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ACC, Orange Bowl extend relationship another dozen years

Discover Orange Bowl - West Virginia v Clemson Getty Images

Well, so much for automatic qualifying status going away thanks to the implementation of a playoff system.

Last month when the powers-that-be officially announced that a four-team playoff would be in place following the 2014 regular season, it was thought that the Orange Bowl would be one of the six current bowls that would be part of the playoff rotation.

In a press release sent out Tuesday morning, that much has come to fruition.  In the announcement, it was confirmed that the ACC and the Orange Bowl Committee had reached a 12-year agreement that will annually feature the ACC Champion in the Discover Orange Bowl.  The game will be played on New Year’s Day at 1:00 pm beginning after the 2014 season, with the official opponent tie-in still to be determined.

The conference and the bowl have been official partners since 2006.

“The ACC and Discover Orange Bowl have a terrific relationship and, as we look ahead to the future of postseason college football, this will further an already beneficial partnership for both organizations,” said ACC commissioner John Swofford in a statement. “The Discover Orange Bowl has a rich history of prestige, is located within the league’s footprint and is a great destination for our student-athletes, alumni and fans. In addition to our continued partnership, we are very pleased to be playing annually on New Year’s Day.”

The release notes “it’s anticipated that the Orange Bowl will host at least four semifinal games in the new recently announced arrangement by the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee.”  If the ACC champion is part of the four-team playoff during the years in which the Orange Bowl is not one of the two semifinal games, a replacement team would be selected to represent the ACC in that bowl.

How that replacement team would be selected has not been divulged.

Additionally, in the years that the Orange Bowl serves as a semifinal host and the ACC champion does not qualify for one of the four playoff spots, that team would then participate in one of the three host bowls that will be established as per the direction of the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee.

In other words, the ACC will automatically qualify for one of the top six bowls, which means that automatic qualifying is very much alive and well despite a playoff being implemented and the official release on said playoff specifically mentioning that AQ and non-AQ statuses were a thing of the past.

Anyway, in addition to the Orange Bowl, it’s believed the Rose, SEC/Big 12, Cotton and Sugar bowls will all be a part of the six-bowl rotation.  A complete rotation is expected to be announced at some point before the end of the year.

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21 Responses to “ACC, Orange Bowl extend relationship another dozen years”
  1. fcmlefty1 says: Jul 3, 2012 11:52 AM

    AQ and non AQ are indeed dead. They’ve been replaced with “contracted” and “non-contracted”. I’m struggling to really find a real, tangible difference between the two though

  2. weavergm says: Jul 3, 2012 12:24 PM

    Difference: AQ includes the Big East, “contracted” does not.

    I’ve been wondering whether replacement teams will come from the same conferences. If the Orange Bowl is not a semifinal and Florida State is in the top 4, does the Orange automatically get an ACC replacement? What if the next best ACC team is not in the top 12? Agreements like this caused some of the problems with the original BCS.

  3. morrellfsu says: Jul 3, 2012 12:35 PM

    Really??? 1:00 for the Orange Bowl is a disgrace. No major bowl should be played in the afternoon like that. At least it’s on New Years Day.

    Feels like it’s going to be a Big 10 game with that time slot.

    No matter what is said I still feel that it’s going to take an undefeated ACC team to make the Playoff. A one-loss team won’t get in.

    So thanks ACC for sending your Conference Champion to a 1:00 game and continuing to drop the perception of your conference in football.

    The Orange Bowl used to be this monster game to look forward to each year with a lot surrounding it as an event!! What happened???

  4. fcmlefty1 says: Jul 3, 2012 12:39 PM

    ” If the Orange Bowl is not a semifinal and Florida State is in the top 4, does the Orange automatically get an ACC replacement?”

    Yes, that is what the new deal includes.

    In reality, this causes a situation where there will be a varying amount of “at large” bids each season, depending on which bowls are hosting semis.

    But truthfully, this is the deal as I see it: at least 9 of the 12 spots are going to the Big 5 conferences. And there is almost nothing stoping them from also getting spots 10, 11, and 12 each and every season. Lets be honest: the only thing stopping the Big 5 from getting all 12 spots is an undefeated Boise State (no body else in the little six has even that much “cred”) and/or an undefeated/one loss Notre Dame.

    And somehow, the little 6 conferences were on board with this plan. For the little 6, it is truly semi finals or bust.

    Next step we’ll see: Notre Dame will be signing some kind of deal with the Fiesta, Sugar, or Orange Bowl. Yuck.

  5. deadeye says: Jul 3, 2012 12:57 PM

    Poor Orange Bowl.

    The ACC death spiral continues, and now what was once a glorious bowl has been reduced to garbage thanks to that weak conference.

  6. drummerhoff says: Jul 3, 2012 1:00 PM

    The ACC champ is going to be playing a 3rd place from the Big12, SEC, PAc12, B1G or the champ from the BigEast, Notre Dame or MWC… at 1 pm on New Year’s day.

    This is not an upgrade for the ACC.

  7. fcmlefty1 says: Jul 3, 2012 1:01 PM

    “Poor Orange Bowl”

    Tough to feel too sorry for them – they just willingly agreed to this deal. They had the perfect out if they so desired, and decided, for better or worse, to instead sign on to the ACC for 12 more years.

  8. fcmlefty1 says: Jul 3, 2012 1:04 PM

    “The ACC champ is going to be playing a 3rd place from the Big12, SEC, PAc12, B1G or the champ from the BigEast, Notre Dame or MWC… at 1 pm on New Year’s day. ”

    1/2 the time. The other half (if, as believed, the Rose and “champs” bowls aren’t taking an equal rotation), the Orange will be hosting a semi final and the ACC champ will be going elsewhere.

  9. TxGrown says: Jul 3, 2012 1:23 PM

    Well the ACC has to play somewhere in the post season.

  10. drummerhoff says: Jul 3, 2012 1:29 PM


    Right. “…and the ACC champ will be going elsewhere.” … to play a 3rd place from the Big12, SEC, PAc12, B1G or the champ from the BigEast, Notre Dame or MWC.

    So, the Orange is willing to get saddled with the ACC Champ 1/2 the time so they can have access to the 1 v 4 or 2 v 3 playoffs games. Its seems like a good deal for Orange. The ACC, on the otherhand, gets to be the Gator Bowl (Jan 1 @ 1 pm).

  11. fcmlefty1 says: Jul 3, 2012 1:52 PM


    Lets honestly ask ourseves this then: what has the ACC done in the last decade to get to this point? I’ll tell you the answer: they, as a collective group, haven’t won a dang thing when it counted. They’ve lost marquee regular season games. They’ve lost, often times badly, in BCS bowl games. Simply put, they are in the “Big 5” for reasons other than on-field football reasons.

  12. drummerhoff says: Jul 3, 2012 2:00 PM


    I agree except there is no such thing as the ‘Big 5’.

    There is a Big 4 … and when the money distribution is made public, it will be clear the ACC will look a lot more like the MWC or BigEast when it comes to money earned from the new bowl system.

  13. mountaineer50415 says: Jul 3, 2012 2:28 PM

    This is quite funny. Who are they going to play? The top four will not play them. The Big 12 and the SEC, if not in the top four, will not play them. The Big 10 and the Pack 12, if not in the top four, will not play them. That leaves the Big East and a few others. Oh well. Gues the Big East wasn’t left out after all. Then maybe, the ACC winner will play themselves!!!! If that is the case, they will win the rest of their bowls. Wonder who will win, FSU or Clemson?????

  14. fcmlefty1 says: Jul 3, 2012 2:30 PM


    I tend to agree with you.

    But I also think the Big East is going to do a bit better in TV negotiations than the doom and gloom predictions. Gut feeling NBC is going to pony up.

    We’ll really see 4 “tiers” emerge

    Tier 1: SEC, Big 10, PAC 12 and Big 12
    Tier 2: ACC, Big East (inc. Navy) and Notre Dame
    Tier 3: MWC, Conf USA and BYU
    Tier 4: Sun Belt, MAC, and Army (and WAC if they somehow survive – way less than a 1% chance in my opinion)

  15. fcmlefty1 says: Jul 3, 2012 2:35 PM

    @Mountaineer – The SEC, Big 12, Big 10 and PAC 12 will gladly send thier 3rd place team to play the ACC if nobody else can provide a worthy team.

    Typing that just really justifies what drummer wrote earlier in the thread I guess…

  16. mountaineer50415 says: Jul 3, 2012 3:06 PM

    No matter who it justifies, it is really sad. These bowls were supposed to be for the top 12. I guess the Orange Bowl was too afraid of being left out.
    The ACC gets blown out in the Orange Bowl so they make a contract for them to be in it for 12 more years. Wow.
    Things will always be the same. WV blows out Clemson and the Pre Season Bowls put FSU ahead of WV. I thought Clemson beat FSU. What makes them think it will be different next year?FSU plays no one all year, and they are ranked #7. As Ricky Ricardo would say, splane that to me.

  17. acieu says: Jul 3, 2012 8:45 PM

    Maybe we can get a Clemson West Va rematch so Clemson can choke again

  18. cfbfaninbadnfltown says: Jul 3, 2012 10:40 PM

    Just another chance to watch Va Tech who I assume will be the ACC champ lose to a better team. Fans in Iowa, Kansas and Palo Alto must be smiling. Hell B1G, Big 12, PAC-12 & SEC fans must be hoping their team comes in 2nd place in the conference so they get the cake walk ACC team in the Orange Bowl. Great weather, beautiful town to hangout in during the week of the game and a lock on a W against a 2nd tier team from a 2nd tier conference.

  19. mountaineer50415 says: Jul 4, 2012 8:11 AM

    One thing no one should forget. The Mountaineers were considered to be a bunch of hicks below third tier coming to play in the big city. They even said Geno was upset he did not get to play for the big boys like Boyd. According to eighty some percent we would have been better off if we had stayed in hickville and wittled.
    The ACC was a power conference and we were from the lowly Big Least.
    Now they want to put second, third or fourth rated teams from each conference in the Orange Bowl to play against the ACC.
    That means they believe the ACC is as bad as they thought WV was last year.
    All I am saying is, look out. Being called enept makes people mad. Sometimes they beat your butt when you do that.
    I have said many times it is very difficult to play a team you feel is so much beneath you. Who ever has to play these guys must take them seriously until after the game. In other words put 70 on them and then laugh. If you laugh first they may put 70 on you.

  20. 305fan says: Jul 4, 2012 10:46 AM

    Thw ACC will be turning things around in the next 2 years. FSU and The U will once again be a force to fear. VT will still be a threat and Clemson has been building up a solid program over the past few years. It took the SEC a good part of a decade to become the power conference they are. The ACC is just getting primed and will be ready to put the smack down on the college football world come playoff time.

  21. mountaineer50415 says: Jul 4, 2012 1:57 PM

    I seem to have misspelled whittle. Sorry. From WV, should have noticed that!!!!!
    I do not know how the rest of you feel, but I can hardly wait for the season to begin.
    This is the first year I have had high hopes for WV sense they first went into the Big East. Many people do not like taking baby steps but it is the best way. Most people who come out smoken peter out. I really do not know of a team that has always been great.
    At least if WV looses a single game they do not have to say their season is over. For the last few years we were expected to win them all. It is possible to do that but very difficult if it is expected. I do not envy the teams who are still expected to do that.
    Last year Ok. St. lost to a team that was not ranked. They got into a BCS game and complained they were not in the NC. On the other hand WV lost to Syracuse and they were laughed at. They really had no more respect to lose when they lost to Louisville. Truthfully, the best thing that ever happened to them was losing to Syracuse. They came at our QB all game long. We learned how to stop that from happening, so when Clemson tried it, we ran right by them. Live and learn. Very few teams win them all but I hope if we lose we always learn from it and do not repeat the same mistakes over and over. Go Mountaineers. Roll Tide

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