ACC Football 2013 Bowl Projections: Week 9

Florida State, Now No. 2 in the BCS Rankings, May Be Headed to Pasadena at Year's End

Florida State, Now No. 2 in the BCS Rankings, May Be Headed to Pasadena at Year’s End

ACC teams are moving closer toward bowl eligibility — and a few of them have even punched their ticket to the postseason already. For most, however, still a lot left to figure out. As you’ll notice below, some shifting compared to last week, with the Florida State win obviously throwing a wrench into what we previously thought would happen. Disagree with any of these? Share your own picks below.

ACC Bowl Projections 2013: Week 9

BCS National Championship Game: Florida State Seminoles (6-0) vs. BCS #1

Discover Orange Bowl: Clemson Tigers (6-1) vs. BCS at-large

Chick-fil-a Bowl: Miami Hurricanes (6-0) vs. SEC

Russell Athletic Bowl: Virginia Tech Hokies (6-1) vs. AAC

Hyundai Sun Bowl: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (4-3) vs. Pac-12

Belk Bowl: Pittsburgh Panthers (4-2) vs. AAC

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Duke Blue Devils (5-2) vs. SEC

Advocare V100 Independence Bowl: Boston College Eagles (3-3) vs. SEC

Military Bowl: Maryland Terrapins (5-2) vs. C-USA/MAC

As per usual, we include Louisville (6-1) in these things. While they dropped out of BCS contention (at least for now) this past weekend, we’ve got them slotted in opposite Virginia Tech in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

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ACC Football 2013 Bowl Projections: Week 8

Now Ranked 10th in the Country, Could Miami Position Itself for a BCS Bid?

Now Ranked 10th in the Country, Could Miami Position Themselves  for a BCS Bowl Bid?

A couple ACC teams have already locked up bowl eligibility and a few more on knocking on the door around the halfway point in the season. For the time being, just trying to go in order based on both current record and projected outlook with the schedule ahead — really the only thing you can do. Disagree with any of these? Share your own picks below.

ACC Bowl Projections 2013: Week 8

Discover Orange Bowl: Clemson Tigers (6-0) vs. BCS at-large

Allstate Sugar Bowl: Florida State Seminoles (5-0) vs. SEC

Chick-fil-a Bowl: Miami Hurricanes (5-0) vs. SEC

Russell Athletic Bowl: Virginia Tech Hokies (6-1) vs. AAC

Hyundai Sun Bowl: Maryland Terrapins (5-1) vs. Pac-12

Belk Bowl: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-3) vs. AAC

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Pittsburgh Panthers (3-2) vs. SEC

Advocare V100 Independence Bowl: Syracuse Orange (3-3) vs. SEC

Military Bowl: Duke Blue Devils (4-2) vs. C-USA/MAC

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Boston College Eagles (3-3) vs. BYU/Pac-12

As per usual, we include Louisville (6-0) in these things. As has been the case for several weeks, we’ve got them headed to the Fiesta Bowl to take on the Big 12 champion, which may or may not be Baylor.

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ACC Football 2013 Bowl Projections: Week 7

Six Weeks Into the Season, and Clemson's Still Projected to Represent the ACC in the Orange Bowl

Six Weeks Into the Season, and Clemson’s Still Set to Represent the ACC in the Orange Bowl

A few ACC teams are knocking on the door of owl eligibility this week, while a whole lot more are not all that close to figuring out whether they’ll make the postseason or not. For the time being, just trying to go in order based on both current record and projected outlook with the schedule ahead — really the only thing you can do. Disagree with any of these? Share your own picks below.

ACC Bowl Projections 2013: Week 7

Discover Orange Bowl: Clemson Tigers (5-0) vs. BCS at-large

Allstate Sugar Bowl: Florida State Seminoles (5-0) vs. SEC

Chick-fil-a Bowl: Miami Hurricanes (5-0) vs. SEC

Russell Athletic Bowl: Virginia Tech Hokies (5-1) vs. AAC

Hyundai Sun Bowl: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-2) vs. Pac-12

Belk Bowl: Pittsburgh Panthers (3-1) vs. AAC

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Maryland Terrapins (4-1) vs. SEC

Advocare V100 Independence Bowl: NC State Wolfpack (3-2) vs. SEC

Military Bowl: Boston College Eagles (3-2) vs. C-USA/MAC

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Syracuse Orange (2-3) vs. BYU/Pac-12

As per usual, we include Louisville (5-0) in these things. This time around, we’ve got them headed to the Fiesta Bowl to take on the Big 12 champ (probably/hopefully Baylor?).

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ACC Football 2013 Bowl Projections: Week 6

Until They Drop a Game, Clemson Will Be Firmly Slotted in as the ACC Champs

Until They Drop a Game, the Clemson Tigers Will Be Firmly Slotted in as the ACC Champions

Several ACC teams have already positioned themselves extremely well to make the postseason, though none have clinched just yet. The jury’s still out on the rest, though we take as educated a guess on them all as we can. For the time being, just trying to go in order based on both current record and projected outlook with the schedule ahead — really the only thing you can do. Disagree with any of these? Share your own picks below.

ACC Bowl Projections 2013: Week 6

Discover Orange Bowl: Clemson Tigers (4-0) vs. BCS at-large

Allstate Sugar Bowl: Florida State Seminoles (4-0) vs. SEC

Chick-fil-a Bowl: Miami Hurricanes (4-0) vs. SEC

Russell Athletic Bowl: Maryland Terrapins (4-0) vs. AAC

Hyundai Sun Bowl: Virginia Tech Hokies (4-1) vs. Pac-12

Belk Bowl: NC State Wolfpack (3-1) vs. AAC

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-1) vs. SEC

Advocare V100 Independence Bowl: Pittsburgh Panthers (3-1) vs. SEC

Military Bowl: Syracuse Orange (2-2) vs. C-USA/MAC

As per usual, we include Louisville (4-0) in these things. This time around, we’ve got them headed to the Fiesta Bowl to take on the Big 12 champ (probably/hopefully Baylor?).

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ACC Football 2013 Bowl Projections: Week 5

This Week's Projections Still See the Clemson Tigers Headed to the Orange Bowl as ACC Champs

This Week’s Projections Still See the Clemson Tigers Headed to the Orange Bowl as ACC Champs

No team in the country is bowl eligible just yet, though a bunch of ACC squads seem well on their way with undefeated records through the first third or so of the year. For the time being, just trying to go in order based on both current record and projected outlook with the schedule ahead — really the only thing you can do. Disagree with any of these? Share your own picks below.

ACC Bowl Projections 2013: Week 5

Discover Orange Bowl: Clemson Tigers (3-0) vs. BCS at-large

Allstate Sugar Bowl: Florida State Seminoles (3-0) vs. SEC

Chick-fil-a Bowl: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-0) vs. SEC

Russell Athletic Bowl: Miami Hurricanes (3-0) vs. AAC

Hyundai Sun Bowl: Maryland Terrapins (4-0) vs. Pac-12

Belk Bowl: North Carolina Tar Heels (1-2) vs. AAC

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Virginia Tech Hokies (3-1) vs. SEC

Advocare V100 Independence Bowl: NC State Wolfpack (2-1) vs. SEC

Military Bowl: Syracuse Orange (2-2) vs. C-USA/MAC

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Pittsburgh Panthers (2-1) vs. Pac-12/BYU

Also, because we always include Louisville (4-0) in these things, we see them headed to the Fiesta Bowl to take on whomever the Big 12 champ might be.

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ACC Bowl Matchups: Keys to Success

Will Andre Ellington and the Clemson Run Game Be the Key to the Tigers' Bowl Success?

Will Andre Ellington and the Clemson Run Game Be the Keys to the Tigers’ Bowl Success?

We’ll be previewing each ACC bowl matchup individually as the games get closer, but for now, it’s worth at least taking a top-level look. Once again, the ACC’s up against a pretty formidable group of opponents, but all isn’t lost just yet.

Below, you’ll find the keys to each game laid out, along with the easiest path for the respective ACC teams to find success. Obviously, none of these are guaranteed results, and there’s still plenty more left to discuss (and we will as December wears on).

Keys to Success

Belk Bowl (Duke vs. Cincinnati): For Duke, it’s all about executing their passing game against a Cincinnati defense that will be reeling without head coach Butch Jones in the picture. The Bearcats, while very formidable on defense overall, ranked just 73rd in the FBS in passing yards allowed per game (243.5). They got by, however, forcing turnovers in the passing game, and buckling down in the red zone. Cincinnati’s defense allowed just 11 passing scores, compared to 14 picks. If Duke can avoid errors while throwing the football, and live up to their 32nd overall ranking in that department, they can find a clear path to victory.

Russell Athletic Bowl (Virginia Tech vs. Rutgers): The best way to beat Rutgers is by controlling the pace of the game; something Tech has struggled with significantly this entire season. For as well as that defense has played this year, the offense has been another story. Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas will be relied upon to lead a brisk attack and make the Scarlet Knights play from behind. Virginia Tech was also 4-1 when scoring 30 or more points this year, while Rutgers was 0-1 in the only contest where their opponents reached that mark.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl (Syracuse vs. West Virginia): While Syracuse has benefited from a torrid pace in many of their wins this year, the key this time around will be generating a significant pass rush to pressure WVU quarterback Geno Smith. As the second half of the Mountaineers season and last year’s SU/WVU game proved, Smith still struggles when forced to deliver a quick ball under duress. If Syracuse allows him to stand and deliver to Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin all game, the Orange are certain to lose. But if SU’s Brandon Sharpe and Jay Bromley can put heat on Smith, that’s when the mistakes begin.

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Ranking the ACC Bowl Games

Syracuse/West Virginia is Just One of Several Great ACC Bowl Matchups This Postseason

Syracuse/West Virginia is Just One of Several Great ACC Bowl Matchups This Postseason

After a frustrating regular season, the ACC earned itself six bowl bids (plus another three if you want to count the incoming members), and will now try and avoid the dismal showing it’s put on for more than half a decade now. Since 2005, the conference (if you’re including Pitt and Syracuse) is 18-32 in the postseason, with just one BCS bowl win in that time frame (Virginia Tech beat Cincinnati in 2009).

But maybe 2012 changes things? I make no guarantees, and these won’t be predictions just yet (we’ll get to those once bowl season officially starts), but there’s always hope the conference can turn things around. Below, all nine games involving ACC squads are ranked, in (reverse) order of game quality, with some brief notes on each matchup. Feel differently about any of these? Feel free to share your thoughts below:

9. Hyundai Sun Bowl (December 31): Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. USC Trojans

Tech’s defense didn’t look terrible against FSU in the ACC Championship Game, but this game could be a major black-eye for the Jackets and ACC as a whole. On paper, the Trojans have some of the country’s best offensive playmakers, and there’s a high potential for embarrassment here if Georgia Tech’s defense performs as it has for most of 2012.

8. Allstate Sugar Bowl (January 2): Louisville Cardinals vs. Florida Gators

While Louisville looked impressive in their final win over Rutgers, it’s hard to overlook their paltry schedule overall when trying to evaluate them against Florida. The Gators have tallied 11 wins against one of the nation’s toughest slates, and that defense will put a ton of pressure on QB Teddy Bridgewater from start to finish.

7. Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (December 31): NC State Wolfpack vs. Vanderbilt Commodores

The ‘Dores have been on a roll, and are one victory away from tying the team record for a season (nine). NC State, on the other hand, has struggled for consistency all year, with a shaky defense and now, a departed head coach. Four of Vandy’s last five opponents haven’t come within two scores and their offense has been firing on all cylinders in the second half — both recipes for a potential win over the Pack.

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