ACC Bowl Selection Process is Complicated

Nov 26, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt (left) shakes hands with Miami Hurricanes quarterback Brad Kaaya (right) after defeating the Duke Blue Devils 40-21 at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 26, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt (left) shakes hands with Miami Hurricanes quarterback Brad Kaaya (right) after defeating the Duke Blue Devils 40-21 at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The selection process for where ACC Teams will play their Bowl Games is a complicated one that will trickle down from the four teams selected for the College Football Playoff and the “New Year’s Six” Bowl Games.

Clemson is the only ACC team that still has hopes of a spot in the College Football Playoff. A loss to Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship game almost assuredly knocks the Tigers out of the playoff. If that happens, Clemson will still likely receive a New Year’s six invite with the Hokies.

The Selection for the Orange Bowl should be an interesting process. The ACC Champion is guaranteed a spot in the Orange if it is not a College Football Semifinal Game. If Clemson does win the ACC who should the Orange Bowl take?

The selection criteria is to take the ACC’s highest ranked team after the Champion if the Champion is in the playoff. That is currently Florida State. The Seminoles lost 63-20 at Louisville earlier this season.

The Orange Bowl exact selection criteria is “ACC Champ vs. highest ranked non-champ from SEC, Big Ten, Notre Dame, unless ACC Champ is selected for CFP, in which case ACC No. 1 takes its place.” That is currently FSU at number 12. The Cardinals are 15/16.

Clemson and Louisville finished tied in the ACC Atlantic with a 7-1 record. The Tigers won the Division with a win over the Cardinals in Death Valley. Florida State finished third in the Atlantic with a 5-3 record.

Virginia Tech won the Coastal Division with a 6-2 record. Miami, North Carolina and Pittsburgh finished in a three way tie for second in the Coastal at 5-3. The Tar Heels won their Head to Head meetings with the Hurricanes and Panthers, as well as Florida State.

Although Carolina earned the ACC’s fourth spot on the field, they are unlikely to get the fourth spot when it comes to the hierarchy in Bowl games. After the Playoff, the teams are selected as much on popularity as they are on merit.

ACC Bowl Tie-ins (per College Football News)

Notre Dame is eligible for any ACC bowl tie-in as long as it’s within one game of the team eligible for the slot, except the Orange Bowl.

The ACC gets a team in the Orange Bowl. It’s the ACC Champion if it’s not in the College Football Playoff. If the ACC plays the Big Ten in the Orange Bowl, the opportunity will be there for another opening in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

1. Capital One Orange Bowl vs. Big Ten or SEC or Notre Dame
2. Russell Athletic Bowl vs. Big 12

First Tier

– Belk Bowl vs. SEC
– Hyundai Sun Bowl vs. Pac-12
– New Era Pinstripe Bowl vs. Big Ten
– Franklin American Mortgage Music City vs. SEC OR TaxSlayer vs. SEC
It’s one or the other along with the Big Ten. Last year, the ACC played in the Music City, the Big Ten was in the TaxSlayer, so the ACC most likely in the TaxSlayer.

Second Tier

– Camping World Independence Bowl vs. SEC
– Military Bowl vs. American Athletic
– Quick Lane Bowl vs. Big Ten
– St. Petersburg Bowl vs. American

Conditional Tier, if other conferences can’t fill slots

– Birmingham Bowl vs. American or SEC

Miami’s Outlook

The Hurricanes outlook has been pretty consistent since turning the season around with a win against Pittsburgh. They are likely to slot into a Tier One Bowl Game. Miami is still a “name brand” in College Football that attracts eyes to a game. The consensus projections have the Hurricanes in the Tax Slayer (Gator), Pinstripe, Belk or Russell Athletic Bowl.

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  • Selection of Institutions For Bowl Games

    (The following comes straight cut-and-paste from the “bowl selection people” via College Football News)

    A bowl game must serve the purpose of providing a national contest between eligible teams. The competing institutions shall be active members of the Association, and participation shall be in accordance with the provisions of NCAA Bylaw 17.9 and Bylaw 18.7.2.

    Eligible Teams
    An eligible team is defined as one that has won a number of games against Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponents that is equal to or greater than the number of its overall losses (e.g., a record of 6-6, or better). Tie or forfeited games do not count in determining won-lost record.

    Exception – FCS Opponent
    Each year, a FBS institution may count one victory against a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) opponent that has averaged 90 percent of the permissible maximum number of grants-in-aid per year in football during a rolling two-year period. However, The Football Oversight Committee may approve a waiver of the 90 percent requirement to permit a FBS institution to count a victory against a FCS opponent toward meeting the definition of a “deserving team,” if a unique or catastrophic situation affects the FCS institution’s ability to average 90 percent of the permissible maximum number of football grants-in-aid per year during a rolling two-year period.

    Exception – Deserving Team That Loses Conference Championship Game
    An institution that finishes its regular season having met the definition of a “deserving team” but loses its conference championship game shall continue to be considered a deserving team.

    Insufficient Number of Deserving Teams
    If an insufficient number of institutions does not meet the definition of a “deserving team” to participate in postseason bowl games in a particular year, an institution that meets a condition set forth below shall be eligible as an alternate to be selected to participate in such a bowl game after all deserving teams have been selected to participate. All institutions that meet the first condition must be selected before an institution that meets the second condition may be selected and so forth in descending order. The conditions below represents the order in which alternates are identified in the event there are insufficient number of deserving teams:

    1. An institution that would have met the FCS Opponent exception but for the fact that one victory was against a FCS opponent that had not averaged 90 percent of the permissible maximum number of grants-in-aid per year in football during a rolling two-year period and the institution’s waiver request was denied.

    2. An institution that participated in 13 regular-season contests and finished the season with a record of six wins and seven losses.

    3. An institution that is in its final year of reclassification from the Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision and meets the definition of a “deserving team”.

    4. An institution that finished its season with a minimum of five wins and a maximum of seven losses and achieves a multiyear football APR score that permits participation in the postseason (e.g., 930) to be identified as alternates in descending order of the most recently published multiyear FBS football APR scores. If the APR in the FBS for the most recent reporting year ends in a tie between two or more teams, then the single-year APR in the FBS, beginning with the most recent reporting year and continuing until the tie is broken, shall be used to determine which team(s) will be identified as alternates. An alternate’s institution must affirmatively state where the team will participate, if selected as an alternate. If the alternate’s institution elects to participate, then the identified alternate’s institution is responsible for selecting which of the remaining postseason bowl games the alternate will participate in, and the terms of that participation shall remain the same as the terms with the originally contracted conference

    Next: Miami Hurricanes Joe Yearby Intends to Enter NFL Draft

    The speculation is likely to continue throughout the week. The College Football Playoff along with the Bowl Selections will be announced Sunday Night.