ACC Sends NCAA-Record 11 teams to bowl games
Greensboro, N.C.—With top-ranked Florida State, the Atlantic Coast Conference champion, leading the way, the ACC will place an NCAA-record 11 teams in bowl games, Commissioner John Swofford announced Sunday.
“This has been an outstanding regular season of ACC Football and we're pleased to have an NCAA-record 11 bowl teams playing in the postseason, including top-ranked Florida State in the VIZIO BCS National Championship Game and Clemson in the Discover Orange Bowl,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford.
The total of eleven bowl-bound schools is the most in NCAA history and breaks a single-season mark of 10 bowl teams, originally set by the ACC in 2008.
The record also marks the third time the ACC has set an NCAA standard for conference bowl participation as the league saw seven of its then nine teams chosen for bowl games in 2002, at the time the NCAA’s highest bowl participation percentage ever (.778).
A trio of ACC schools will continue the three longest current bowl streaks in the NCAA in Florida State (32 straight, 1st), Virginia Tech (21, 2nd) and Georgia Tech (17, tied for 3rd with Georgia).
For the second time in the past three years, the ACC will send two teams to the Bowl Championship Series. No. 1-ranked and unbeaten Florida State (13-0, 8-0 ACC) will face second-ranked Auburn (12-1) in this year’s VIZIO BCS National Championship Game in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 6 (8:20 p.m., ESPN) while 12th-ranked Clemson will face seventh-ranked Ohio State of the Big Ten Conference in the Discover Orange Bowl on Jan. 3 (8:30 p.m., ESPN) in Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.
This will be Florida State’s fourth appearance in the BCS National Championship game, its first in 13 years. The Seminoles defeated Virginia Tech for the 2000 national championship in the Sugar Bowl and dropped decisions to Tennessee at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in 1999, and to Oklahoma in the 2001 Orange Bowl. It is FSU’s eighth appearance in a BCS bowl game. The Seminoles played in the first BCS title game at the end of the 1999 regular season in Phoenix, Ariz., and are now playing in its final BCS championship contest at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Calif. FSU, coached by Jimbo Fisher, has won 15 consecutive games, the longest current winning streak in the NCAA’s FBS.
Clemson (10-2, 7-1), coached by Dabo Swinney, will be making its second appearance in a BCS Bowl game, having dropped a decision to West Virginia in the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl. The game will mark the Tigers’ fifth trip to the Orange Bowl, where they are 2-2, including clinching the 1981 national championship with a win over Nebraska. The game will be Clemson’s first against the Buckeyes since the 1978 Gator Bowl.
Joining Florida State and Clemson from the ACC will be Duke (Chick-fil-A Bowl), Miami (Russell Athletic Bowl), Virginia Tech (Hyundai Sun Bowl), North Carolina (Belk Bowl), Georgia Tech (Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl), Boston College (AdvoCare V100 Bowl), Maryland (Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman), Pitt (Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl) and Syracuse (Texas Bowl).
ACC Coastal Division champ and 24th-ranked Duke (10-3; 6-2) will travel to Atlanta, Ga., to play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN. Led by ACC Coach of the Year David Cutcliffe, the Blue Devils, who have won 10 games for the first time in school history, are also appearing in their second consecutive bowl game for the first time ever and will be making their first appearance in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, which is played in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome.
Miami (9-3, 5-3), coached by Al Golden, will be playing in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday, Dec. 28 at 6:45 p.m. (ESPN). The Hurricanes are making their second appearance in the bowl game, having played there in 2009. The Hurricanes will face future ACC member and 18th-ranked Louisville (11-1). It is Miami’s first appearance in a bowl game since 2010 season. Miami is ranked 25th nationally this week in the USA Today Coaches poll. Louisville is currently a member of the American Athletic Conference, but will officially join the ACC next July.
Virginia Tech (8-4, 5-3 ACC) will be heading to El Paso, Tex., to the Hyundai Sun Bowl for the second time in its history, but the first time since 1947. The Hyundai Sun Bowl will be played on Dec.31 at 2 p.m. and will be nationally televised by CBS. The Hokies are coached by Frank Beamer, who leads all active coaches in the nation with 266 career victories. Tech will be making its 21st consecutive trip to a bowl game, the nation’s second-longest current streak.
North Carolina (6-6, 4-4) will face American Athletic Conference member Cincinnati (9-3) in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday, Dec. 28 at 3:20 p.m. (ESPN). The Tar Heels of coach Larry Fedora are making their fourth appearance in the Charlotte-based game, having played there in 2004, 2008 and 2009. The Belk Bowl is played in Bank of America Stadium, the site of the last four Dr Pepper ACC Football Championships. North Carolina, which will be making its 29th overall appearance in a bowl game, ended the year winning four of their final five games to become bowl eligible. The game will be the third meeting between the two teams in football as UNC claimed wins over the Bearcats in 1979 and 1991, both in Chapel Hill.
Georgia Tech (7-5, 5-3) will be making its 17th consecutive trip to a bowl game, tied for the nation’s third-longest current streak, when the Yellow Jackets make their a first appearance in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn. The game will be played at LP Field in Nashville on Monday, Dec. 30 with a 3:15 p.m. kickoff and will be nationally televised by ESPN. Tech will be playing in its 42nd bowl game and sixth straight under its current coach, Paul Johnson.
Boston College (7-5, 4-4) will be making its first appearance in a bowl game since 2010 when the Eagles travel to Shreveport, La., to make their initial appearance in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl game on Tuesday, Dec. 31. BC, led by coach Steve Addazio, features the nation’s leading rusher in senior tailback Andre Williams, who became the first player in ACC history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a single season. The AdvoCare V100 Bowl will be nationally televised by ESPN as the Eagles will be making their 23rd trip to a post season bowl game.
Maryland (7-5, 3-5) is also making its first bowl appearance since 2010, when the Terrapins coached by Randy Edsall, play in the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman on Friday, Dec. 27 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md. The Terrapins will face Marshall (9-4) of Conference USA for the first time in football. Though the teams for the Military Bowl will be housed in Washington D.C., the game will move to Annapolis this year. Maryland’s last bowl appearance was also in the Military Bowl, though then at RFK Stadium. This year’s game will be nationally televised by ESPN and will be the Terps 25th appearance in a postseason gridiron contest. Maryland will face Marshall of Conference USA.
Pitt (6-6, 3-5) will be making its fourth straight bowl appearance when the Panthers of Coach Paul Chryst travel to Detroit to play in the Little Ceasars Pizza Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 26 at Ford Field. The game will have a 6 pm. Kickoff and will be nationally televised by ESPN. The Panthers will be making their 30th overall trip to a postseason bowl game and the game will mark the first appearance by an ACC team in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. Pitt will face Mid-American Conference champion Bowling Green (10-3) in the bowl. This will be the fourth meeting between the two teams and the first since 2008, with Pitt holding a 2-1 series advantage.
Syracuse (6-6, 4-4) will be making its first-ever trip to the Texas Bowl, which is played in Houston, Texas, on Friday, Dec. 27. The game will be played in Reliant Stadium and will be nationally televised by ESPN with a 6 p.m. kickoff. The Orange of coach Scott Shafer are making in their second straight bowl game appearance and their third bowl trip in the last four years. This will be the 25th bowl appearance by Syracuse.