NC State’s bowl chances now appear to rest on the University and the ACC’s ability to secure an at-large bid.
It seems apparent now that the NCAA and the ACC are standing firm by not allowing a 6-6 NC State team take one of the 9 bowl bids affiliated with the ACC. Over the past 2 days, the order at the top of the ACC bowl lineup has been confirmed exactly as we projected on Tuesday and today the evolution continues as the order near the bottom of the conference is also taking shape.
The key variable in the second half of the conference’s pecking order continues to be the Emerald Bowl’s preference for Miami’s national reputation for televison ratings.
The primary questions that currently remain: does NC State get a bowl bid, and if so, where?
What we know:
Orange Bowl: Winner of VT/BC ACC Championship game
Peach Bowl: Ga Tech
Gator Bowl: Clemson
Champs Bowl: FSU
Music City Bowl: Loser of VT/BC Championship game
Meineke Bowl: UNC
What we speculate based on various reports —
This is what we have heard all week and the Emerald Bowl’s executive director pretty much states that they want Miami on the bowl’s website.
It seems Maryland is headed to Boise to play Nevada after the Terps whined their way out of the EagleBank Bowl and after Ball State declined an opportunity to battle Boise in this bowl.
EagleBank Bowl: Wake Forest
Reports today indicate that Navy doesn’t have much choice in waving their rematch clause, thus paving the way for Navy and Wake to meet in the EagleBank Bowl. Another article from Baltimore with updated information.
The president and executive director of the inaugural EagleBank Bowl said last night that a rematch of Navy and Wake Forest is a “strong possibility.”
After conversations yesterday with Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk, Steve Beck said that he is confident that the no-rematch stipulation will be waived by the Midshipmen.
Q: So, where does that leave NC State?
A: An at-large bid is NC State’s only chance for a bowl. Fortunately, there appears to be a good chance of that occurring.
If Troy beats Arkansas State in the Sun Belt title game, it will free up a spot in the PapaJohn’s bowl, which we think will then select NC State and which we think has been Coach Tom O’Brien’s preference all along. In fact, the “Scarlett Scuttlebutt” is predicting NC State vs Rutgers for the PapaJohn’s Bowl.
If Arkansas State beats Troy – thus giving the Sun Belt a PapaJohn’s – bid then we hope Ohio State gets an at-large BCS bowl. IF that happens, it opens up a slot in the Motor City Bowl in Detroit, and NC State would be strong candidate there.
After these two possibilities a trip to Hawaii or Shreveport for the Independence Bowl are not out of the question.
Our best assumption at this point is that Troy will win the Sun Belt and NC State will land in the PapaJohn’s bowl on Dec. 29th in Birmingham. But, we will keep our eyes and ears open!