Another crazy week in the ACC has left the bowl picture a bit more muddled. As the bowl selection rules are not very clear cut, we are here to break down the process for you and give you an idea of how this could all play out. Click through for our bowl breakdown!
Update: Miami withdraws from bowl consideration.
First things first. Here is the bowl selection order for this season:
1. Orange Bowl, Jan 4, Miami
2. Chick-Fil-A Bowl, Dec 31, Atlanta vs. SEC #5
3. Champs Sports Bowl, Dec 29, Orlando vs. Big East #2/Notre Dame
4. Sun Bowl, Dec 31, El Paso vs. Pac-12 #3
5. Belk Bowl, Dec 27, Charlotte vs. Big East #3
6. Music City Bowl, Dec 30, Nashville vs. SEC #7/8
7. Independence Bowl, Dec 26, Shreveport vs. MWC #3
8. Military Bowl, Dec 28, Washington D.C. vs. Navy/Mac #4
9. Kraft Bowl, Dec 31, San Francisco vs. Army/Pac-12
It is important to note that bowls cannot chose a team two games back of another team with regard to conference record. For example, it is likely that North Carolina will finish with a 3-5 ACC record so they cannot be chosen over Wake, who finished 5-3 in the ACC.
Clemson continued to torture Wake this weekend. Their loss against NC State moves the Pack closer to bowl eligibility, as they will take on Maryland next weekend for that right. Obviously all Deacs need to root for a Terp win, as it seems likely State would be chosen over Wake because of their larger fan base and ability to sell tickets for any potential bowl. To a lesser extent, Deacon fans need to cheer on Boston College this weekend at Miami. With a loss, Miami could not be chosen over Wake due to the two game rule. While Miami does not travel very well, they are an attractive name for TV viewership purposes.
Let's take a bowl-by-bowl approach.
1. Orange, Chick-fil-a, Champs Sports and Sun Bowl - There is no chance that Wake Forest will be selected for these bowls.
2. Belk Bowl - It seems likely that the Virginia Cavaliers will be chosen for this one. While the Hoos have bigger dreams right now, a loss to VT next week may give them a trip to Charlotte. NC State would also be a great option for Charlotte, so it will be interesting to see what the committee will do if both UVA and State are options. If NCSU loses to Maryland and UVA makes some more noise Wake would have a shot in Charlotte, but the chances are very low.
3. Music City Bowl - This is what Wake fans should be wishing for. A December 30 game in Nashville against an SEC squad would undoubtedly be a lot of fun. The likely candidates for this game are Wake, NC State and Miami. If both the U and NCSU lose this weekend, Wake is pretty much locked in to Nashville. An NC State win would be most damaging to the Deacon hopes, as they would probably be chosen over Wake due to fan base size. If it comes down to Miami and Wake it may just become a toss up. Wake Forest would send more fans to Nashville, but Miami would probably be more attractive for TV.
4. Independence Bowl - Let's face it, no one wants to go to Shreveport. Fortunately, it is looking less likely for Wake. If Miami and NC State both win as expected, the Canes will likely be spending the day after Christmas in Louisiana.
5. Military Bowl - With the events of this weekend, D.C. is now the most likely destination for Wake. With wins by the Canes and Pack, I will go out on a limb and say it's a lock.
6. Kraft Bowl - The Heels are going to get shipped out west. Honestly, I wish this bowl was further up in the pecking order because the PAC-12 opponent is much more attractive than the couple slots ahead. Oh well.
Hopefully that cleared up all your questions going into the final week of the regular season. Drop me a comment if I missed something.
***Update: Miami has officially withdrawn from bowl consideration. Basically, this means that if NC State loses to Maryland, the Deacs will be in Nashville. If NC State wins, the Deacs will most likely be in Shreveport.