Thursday, November 19, 2009
ACC bowl talk
By ESPN.com staff
Gary P. Stokan, president and CEO of the Chick-fil-A Bowl, said on Wednesday that he wouldn't mind having Virginia Tech back to Atlanta for a third time this year. Nor would he be opposed to hosting nearby Georgia Tech if the Jackets didn't advance to the Orange Bowl.
The Hokies played Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff earlier this year, and also visited Atlanta for a regular-season game against Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets were in the Chick-fil-A Bowl last year.
"Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech are definitely in our selection process," Stokan said. "We'd be happy and ecstatic to have either one play in this year's Chick-fil-A Bowl. Virginia Tech has a great reputation of being a great bowl team on the field, as well as their fans traveling, and certainly we saw that with the Kickoff game, where they came down in huge numbers for the game against Alabama. We would have no doubt in the case of Virginia Tech coming back to Atlanta. We would welcome Georgia Tech as well, should they be the runner-up in the championship game."
The ACC bowl picture is hardly settled with two weeks still remaining in the regular season. Because the Chick-fil-A Bowl pits an ACC team against an SEC team, there are still games which will have ramifications on the selection process for both sides. The Clemson-South Carolina regular-season finale is one of them. Georgia and Georgia Tech could also come into play. Stokan said there are still about seven SEC teams the bowl is considering, while the ACC has been narrowed down to Boston College, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and possibly North Carolina, should the Tar Heels finish on a hot streak.
Steve Hogan, executive director of the Champs Sports Bowl, said he'll be paying particular attention to the game in Chestnut Hill this week, where UNC will face Boston College. The outcome of that game will make the cut line for conference records at either 6-2, or 5-3. The Champs Sports Bowl can pick any team within one win of the best available team, and the selection becomes wider with a list of 5-3 and 4-4 teams. That will be the scenario if UNC wins this weekend. If BC wins, the Champs Sports Bowl will be looking at a smaller pool of 6-2 or 5-3 teams.
"If for nothing more, it changes the amount of teams available to you," Hogan said. "I just don't believe Virginia Tech will fall to us. They probably go to either Atlanta or Jacksonville, but if Clemson loses, who knows?"
At this point, nobody for sure.