Record Seven ACC Teams Earn Bowl Bids

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- An all-time high seven teams will represent the Atlantic Coast Conference in bowl games this post-season, ACC Commissioner John Swofford announced today. The seven-team total eclipses the league’s existing record of six bowl teams set a year ago. All seven bowl-eligible ACC teams received bids to play in post-season.

The ACC is the winningest conference in the nation in terms of bowl success among conferences with 50-or-more bowl appearances. Following last year’s 4-2 bowl mark, the nine current ACC teams are a combined 88-79-5 (.526) in post-season play.

Over the past two years, 13 of a possible 18 ACC teams have participated in a bowl game.

Clemson (7-5, 4-4 ACC) will kick off the league’s post-season schedule when the Tigers play Texas Tech (8-5, 5-3 Big 12) in the 39th annual Mazda Tangerine Bowl (ESPN; 5:30 p.m.) on Monday, December 23, in Orlando, Fla. Clemson will be making its 26th bowl appearance overall and the 15th in the last 18 years. The Tigers are 13-12 in post-season play.

Virginia (8-5, 6-2 ACC ) will play 13th-ranked West Virginia (9-3, 6-1 Big East) in the inaugural Continental Tire Bowl (ESPN2; 11:00 a.m.) slated for Saturday, December 28, at Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. The Cavaliers will be making their 13th bowl appearance in 19 years. Virginia has a 4-8 bowl game record. The Mountaineers will be 13th ranked opponent that the Cavaliers will play in first 26 games of Al Groh’s tenure at Virginia.

Wake Forest (6-6, 3-5 ACC) will play Oregon (7-5, 3-5 Pac-10) in the second annual Seattle Bowl (ESPN; 5:30 p.m.) on Monday, December 30, at Seahawks Stadium in Seattle. The Demon Deacons will be making their first bowl game appearance since a 23-3 win over Arizona State in the 1999 Aloha Bowl. Overall, Wake Forest has won their last two bowl games, including a 39-35 victory over Oregon in the 1992 Independence Bowl, and stand at 3-2 in post-season play.

Georgia Tech (7-5, 4-4 ACC) will take on Fresno State (8-5, 6-2 WAC) in the third annual Silicon Valley Football Classic (ESPN2; 3:30 p.m.) in San Jose on Tuesday, December 31. Tech will be making its sixth-straight bowl appearance, its longest streak since a six-game run from 1951 to 1956. The Yellow Jackets are the nation’s winningest bowl team with a 20-10 (.667) mark in post-season play.

No. 18 Maryland (10-3,, 6-2 ACC) will face Tennessee (8-4, 5-3 SEC) in the 35th annual Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (ESPN; 7:30 p.m.) on Tuesday, January 31, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga. The Terrapins will be making their second -straight post-season appearance and 19th overall. Maryland is 6-10-2 in post-season play, including a 2-2 mark against the Volunteers.

No. 17 NC State (10-3, 5-3 ACC) will play 12th-ranked Notre Dame (10-2, I-A Independent) in the 58th annual Toyota Gator Bowl (NBC; 12:30 p.m.) on Wednesday, January 1, in Jacksonville, Fla. The Wolfpack will be making its third-straight bowl appearance, fourth in five years and 20th overall. NC State has a 9-10-1 record in bowl games.

No. 16 Florida State (9-4, 7-1 ACC) will be making its 21st consecutive bowl appearance and 31st overall when the ACC Champion Seminoles take on fourth-ranked Georgia (12-1, 7-1 SEC) in the 69th annual Nokia Sugar Bowl (ABC; 8:30 p.m.) on Wednesday, January 1, at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. Eleven of the Seminoles’ 13 opponents in 2002 are playing in bowl games. Florida State is the fourth winningest bowl team with a 18-10-2 (.633) mark.

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