ACC bowl affiliations grow in stature, flexibility

BY AARON BRENNER | abrenner@postandcourier.com
@Aaron_Brenner

CLEMSON – ACC-affiliated bowls of the future will have plenty of moving parts, but flexibility and finances benefit from six new agreements announced Thursday by the league.

From 2014 through 2019, a pecking order has been established for postseason opportunities going to an array of teams, from the conference champion to a 6-6 qualifier.

Adding to the College Football Playoff, South Florida’s Orange Bowl and New York City’s Pinstripe Bowl, the ACC will take involvement with a combination of at least six other bowls going forward.

Those are the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Tex., the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, the Music City Bowl in Nashville, the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville and, conditionally, the Capital One Bowl in Orlando.

Notre Dame becomes part of the ACC’s bowl participants in 2014.

​“We are extremely pleased to announce relationships with this outstanding collection of future bowl partners,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a release. “Each of these premiere bowls is recognized for its excellence, and they collectively combine to offer our 15-member league more flexibility, improved financials, marquee match-ups and attractive destinations.”

Unless the ACC has one of the four schools selected to the College Football Playoff, the league champ will play in the Orange Bowl as in the past – unless that bowl is hosting one of the semifinals, in which case that team would go to either the Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, Ariz.) or Chick-Fil-A Bowl (Atlanta.)

The Russell Athletic Bowl would get the next ACC selection. In years the ACC takes on the Big Ten in the Orange Bowl, the Capital One Bowl – usually an SEC-Big Ten battle – drafts the next available ACC representative.

After that comes the Sun, Belk, Pinstripe and either Music City or Gator Bowl. More bowl agreements are expected to be announced in the near future.

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