All 11 bowl-eligible ACC teams received invitations to the postseason, headlined by No. 2 Clemson Tigers (13-0) playing in the Cotton Bowl for the College Football Playoffs Semifinals against Notre Dame Fighting Irish (12-0).
The ACC bowl picture was a mess this year heading into Selection Sunday. Following Clemson’s perfect record were the Syracuse Orange and N.C. State Wolfpack, each with an impressive 9-3 record. The Orange got the better end of that deal, getting a bid to the Camping World Bowl—the ACC’s top non-CFP, non-New Year’s Day bowl. That sent NC State to Jacksonville for the Gator Bowl.
But after that came six 7-win teams and two teams that landed at 6-6. Here’s how it all shook out:
2018 ACC Bowl Games
|Birmingham Bowl||December 22||Birmingham, AL||Wake Forest (6-6)||Memphis (8-5)|
|Quick Lane Bowl||December 26||Detroit, MI||Georgia Tech (7-5)||Minnesota (6-6)|
|First Responder Bowl||December 26||Dallas, TX||Boston College (7-5)||Boise State (10-3)|
|New Era Pinstripe Bowl||December 27||New York, NY||Miami (7-5)||Wisconsin (7-5)|
|Independence Bowl||December 27||Shreveport, LA||Duke (7-5)||Temple (8-4)|
|Camping World Bowl||December 28||Orlando, FL||Syracuse (9-3)||West Virginia (8-3)|
|Cotton Bowl||December 29||Arlington, TX||Clemson (13-0)||Notre Dame (12-0)|
|Belk Bowl||December 29||Charlotte, NC||Virginia (7-5)||South Carolina (7-5)|
|Hyundai Sun Bowl||December 31||El Paso, TX||Pittsburgh (7-6)||Stanford (8-4)|
|Gator Bowl||December 31||Jacksonville, FL||NC State (9-3)||Texas A&M (8-4)|
|Military Bowl||December 31||Annapolis, MD||Virginia Tech (6-6)||Cincinnati (10-2)|
From what we are seeing in the Twittersphere, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets fans are really upset that they didn’t get an invitation to the Belk Bowl, citing things like, GT’s historical ties to the SEC and GT’s win over UVA in the head-to-head. They seem to think Virginia fans don’t show up for bowl games, which I guess means they didn’t pay attention with Virginia sold out the Military Bowl in record time. There are a lot of threats from tough Twitter guys to leave the ACC.
The Virginia Tech Hokies are also an interesting case. At 6-6, the Hokies should be happy that they landed the Military Bowl...close enough to DC that their fans should be able to travel in droves. But they were paired with the Cincinnati Bearcats, a team that finished 10-2 in the American Athletic Conference. Cincy lost to No. 8 UCF and Temple. The competition in the American isn’t particularly grueling, but still, the Bearcats took care of business when they needed to.
Miami Hurricanes fans are also pretty salty that they’re traveling all the way up north to the Pinstripe Bowl, where they’ll face another 7-5 team in Wisconsin, a squad that’s probably a little more used to playing in the elements. This will be Miami’s sixth-straight bowl game appearance, which is six more games than the Florida State Seminoles’ current bowl game streak.
The ACC Bowl Season kicks off with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, who face Memphis at the Birmingham Bowl, where they take one of the SEC’s spots, as the conference was unable to provide enough teams for all their tie-ins. We’re ignoring the fact that they’re sending their teams to the CFP and New Year’s Day bowls.
Which ACC teams are the most susceptible to finishing their season with a loss? Who got the short end of the stick? Sound off in the comments!