HOT SPRINGS, Va. — The Atlantic Coast Conference has reached agreements with an unprecedented eight bowls for the years 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
In addition to the Bowl Championship Series, relationships were renewed with the Champs Sports Bowl, who last week worked out a deal that will bring in the Big Ten’s No. 3 team to Orlando, Fla., starting in 2006.
The Champs Sports Bowl is reportedly expected to payout its teams $2.5 million in 2006. The two new bowls — the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco and the Gaylord Hotel’s Music City Bowl in Nashville — were added to the ACC’s post season line up.
“We are excited that we will have the opportunity to put eight of our bowl eligible teams in a bowl game and let them enjoy the bowl experience,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “From a financial standpoint and an opponent standpoint we are able to upgrade our post season opportunities greatly.”
The ACC also reached agreements with the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, Meineke Car Care Bowl, MPC Computers Bowl and the Toyota Gator Bowl.
As for this year, the ACC will have just six bowl game destinations, but Swofford said he and his staff will help any bowl eligible school past those six find a post season bowl game.
Dr. Pepper ACC Football Championship.
The ACC’s inaugural football championship game will be played at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla, Dec. 3. The game will be televised by ABC nationally and is scheduled to kickoff at 8 p.m.
Clemson’s Reggie Merriweather led Clemson in rushing a year ago with 670 yards and 11 touchdowns on 136 carries. He averaged one touchdown every 12.4 times he touched the ball.
1,000 yard runner.
Wake Forest’s Chris Barclay became the first Wake Forest running back and just the 13th ACC back to rush for 1,000 or more yards in consecutive seasons. He ran for 1,192 yards in 2003 and 1,014 yards in 2004.
Clemson’s Charlie Whitehurst enters his senior season already ranked as the No. 17 best passer in ACC history. He is first in the nation among active passers with 7,182 yards. Whitehurst is one of just four passers in ACC history to throw for more than 7,000 yards by their junior year.
Front line Experience.
Anchored by senior center Patrick Ross, the Eagles are the only team in the ACC to return all five starters on the offensive line.
Clemson place kicker Jad Dean made 12 of 15 field goals in 2004, his three misses came from 44 yards or further. He also had 25 touchbacks on 50 kickoffs.
Florida State tailback tandem of Leon Washington and Lorenzo Booker combined to rush for 1,838 yards and 11 touchdowns last season — the top tandem in total rushing in the ACC a year ago.
Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson was just the second true freshman in school history and the ACC’s 11th to be named a first-team All-American.