The results of this past weekend coupled with the firing of former Miami coach Randy Shannon opened up the possibilities for the ACC’s nine bowl-eligible teams, but the beginning and the end of the selection process are unlikely to change. Virginia Tech and Florida State, the two division winners, will be the first two chosen, and Boston College will probably still be the last team taken.
The Champs Sports Bowl is the one that will determine how the rest of the selection process unfolds this year. If it doesn’t take Maryland – a deserving, eight-win team, it’s quite possible the Terps still fall as far as the Military Bowl. While an uneventful “home game” in a lower-tier bowl isn’t fair to Ralph Friedgen’s team considering the turnaround it has had this year, ticket sales still remain a driving factor in the selection process, and attendance in Byrd Stadium has been lacking. Again.
How bowls view Miami’s status with interim head coach Jeff Stoutland will also be a factor, but odds are the program’s national brand will still make the Canes an attractive pick.
Here’s a look at this week’s bowl projections:
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. BCS
Chick-fil-A Bowl: Florida State vs. SEC
Champs Sports Bowl: NC State vs. Big East
Hyundai Sun Bowl: Miami vs. Pac-10
Meineke Car Care Bowl: Clemson vs. Big East
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: North Carolina vs. SEC
Advocare V100 Independence Bowl: Maryland vs. Mountain West
Military Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. Conference USA
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Boston College vs. WAC