ACC announces bowl game partnerships for 2014-19

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Official Release, theacc.com – for TSL’s take, scroll down to the bottom of the article.

GREENSBORO, NC – Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford announced Wednesday partnerships with five football bowl games which will be effective for the six years of postseason play following the 2014 through 2019 seasons.

The partnerships are in addition to what the Conference previously announced, and have the ACC providing a team in each of the six years to the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman; the AdvoCare V100 Bowl and a new bowl game in Detroit, Mich., hosted by the Detroit Lions Football Club of the National Football League.

Additionally, the ACC also reached partnership agreements with ESPN Regional Television’s Beef ‘O’Brady’s Bowl in St. Petersburg, Fla., and the Birmingham (Ala.) Bowl games in those seasons when the games are scheduled to be played after Christmas. The ACC will provide a team to the Beef ‘O’Brady’s Bowl after the 2014 and 2016 seasons and will serve as the Bowl’s first conditional choice in the other four years if either of its primary partners are not able to provide a team. The Birmingham Bowl will be a second conditional bowl for the ACC, if it has an available team beyond the Beef ‘O’Brady’s Bowl choice. The ACC is the first conditional choice of the Birmingham Bowl, should either of that bowl’s primary partners not have an eligible team.

“It’s very satisfying to finalize our future ACC bowl partnerships that collectively provide great flexibility, matchups and depth for our 15 member schools,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “We are pleased to continue our relationship with the Military and AdvoCare V100 Bowls while beginning new ones with the new bowl game in Detroit, hosted by the Detroit Lions; the Beef ‘O’Brady’s bowl game and Birmingham.”

The ACC will be extending its current partnership with the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman, a game which has been played in Washington, D.C., from 2008 through 2012, but will be played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md., this December. In its new agreement with the Military Bowl, which begins after the 2014 season, ACC teams will face teams from the American Athletic Conference.

The Conference will also be extending its current four-year relationship with the AdvoCare V100 Bowl game in Shreveport, La. The AdvoCare V100 Bowl, which will hold its 38th annual game this year, is the nation’s 11th oldest bowl game and is played in Independence Stadium.

The ACC will begin a new relationship with the new bowl game slated for Detroit, which will be hosted by the Detroit Lions and played at Ford Field. The ACC will face a team from the Big Ten Conference in the new bowl game. The Lions become only the second NFL team to officially host and operate a college football bowl game.

The league will also begin new partnerships with the Beef ‘O’Brady’s Bowl, played in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., and the Birmingham Bowl, which is played in legendary Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala.

The five new partnerships complete the ACC’s bowl lineup for the 2014-2019 seasons.

Previously announced were agreements reached with the Discover Orange Bowl in South Florida, where the ACC’s champion, if not in the College Football Playoff, will play; the Russell Athletic Bowl and the Capital One Bowl games in Orlando; the Hyundai Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas; the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, N.C.; the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn. and the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.; and the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in New York City.

The order of team selections for the bowl partnerships announced Wednesday will come after the selections of the bowl partnerships previously announced.

In all, the ACC, which will have 15 schools in its bowl mix, will have a minimum of nine guaranteed bowl berths in each of the six years after the 2014-19 seasons, with that number expanding to 10 in the 2014 and 2016 seasons. Additionally, the conference also has additional bowl berths when it sends more than one team to the College Football Playoff/New Year’s Six and/or plays a Big Ten team in the Discover Orange Bowl which triggers a berth for an ACC team in the Capital One Bowl.

Additional berths may be available after the 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons in the Beef ‘O’Brady’s Bowl and in all six years in the Birmingham Bowl. The Conference will send a team first to the Beef ‘O’Brady’s Bowl, when that game has an opening, followed by sending a team to the Birmingham Bowl game.

TechSideline.com’s take, by Will Stewart: Clear as mud? There will be a test tomorrow, so study up.

All kidding aside, this is a far cry from the days when the Hokies were in the eight-team Big East, the league had five bowl tie-ins, and they picked in a well-defined order. This is the result of conference expansion, an ever-increasing number of bowls, and college football’s response to fan desires for more variety in postseason destinations.

The ACC’s tie-ins now comprise a vast array of possible games, opponents, and conditional bowl games — my favorite is:

… the ACC also reached partnership agreements with ESPN Regional Television’s Beef ‘O’Brady’s Bowl … and the Birmingham (Ala.) Bowl games in those seasons when the games are scheduled to be played after Christmas.

I don’t know why, but that just struck me as funny. I expected the next line to be “The ACC will send a team to the Depends Undergarments Bowl in Tupelo, Mississippi in years where Kim Kardashian has a baby and commissioner John Swofford’s birthday falls on a weekday.”

Sorry, I said “all kidding aside” a couple paragraphs ago and then clearly violated that. The ACC’s dizzying array of bowl destinations and possible opponents is a good thing. It beats the days when the Hokies played in the Gator Bowl four times in eight seasons, from 1994-2001. The possibilities now are almost endless … but only if you don’t finish high in the conference. For the teams at the top, the options are pretty clearly defined.

Just don’t — and I’m dead serious when I say this — come on the TSL message boards during bowl season in future years and ask the question, “So, where are all the ACC teams going bowling?” At least … don’t ask me. Because my answer will be, “Just wait for the announcements.”

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16 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. If I had the time and disposable income to go to bowl games, I would like this a lot. You’ve got new cities, the promise of a new mix of opponents and variation from year to year. I would love to go to El Paso for the Sun Bowl or Shreveport for the Independence Bowl (regardless of the corporate name draped over it). I’d even go to Detroit because it’s not all that far from my home in Indiana (and Ann Arbor is a nice town within easy driving distance of Detroit).

    I think the biggest challenge is coming up with ways to make it affordable for students, recent grads, and families to make the trip and attend these games if they’re not played in places that people typically consider winter vacation destinations. If I were were in the VT ticket office, I would start working with hotels, airlines and the bowl games to come up with package deals to go along with ticket sales. You can’t just offer your fan base overpriced, mediocre seats for the game and hope they’ll follow you wherever you go. That might work for teams with huge, rabid fan bases, but it’s not going to work for the vast majority of College football programs, particularly not with disposable income for most Americans coninuing to decline.

  2. Look, I think all of this is more interesting from a TV perspective, in terms of possibly seeing more ACC vs. SEC/Big 10 matchups, but I’m not sure it solves the issue of putting more fannies in seats. Which VT fans, assuming you live somewhere between Charlotte and NJ, are going to go to games in Shreveport, Detroit, Birmingham, Jacksonville, maybe even St. Pete? I think the NYC and Annapolis tie-ins are good and have a shot at decent attendance if it’s a nice match-up, but the other stuff is blah. I don’t think we have any details yet on how schools will lose less money on bowl games, do we?

    I’m not convinced that having more bowl tie-ins is necessarily a good thing; it might just mean more teams can lose money.

    I generally like the concept of bowls and love the fact that it extends the season, but we really need to re-think the model (again).

    Here’s my solution: I would be in favor of scrapping the lower-tier bowls with 7-5 and 6-6 teams and having those teams involved in a mini post season “tournament” against regional teams, with the games on campus or at logical neutral sites. So, for example, you could have a tournament with Tennessee, Maryland, VT, and Cincinnati, where 2 teams play each other and then the winners meet the following week. Or it could be Kentucky, WVU, UVA, and Navy. You wouldn’t even necessarily need to have a requirement that the records are at least .500, but you could. Ideally, you would try to have 4 different conferences involved (in our case, certainly the ACC, SEC, Big 10, AAC, and Army/Navy, etc) to avoid re-matches, wherever possible.

    I think interest levels would be higher due to the regional nature of it (imagine VT vs. WVU as an on campus “bowl” game, but in a tournament format instead), and the fact that fans from most schools would likely, in most cases, be able to drive to the games. Schools wouldn’t lose as much $$ because more fans would show up, they could price tickets more reasonably, and they would have the concessions. I realize that getting the networks on board with this kind of thing could be an issue (and an important one for $$), but I am convinced we have to find a way to have fewer bowls, make them more interesting matchups, and save the schools some $$.

    I don’t see “winter” weather in the Mid-Atlantic or Midwest as reasons not to do this. Jets fans (snicker, snicker) endure sometimes crappy/cold weather to see their guys play in December/January (Green Bay anyone?), and I’m pretty sure college fans are at least as hearty/passionate as NFL fans.

    Just my $0.02.

    1. Most of those lower-tier bowls, with the 7-6 opponents, if I remember correctly, pay less than the actual cost of doing a bowl trip, and I think the ACC supplements the income to those schools that play there, much like most conferences do. The idea of more bowls that will lose money and force the ACC to pay for more trips doesn’t sound like a great idea for the ACC’s financial health.

  3. I am all for more bowls and more revenue flowing into the ACC coffers,but look at the destinations. Not exactly destinations that will attract too many fans. The good news is that they are bowls is pretty good sized metropolitan areas, which will make it easier to sell tickets. There are very few locations that will provoke seperate trip just to watch a game, although that is probably true for the 3rd and 4th tier bowl match-ups anyway.

    Miami-alright that is nice
    Orlando-ehh
    Orlando-a second time ehhhh, maybe families choose to check this game out.
    Jacksonville- I actually like this location
    Charlotte-no thanks
    Nashville-fun city, pretty crappy weather that time of year
    Annapolis, md-decent for nearby alumni, but most fans won’t travel more than a day trip for this.
    Shreveport, LA-never going to travel to that one
    El PAso, Tx- See above
    Detroit-See above again
    NYC-Not a bad tie in for ACC schools, but terrible weather makes this a bad game to attend
    St. Petersburg-not bad

    OK, call me confused that is 12 locations…while I thought we had 9-10 bowl tie ins.

    I think that they should just start hosting bowl games on Carribean islands. I would categorize the following:

    Travel worthy- Miami, Jax, Nash, St. Pete?

    Day trip worthy-Char, Annapolis, Orlando if in the area

    Empty seater- NYC, El Paso, Shreveport, Detroit.

    1. Just checking, how many bowls have you been to and where? I have seen the Hokies play in Miami, DC, Atlanta, College Station, Charlotte, Jville, Nashville, San Franscico and Orlando. Of the new destinations mentioned, I will likely go to follow the Hokies at least the first time around.

      The bigger issue for the VT fan base and me (IMHO) is that we have been spoiled with a high level of play over last several years that typically has ruled out the Poulan Weedeater level of bowls. If VT is in the Beef eater, er Beef O’ Brady bowl they likely have had a very so-so year. I might attend one of the lower bowls intially but an every year mediocre performance will mean I will pass on the chance to go to Detroit in December.

  4. Swofford forgot to mention that in response to market demand, bowl sponsors have requested that scores be kept only on a voluntary and mutually agreed upon basis … subject to the approval of some pinstriper in the marketing department.

  5. I dont see the point of yet even more uninteresting bowls in front of half empty stadiums (e.g. Rutgers bowl last year). I assumme this is all being driven bt tv revenue. All this does is dilute the product

  6. Back in 1966 and 1968 when Tech went to the Liberty Bowl there were a grand total of 8 bowls. That was it. 16 teams went bowling. Made a bowl appearance a big deal, a special event.

    Nowadays there are 30-some bowl games, and all you have to do to get in one is have a .500 record and be breathing. Not so special anymore. Who cares? VT’s streak will be alive ad infinitum unless we totally FU. If we made it last year we can make it any year.

    Bowls are not so appealing anymore. Thank you for nothing, all you money grubbing moguls.

    1. +1.

      Disclaimer, I’ve never been to a bowl (someone trot out the True Hokie thing), but I know I don’t watch those mediocre mid-December bowls, all those bowls before Christmas. They’re 0.500-level teams playing other 0.500-level teams for a chance at win 8 or something.

      I think the only people that make money on bowls are the travel agents and the hotels.

    1. I missed this part.

      “Previously announced were agreements reached with the Discover Orange Bowl in South Florida, where the ACC’s champion, if not in the College Football Playoff, will play; the Russell Athletic Bowl and the Capital One Bowl games in Orlando; the Hyundai Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas; the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, N.C.; the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn. and the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.; and the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in New York City.”

      I thought these new bowls were taking the place of the old bowls at first glance.

      1. Yeah, that’s a little confusing. The press release is a “we signed up for these bowls, too,” as opposed to a comprehensive recap of the tie-ins.

        1. I’d say the underlying message is “all these teams play each other, there are only so many wins and losses to go around. So somebody’s going to have 11 eligible bowl teams, and if if it’s not the SEC or Big 1G, It’s probably the ACC, so let’s sign them so we don’t end up with the MAC ratings death.”

    2. Like you, I started to form an opinion before reading the whole thing. My post from the football non sub board.

      Not sure what to think of that list. First glance, I thought “Geez, I thought adding Notre Dame was supposed to improve our bowl tie ins” and I was initially unimpressed with the list. As I got further into the article, I noted that (on occasion) we’ll replace the Big 10 in the Capital One bowl (that’s a good thing) and that we were still negotiating with something like 4 or 5 other bowls (ok, that could be a lot too) and that bowls 4-7 or something like that would occasionally swap pick orders and/or work together to get more interesting, less repetitive matchups.

      I guess I’d want to see how the $$ turn out as well.

      1. Same here. Can’t wait to see if there will be a CC article on the money comparison between leagues.

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