Way-too-early ACC bowl look

June, 17, 2011
6/17/11
3:00
PM ET
The bowl schedule has been released for the 2011-12 season, featuring 35 games over 23 days and ending with the Allstate BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 9 in New Orleans.

Here's a look at the ACC bowl lineup, listed by the selection order:
  • Discover Orange Bowl, Miami Gardens, Fla., -- Jan. 4, ACC champion vs. BCS, payout TBA, (8 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • Chick-fil-A Bowl, Atlanta, Ga. -- Dec. 31, ACC vs. SEC, $6.9M, (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • Champs Sports Bowl, Orlando, Fla., -- Dec. 29, ACC vs. Big East, $4.65M (5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • Hyundai Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas -- Dec. 31, ACC vs. Pac-12, $4M, (2 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Belk Bowl, Charlotte, N.C. -- Dec. 27, ACC vs. Big East, $3.4M (8 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, Nashville, Tenn. -- Dec. 30, ACC vs. SEC, $3.675M (6:40 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • Advocare V100 Independence Bowl, Shreveport, La. -- Dec. 26, ACC vs. MWC $2.3M payout (5 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
  • Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman, Washington, D.C. -- Dec. 28, ACC vs. Navy, $1.725M, (4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

The ACC also has a conditional agreement with the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m., ESPN).

So how will the ACC's bowl lineup actually look this fall?

It's way, way too early to tell. But it's never too early to try:

BOWL ELIGIBLE
Clemson
-- Dabo Swinney can't afford back-to-back losing seasons, and there's enough talent on the roster that he shouldn't have to.
Florida State -- Expect the Noles to be Orange Bowl bound.
NC State -- With that nonconference schedule, the Wolfpack should look like worldbeaters heading into the Florida State game.
Miami -- There's no reason the Canes can't be 4-0 heading into Blacksburg.
North Carolina -- Another favorable nonconference schedule puts Butch Davis in position to improve upon last year's eight-win season.
Virginia Tech -- There's no excuse for the Hokies not to start out 4-0.

NEEDS EXTRA WORK
Maryland --
The five best chances at wins are: Temple, Towson, Boston College, Virginia and Wake Forest, the latter three of which are home games. The Terps are likely a bowl-bound team, but need to win some tough games against the likes of Miami, West Virginia, and steal one on the road at Georgia Tech and/or NC State.
Boston College -- Not even their opener against Northwestern is a guarantee, and ending the season with four of six games on the road will be difficult.
Duke --This could be the year the Blue Devils reach the postseason, but in order to do it, they have to go 3-1 in the nonconference schedule and beat at least one team they're not expected to.
Georgia Tech -- The Jackets should start out 3-0, but here's why they're on this list: I think they'll lose the final two games of the season.

OUT
Wake Forest --
I truly believe Jim Grobe when he says his team is better this year. I just don't think the schedule is conducive to showing it.
Virginia --The nonconference schedule is definitely manageable, but until one quarterback emerges from the group as a winner, the Hoos are home for the holidays.

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