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Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Countdown to kickoff: No. 3

By Heather Dinich

THREE!!! Only three more days until NC State kicks off against Tennessee in Atlanta on Friday. We’re counting down with 25 reasons to be excited about ACC football this year. This list features coaches, players, games, themes, position groups – 25 things for you to look forward to.

The countdown to kickoff continues with …

No. 3 The Discover Orange Bowl: No, there is no news yet on a future partner for the ACC in the Orange Bowl. I checked this week, and it’s status quo from what ACC commissioner John Swofford said in late July, that an announcement would be coming sooner than later. Regardless, this remains a terrific BCS bowl and opportunity for the ACC, and it’s only going to get better. The ACC and the Orange Bowl Committee last month announced a 12-year agreement that will annually feature the ACC champion at 1 p.m. on New Year’s Day, beginning after the 2014 season. The ACC champ will continue to have a home in the new playoff system, meaning continued national exposure and opportunities to raise the league’s profile.

No. 4: Labor Day
No. 5: The winningest active coach in college football
No. 6: The ACC championship game
No. 7: Florida State's defensive line
No. 8: Thursday night games
No. 9: Atlanta
No. 10: NC State's secondary
No. 11: SEC rivalry games
No. 12: Virginia Tech's 10-game winning streak
No. 13: Florida State vs. Clemson
No. 14: North Carolina vs. NC State
No. 15: Unofficial state championships
No. 16: Talented true freshmen
No. 17: Unpredictability
No. 18: ACC vs. Notre Dame
No. 19: Clemson's offensive playmakers
No. 20: The ACC's record chasers
No. 21: Larry Fedora
No. 22: One of the nation's top rushing offenses
No. 23: The last season before expansion
No. 24: Brent Venables
No. 25: A fresh start at Maryland