for the bowl is 13,500. Tickets are $65 each and are available at and the N.C. State ticket office at 919-865-1510.

The Champs Sports Bowl has the third pick from the ACC. Virginia Tech (11-2), which defeated Florida State 44-33 in the ACC title game Saturday night in Charlotte, will meet Stanford in the Orange Bowl.

Florida State (9-4) will play South Carolina in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, which announced last week that it would select the loser of the ACC title game. The Champs Sports Bowl picked next and settled on N.C. State.

In other games involving ACC teams, North Carolina plays border state foe Tennessee in the Music City Bowl; Miami renews its rivalry with Notre Dame in the Sun Bowl; Maryland meets East Carolina in the Military Bowl; Boston College plays Nevada in the Fight Hunger Bowl, and Georgia Tech meets Air Force in the Independence Bowl.

Steve Hogan, the CEO of Florida Citrus Sports, which runs the Champs Sports Bowl, said he was impressed with N.C. State’s record and wins over Florida State and Conference USA champ Central Florida.

“We just want to reward a team that deserves to be here,” Hogan said, “and they definitely deserve to be here.”

Hogan also considered Maryland, whose overall and ACC record (5-3) was identical to N.C. State’s. The Terrapins also defeated the Wolfpack 38-31 in the final game of the regular season on Nov. 27.

But the Terrapins already had played West Virginia, and Hogan didn’t want to schedule a rematch, so that was another factor that helped secure a bowl trip quarterback Russell Wilson was eager to make.

Before the team boarded the plane to leave Maryland after the loss that kept the Wolfpack out of the ACC title game, Wilson asked Yow what had to be done to get N.C. State to the Champs Sports Bowl.

“After Plan A falls apart, you’ve got to go to Plan B,” Wilson said. “I think the Champs Sports Bowl is a great situation for us. It’s a great game, and we know West Virginia is a great team.”

Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

Nothing like failing to mention the bowl right in your backyard in which Clemson, an ACC memebr, plays South Florida.

Baby Boi said...

The sentence that says that State sent someone to Orlando to outline their "marketing plan" illustrates everythign that is wrong with the current bowl system. Just sad.

But overall this is the best-case scenario for State, considering what happened in their last game. That should be a good game for sure.

As a Carolina fan, I am happy with the matchup against UT.

The Miami v. Nortre Dame is a intriguing one as well.

Overall, great slate of games for the ACC!

Anonymous said...

IIRC most of the ACC schools put together some sort of plan for the Champs bowl...not just State. I think most of the bowl matchups are good for the ACC. We need to try to get some better tie ins in the future maybe with a Big 12 team and Big 10.

Anonymous said...

"Champs Bowl settles for State". Well we know who they didn't settle for! That other team that can't even fill their home stadium.

Anonymous said...

If record apparently doesn't matter (Maryland over NC State) then why do the teams even play games? Why not just pick the bowls based on the 'fans'...How did we (Terps) go from 3 bowl spot to 8th? ...yes bitter Maryland Fan