It’s like Selection Sunday, but for Bowl Games! Virginia announced earlier this afternoon that they’ve accepted an invitation to participate in the inaugural Fenway Bowl, but with 12 bowl games with ACC tie-ins, and 10 ACC schools that are officially eligible, let’s take a look to see where Virginia’s conference brethren and sistren are headed.
From a selection standpoint, gone are the days of bowl game committees drafting teams. Instead, the bowls have been placed into three tiers, which select within their respective tiers
First, the College Football Playoffs (if an ACC team is selected) and a New Years Six bowl (usually the Orange Bowl, unless the Orange Bowl is one of the CFP bowls, in which case an at large one). This year, the Pittsburgh Panthers are headed to the Peach Bowl as the NY6 bowl.
Second, your “Tier 1” bowls will pow wow together with the schools and the conference to come up with an agreement. Tier 1 Bowls include:
- Cheez-It Bowl: Clemson Tigers vs. Iowa State
- Gator Bowl: Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Texas A&M
- Duke’s Mayo Bowl: North Carolina Tar Heels vs. South Carolina
- Sun Bowl: Miami Hurricanes vs. Washington State
- Pinstripe Bowl: Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Maryland
- Holiday Bowl: NC State Wolf Pack vs. UCLA
- Fenway Bowl: Virginia Cavaliers vs. SMU Mustangs
- Military Bowl: Boston College Eagles vs. ECU
Third, your “Tier 2” bowls then get together and select in an equally collaborative process:
- Gasparilla Bowl: Not enough ACC teams, so it will be UCF vs. Florida
- Birmingham Bowl: Not enough ACC teams, so it will be Houston vs. Auburn
- First Responder Bowl: Louisville Cardinals vs. Air Force
The only ACC teams not eligible this year were Florida State (5-7), Syracuse (5-7), Georgia Tech (3-9), and Duke (3-9).