ACC Roundtable - Bowl Edition

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In this edition of the roundtable Brian from BCI asks questions about the ACC's championship and bowl games. I participate, but don't get any swag.

1. Virginia Tech and Florida State seemed to acquit the ACC Championship Game well this year, turning in an entertaining 44-33 game in front of a crowd of 72,379 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. Assess the success of the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte in year one. How much of the success can be attributed to the host city, and how much can be attributed to the matchup? A little of A, a little of B?

We won, so regardless of attendance or television ratings it was quite successful for me. To speak to your point Brian, the reason why the game was "successful" was because it passed the eye test. It looked and sounded like a competitive football contest and not the Senior Bowl. The city and matchup were most definitely an equal parts catalyst for getting fans in the seats.

2. Would you like to see Charlotte become the permanent home of the ACC Football Championship? Or would you be in favor of some alternate Championship Game format? (continuing to rotate the location, move to campus a la the Pac 12, etc.) Explain.

Well, I don't think the ACC should sign a lifetime contract with Bank of America Stadium, because that's just bad business (precisely why the ACC will do it), but I'd like to see the game stay in Charlotte for the foreseeable future. It's located in the heart of ACC country so it's accessible to the casual fan of the conference, the trip is a reasonable drive for nine of the twelve teams, and Virginia Tech is 1-0 there. To the people complaining about the weather, it's football. Grab a bourbon and enjoy the cold.

3. On to the ACC's 2010 slate of bowl games. How happy are you with your program's bowl placement? Did your team's bowl destination exceed or fall short of preseason expectations? (No, I didn't forget about you, Wake and Virginia. You can speak to general season results relative to preseason expectations here).

Obviously there was a lot of preseason National Championship talk around these parts, but the realistic expectation was another ACC Championship and Orange Bowl appearance. Even if we had ran the table and gone 13-0 I think based on the perceived, and actual weaknesses of the conference, we would have been left out of the MNC.

4. Looking at the conference's bowl schedule as a whole, how many games do you have the conference winning? Is this the year the conference has a breakout year come bowl season?

  • Orange Bowl - Virginia Tech vs. Stanford
  • Peach - Florida State vs. South Carolina
  • Champs Sports Bowl - N.C. State vs. West Virginia
  • Sun Bowl - Miami vs. Notre Dame
  • Meineke Car Care Bowl - Clemson vs. South Florida
  • Music City Bowl - UNC vs. Tennessee
  • Independence Bowl - Georgia Tech vs. Air Force
  • Military Bowl - Maryland vs. East Carolina
  • Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl - Boston College vs. Nevada

I have us winning six of our bowl games. In order to have a successful bowl season we need to win more than 50% of the bowl games including the Orange and Peach. Those two are must wins not only because they're the most prestigious, but because they'll have the most eyeballs on them and they feature the stiffest competition.

5. Clearly, there are many factors other than on-field performance that go into bowl selections (travel rep, ticket sales, travel distances). Pretend for a moment that the ACC placed teams in our conference's bowl games 1-9 based solely on their on-field performance this season (you can rank 1-9 anyway you see fit). Holding our bowl opponents fixed, how does your answer to question 4 change? Does the ACC then win more or less bowl games this year?

I don't believe any ACC team has an argument to say they deserved a better bowl. It's not like the ACC is sending a ten win team to Shreveport. Each team struggled one or more times over the season, and only has their losses to blame.

6. Last one. The home of the ACC Champion has been the redheaded step child of BCS bowls the past few seasons. The Orange Bowl has been awarded either the Big East champ or a BCS at-large leftover the past few seasons and the casual fan has responded with some of the lowest TV ratings in BCS bowl history. Did the Hokies/ACC dodge a bullet not drawing an 8-4 Big East champ UConn in the Orange Bowl? Or would you have rather have had the Hokies face an easier opponent to improve on the ACC's 2-10 record in BCS bowls? Neo in The Matrix. Right now the ACC has proven they can hold serve against one conference, the Big East. Virginia Tech whooping up on UConn doesn't enhance the argument that the ACC is a decent conference at all; been there, done that. If the Hokies can take down Stanford and Andrew Luck, then that's going to turn some heads nationally.