Monday, November 14, 2016

ACC has nine bowl eligible teams.

Bowl Eligibility Watch

Pitt vs. Clemson. Image via. The State.

Pitt was one of three ACC teams to earn bowl eligibility via each getting its sixth win of the season, in Pitt's case, it was by upsetting the College Football Playoff standing's second-ranked team, Clemson.

The ramifications of Pitt's win are still getting settled out, as it opens the door for Louisville to possibly make the College Football Playoff instead of fellow ACC Atlantic conference member Clemson. But there's still a lot of football to play, and the CFB chaos has barely started.

Here's what the bowl eligibility looks like in the ACC before the start of Week 12. Four teams are still theoretically in the hunt for a bowl big, but the hurdles may be too high for some (or all) of them.

Bowl projections are via SB*Nation's Jason Kirkwho has not one, but two ACC schools in the College Football Playoff.

Bowl Eligible Teams 

Louisville (9-1)
Bowl Projection: 2016 Peach Bowl vs. Alabama (Dec. 31, Atlanta, Ga.) (College Football Playoff bowl)

Jason Kirk has Louisville taking the place of Washington in his post-Week 11 bowl projections. Whether that is how things turn out at the end of the season are another matter. Louisville needs to get by a Houston team on the road on Nov. 17, then closes out the season hosting in-state rival Kentucky on Nov. 26. The Houston game is this coming Thursday, so expect more chaos.

After all of that, Louisville would still have to win the ACC title game, probably against either Virginia Tech or North Carolina.

Don't even ask if the Cardinals could get past Alabama.

Clemson (9-1)
Bowl Projection: 2016 Fiesta Bowl vs. Michigan (Dec. 31, Glendale, Az.) (College Football Playoff)

Clemson's loss to Pitt might upset the CFP rankings on Tuesday. Just how bad remains to be seen. The Tigers next two opponents, Wake Forest and South Carolina, have struggled but still could give the team a scare or two.

Florida State (7-3)
Bowl Projection: 2016 Orange Bowl vs. Penn State (Dec. 30, Miami, Fl.) (New Year's Six bowl)

If FSU wants to make it to the Orange Bowl, it's going to have to defeat a Syracuse team still in the bowl eligibility chase on the road on Nov. 19, then come home to a 7-2 in-state rival Florida on Nov. 26. Florida has managed to surprise some with its success this season, and could easily upset FSU.

Virginia Tech (7-3)
Bowl Projection: 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl vs. Florida (Dec. 30, Jacksonville, Fl.)

North Carolina (7-3)
Bowl Projection: 2016 Citrus Bowl vs. Tennessee (Dec. 31, Orlando, Fl.)

Wake Forest (6-4)
Bowl Projection: Belk Bowl vs. South Carolina (Dec. 29, Charlotte, NC)

Miami (6-4)
Bowl Projection: Russell Athletic Bowl vs. West Virginia (Dec. 28, Orlando, Fl.)

Pitt (6-4) 
Bowl Projection: 2016 Sun Bowl vs. Colorado (Dec. 30, El Paso, Tx.)

Georgia Tech (6-4)
Projected Bowl: 2016 Pinstripe Bowl vs. Maryland (Dec. 28, New York City)

Nerds on Broadway? Don't hold your breath that Maryland goes to a bowl this season, unless it gets an APR exemption.

On the Brink (Five wins, one win away from bowl eligibility)

North Carolina State (5-5)
Week 12: vs. Miami

NC State needs one win to punch its ticket to bowl season. It's going to be a hard ticket to punch, as it has to face Miami on Nov. 19, then has to travel to Chapel Hill to face UNC on Nov. 25 to close out the season. With the 25th falling on Black Friday, the Wolfpack is going to have one less day to prepare for the Tar Heels.

Running Out of Days (Four games, two needed for bowl eligibility)

Syracuse (4-6)
Week 12: vs. FSU (Nov. 19)

Syracuse needs to defeat FSU on Nov. 19, then beat Pitt on the road on Nov. 26. Probability of winning both games, much less one, is slim.

Duke (4-6)
Week 12: vs. Pitt (Nov. 19)

If there's a team to feel about not making it to a bowl this season it's Duke. The Blue Devils have been doing well for the past few seasons, and it's a crying shame 2016 has been a setback for the program. Duke has to go on the road to face Pitt on Nov. 19, then down to Miami on Nov. 26.

Boston College (4-6)
Week 12: vs. UConn (Nov. 19)

UConn is 3-7, so a win over the Huskies-not-from-Pullman, Wa. is quite possible. So is a win over Wake Forest, even if it is 6-4. Possible, but it's not a strong possibility.


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