|Mired in ACC mess, Miami must wait for bowl fate|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 30 November 2008 23:12|
At least this is clear: Boston College and Virginia Tech have emerged from their divisions and will play Saturday for the ACC championship in Tampa, with a spot in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1 awaiting the winner.
After that, the postseason destinations for nine other bowl-qualified ACC teams remains a mystery.
Who's going where?
When will they know?
Good questions, but as of now, there are few good answers.
``They'll pick where they want you to go,'' Miami coach Randy Shannon said Sunday. ``The only thing I know is it'll be Boston College or Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl ... and the rest of it is who wants you.''
On Sunday, some games were already coming into focus.
ast appeal and are always a big TV draw.
But the ACC's bowl dominoes almost certainly won't begin officially falling until after the league title game.
``I can project who might be available to us and make some preliminary moves, but it's probable that we won't be able to make a final decision and announce our teams until Dec. 7,'' said Emerald Bowl executive director Gary Cavalli.
Ordinarily, teams get plucked by order of finish or ACC record.
That won't be an easy task after this year's conference logjam.
Difficult as it seems, all 10 ACC bowl-eligible teams finished within one game in the league standings: Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech were 5-3, while Miami, North Carolina State, Clemson, Maryland, North Carolina and Wake Forest were 4-4.
``It's not an easy year,'' said Steve Hogan, executive director of the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando.
After the BCS spot is filled by the ACC champion, the Chick-fil-A Bowl gets the next choice of bowl representative from the conference, followed by the Gator Bowl and then Champs Sports.
Scenarios are running wild.
rida State, with Tallahassee being a mere 2 1/2 hours across Interstate 10.
North Carolina could fit the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, although some expect the Tar Heels to be picked for the Music City Bowl in Nashville instead. Maryland might be Boise-bound. Clemson could wind up in any of five games. Wake Forest finished 7-5, and now the EagleBank Bowl in Washington, D.C., against Navy may be the Deacons' next stop.
``Just to get in any bowl game, we're appreciative,'' said North Carolina running back Shaun Draughn, whose Tar Heels went 4-8 last year and will be in the postseason for the first time since 2004. ``Look at where we came from. Any bowl game would be good.''
North Carolina State has won four straight games, but still is just 6-6 overall, meaning it's not a definite for the postseason. And Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen also sounds a bit wary, saying he'd be thankful just to get an invite anywhere.
``There are 10 teams that will qualify in our conference and only nine spots,'' Friedgen said. ``You do the math.''
True, the ACC is only aligned with nine bowl games, but that hardly means any of the 10 eligibles from the conference will miss out on bowl season.
but don't know where the 10th will be at this time. One of our teams would need to be an at-large team in a bowl game which has an opening. Fortunately this year, there may be a few of those.''
Which means, for at least a few more days, the angst and guessing will likely continue for most ACC teams - not to mention for the bowl committees, who in this hurting economy would like to have as much time as possible to market their respective matchups.
``We're all going to make the best of it,'' Hogan said.
AP Sports Writers Jimmy Golen in Boston, Joedy McCreary in Durham, N.C., and Aaron Beard in Raleigh, N.C., contributed to this story.