The ACC announced a 12-year agreement with the Orange Bowl today. The important points from the release, and commentary are as follows:
- The game will be New Year's Day at 1:00 pm beginning after the 2014 season. This falls in line with the conference commissioners plan to take back New Year's. Fans and their families traveling to the game will need less time off from work/school, which will hopefully result in better attendance.
- If the ACC Champion is identified as one of the top four teams by the Bowl Championship Series selection committee, then the ACC Champion will participate in the national semifinals and a replacement team from the ACC would participate in the Discover Orange Bowl. This is a bit different than being a BCS at-large, like Tech was this past season. Now an ACC team must be in the playoff for an at-large to be guaranteed. That can work both for and against the ACC. It's also important to note that ACC athletic directors will determine the process for an Orange Bowl replacement if the ACC champion is in the playoff. Furthermore, according to Joe Schad if two ACC schools make the playoffs (top 4 of final rankings), and the Orange Bowl is not a semifinal host, then a third ACC team would go to Orange Bowl. Because no one expects this to happen ever it will probably happen in 2014.
- It's anticipated that the Orange Bowl will host at least four semifinal games in the new recently announced arrangement by the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee. In the years that the Orange Bowl serves as a semifinal host, the ACC Champion would then participate in one of the three host bowls that will be established as per the direction of the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee. For those of you who think Miami's grown stale, it might mean new travel destinations.
- Details on both the opponent and broadcast partner will be forthcoming.
We don't know which network will air the game, but we do know the Orange Bowl will be bid on the open market. The Rose Bowl already does this, and Champions Bowl will do it too.
ACC confirms that league controls broadcast rights in new Orange Bowl deal.Plan to take to market. Huge game changer.— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) July 3, 2012
With other networks looking to beef up their college football offering, this could result in a bidding war, and a nice payout for the ACC. NBC quickly comes to mind as a potential suitor. They hold the rights to Notre Dame home games, and many have speculated that the Irish might partner with the Orange Bowl as part of an opponent pool for the ACC.
The ACC should be able to keep at least 50 pct of revenue after it shops the Orange Bowl TV rights— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) July 3, 2012
The only things missing are a conference partner and its champion to matchup against. They're all taken, and this is the best the league could do. Aside from that, the ACC is on equal footing with the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 in college football's new postseason. We'll see how the money stacks up once all the television deals are negotiated, but the ACC has a seat at the big boy's table and that should be enough to stabilize the league's future.