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Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Poll: ACC bowl tie-ins in 2014

By Heather Dinich

The current bowl math doesn’t favor the expanded version of the ACC.

With eight bowls and 14 teams in the conference, that means only 57 percent of the ACC will make the postseason this year, at most.

3682361With 14 teams in the conference, including Pittsburgh and Syracuse, there has to be more than the current eight guaranteed bowl slots moving forward, but what number will constitute the “sweet spot” ACC commissioner John Swofford said he is looking for? Especially considering how Notre Dame will soon be elbowing its way into the league’s bowl lineup and taking one of those coveted spots? (If Notre Dame is ranked higher than or equal to an ACC bowl-eligible team, or is within one victory of a bowl eligible team, the Irish can be selected for that bowl spot.) Swofford recently told ESPN.com that the league could increase its bowl tie-ins to nine or 10 games. Will that be enough? Too many?

Last year, when the SEC went to 14 teams, it added the Independence Bowl as its 10th bowl tie in, but only nine teams qualified, and one -- Alabama -- was playing in the national championship. With the new College Football Playoff system to start in 2014, the ACC will have to replace the Chick-fil-A Bowl in its lineup, as that bowl will be one of the host bowls in the playoff. The ACC also has to consider the possibility of having a team in the playoff. It also has to acknowledge the reality of having only eight bowl-eligible teams on average:

ACC’s bowl eligible teams during 12-team era

2012: 6 (not including UNC and Miami, which were ineligible)

2011: 9

2010: 9

2009: 7

2008: 10 (ACC record)

2007: 8

2006: 8

2005: 8

The number of bowl games is currently up for debate. Cast your votes now.