Wolfpack’s bowl destination coming into focus

The strange 2012 season has produced only six bowl eligible teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference – NC State’s 7-5 (4-4 in the ACC) record qualifies us as one of them. And, Clemson’s loss to South Carolina last night helped shake the bowl picture into focus.

The following is the order of selection for ACC teams:

(1) Discover Orange Jan. 1 / 8:30 p.m. Miami, Fla. BCS vs. BCS ESPN
(2) Chick-fil-A Dec. 31 / 7:30 p.m. Atlanta, Ga. ACC vs. SEC ESPN
(3) Russell Athletic Dec. 28 / 5:30 p.m. Orlando, Fla. ACC vs. Big East ESPN
(4) Hyundai Sun Bowl Dec. 31 / 2 p.m. El Paso, Texas ACC vs. Pac-12 CBS
(5) Belk Dec. 27 / 6:30 p.m. Charlotte, N.C. ACC vs. Big East ESPN
(6) Franklin American Mortgage Music City Dec. 31 / 12 p.m. Nashville, Tenn. SEC vs. ACC ESPN

A couple of truths you need to understand that will help frame the Wolfpack’s options and ultimate destination.

  • Clemson will not be eligible to take an addition spot for the ACC in a BCS bowl
  • Georgia Tech’s record insures that they cannot fall any further than the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.
  • The Belk Bowl has held the position in the past that Duke would be a great fit for Charlotte if the Blue Devils were ever bowl eligible. Additionally, NC State played in Charlotte last year making the Wolfpack a low likelihood for a return visit.

Unless the Russell Athletic Bowl pulls a surprise and throws a curve by selecting Georgia Tech, the parameters discussed above make it pretty clear that NC State will end up in either the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando or the Music City Bowl in Nashville.

Ultimately, the Russell Athletic will probably choose between NC State and Virginia Tech. The Wolfpack has played in four of the last twelve Champs/Russell Athletic Bowls, most recently in a 23-7 win over West Virginia in 2010. Virginia Tech has never played in the bowl. This would lead to the presumption that the Hokies will probably go to Orlando and the Wolfpack would slot to the Music City Bowl to battle an SEC opponent of the ilk of Ole Miss, Mississippi State and/or Vanderbilt.

Speaking of Vanderbilt, the NC State blog Backing the Pack has taken a little deeper look at that scenario in this entry.

Funny thing about that Music City Bowl possibility. There is a decent chance that James Franklin’s Vanderbilt team ends up being NC State’s opponent, if that is in fact where the Pack goes. Franklin and NCSU athletics director Debbie Yow have a relationship dating back to their respective tenures at Maryland, and Franklin would be her first phone call if and when Tom O’Brien’s tenure in Raleigh comes to an end. TOB knows this. So I’m sure this potential bowl matchup would not be awkward at all.

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18 Responses to Wolfpack’s bowl destination coming into focus

  1. the_phisherman 11/25/2012 at 10:18 AM #

    I thought there was a provision that a 6-6 team could not be selected before a team with a winning record.

  2. Wufpacker 11/25/2012 at 10:50 AM #

    ^ I think the GT thing is by virtue of representing the Coastal in the ACC-Champs game, but I’ll have to look it up to be sure. Only other rule I know of is a 2 game rule…ie 6-6 could jump 7-5, but not 8-4. If there is a specific rule for 6-6 vs winning record I’ve not heard of that one….but I could be wrong.

  3. ppack3 11/25/2012 at 10:56 AM #

    As I understand it, the loser of the ACCCG cannot fall any further than the fourth bowl slot (thanks BC!), circa 2010. That means that if/when FSU beats GT in the CG, GT will probably got to the Hyundai Sun Bowl in El Paso, TX with a 6-7 record. Yes, GT will have a losing record!

  4. Old MacDonald 11/25/2012 at 11:12 AM #

    But GT needs to get a waiver from the NCAA to even be eligible…and even then the Sun could theoretically cite the 7 win rule and say they are obligated to take a 7 win team over GT. Or even a 6-6 team. The ACC, Sun, NCAA and GT have a lot to work out.

  5. the_phisherman 11/25/2012 at 11:55 AM #

    For the 6-6 question, I was referring to VT being selected ahead of us. As for the record jumping, I think only conference record comes into play.

  6. Wulfpack 11/25/2012 at 11:58 AM #

    Wake still has hope:

    “Normally, a five-win season wouldn’t get a team mentioned for postseason play. But with the possibility of a lack of eligible teams for the 35 bowl games, several five-win teams – the Deacons among them – could get berths based on their Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores.”

  7. Wufpacker 11/25/2012 at 11:58 AM #

    ^ Yes, of course you’re right about it being conf. record. Brain cramp there on my part.

  8. 61Packer 11/25/2012 at 12:11 PM #

    I can’t imagine that any of these 6 bowls is going to be happy with who they’re going to get from the ACC, plus half those bowls will be stuck with a Big East team to boot. Why does the ACC always have to be pitted against the Big East in bowls? When we absorb the BE, will we then be pitted against C-USA teams?

    If I were a Belk Bowl official, I’d push to get a State-VT matchup if allowed. Otherwise, not many tickets are going to be sold, especially if GT or Duke is involved. A State-Duke matchup might help sales a little, but I’m not traveling to Charlotte again this Dec. 31 for that kind of a matchup.

    The ACC is in dire straits. Consider the past week’s events:

    *Maryland bolts.
    *Rumors fly about more ACC defections.
    *Miami’s problems continue with a post-season ban.
    *ACC teams lose badly to 4 SEC teams on Saturday.
    *A 6-6 team is in the ACC title game.
    *Only half the ACC even qualify for a bowl.
    *Notre Dame advances to the NCAA title game.

    With all this crap flying around, if I were an administrator at any of the ACC’s bowl eligible schools, my main worry wouldn’t be which bowl my school would be in but rather what CONFERENCE I’d be in in the coming seasons.

  9. Wufpacker 11/25/2012 at 12:14 PM #

    “Why does the ACC always have to be pitted against the Big East in bowls?”

    Because no other conference want to be stuck with either?

  10. LRM 11/25/2012 at 12:19 PM #

    If GT loses to FSU, they’ll be 6-7 and need a waiver (like UCLA in 2011) to play in a bowl.

    My understanding is they’d fall to the lowest bowl slot.

  11. charger17 11/25/2012 at 12:30 PM #

    As a lifelong Wolfpack fan, and resident of Nashville, I would love to see State come here. Great city too, IMHO. But the idea of playing Vandy scares me. They are legitimately the 4th best team in the SEC east, and the three other teams are practically top 10. Credit Franklin for 100% of that too.

  12. NCSU84 11/25/2012 at 12:30 PM #

    If we remain in the ACC (which is likely), then just accept crappy bowls, mediocre coaches, 7-5 or 8-4 seasons. The ACC is what it is – a basketball conference. Disagree with me if you want, but I have over 50 years of history to support my position.

  13. LRM 11/25/2012 at 12:35 PM #

    ^I’m not sure anyone would disagree with you.

  14. choppack1 11/25/2012 at 12:36 PM #

    It will be interesting to see how TOB fairs against the arguably the hottest coaching prospect in college football.

    Franklin can write his own ticket and if he keeps this up, his head-coaching options won’t be limited to BCS schools in the NCAAs. (I wouldn’t be surprised if the NFL came calling….long time since someone has won big at Vandy.)

    I have no idea whether or not we truly have a shot, but from a common-sense perspective, he’d need to turn down (at the very least) schools like UT, Arkansas and Auburn. I think Texas may just open up next year as well…What does bode well for us is that the other openings are in the SEC – and he may not wish to go head to head vs. his own players. He knows he can come to Raleigh and truly separate himself from the coaching camp so that he’s the first call on the list of the ‘Bama’s, LSU’s, Texas’, Nebraska, Michigan and Domers of the world when those positions open up if he doesn’t wind up as an HC in the NFL.

  15. Wufpacker 11/25/2012 at 12:46 PM #

    CBS has GT sitting it out as of now. Makes sense since no waiver yet, but interesting thing is that they have VT in Orlando and us falling to El Paso. If GT gets waiver, obviously that will change things…..but could land us in Nashville if Duke is a lock for Charlotte like many seem to believe.


  16. ADVENTUROO 11/25/2012 at 1:00 PM #

    If the Nashville Gitaur Pickers come a “Grinin’ and a Pickin’…”, I think there will be very few folks in Red and White asking for an encore. The crowd will be very sparce. That, in itself will do more to sway the mind of Debbie Yow.

    Ithink that I may have missed one bowl, maybe two, games since the late 80’s. Most folks that I talk to are a little tired of Orlando and Charlo tte, not that they aren’t great venues. However, may be the newest generation of the supposedly long suffering Wolfpack fans will take up the slack.

    Can’t argue with the logic or the facts, as presented, but am inclined not to go to either. Can change my mind, but otherwise, I will not have to worry about paying off my AMEX in January for some frivilous travel in late December.

  17. packnilm 11/25/2012 at 1:07 PM #

    TOB fired

  18. RabidWolf 11/25/2012 at 1:10 PM #

    This just in from WRAL.com. TOB has been “released” from his coaching duties. Here we go again, let the airplane tracking begin……..

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