On Monday, the ACC announced a new deal with the Orange Bowl that solidifies the future of the conference and Virginia Tech. The new deal will begin with the 2014 season, and any lingering questions about the future of the league have been answered.
The powers that be finally listened to you and me, the regular college football fans. No more January 3rd Wednesday night games when nobody can get off work. The Orange Bowl is going back to its roots, and the other “Big 6” bowls are too. January 1, at 1pm. I’d prefer it to be at night, but hey, I’m not complaining.
The agreement also lasts for 12 years, which is a big commitment from both sides. The Orange Bowl is expected to host a semifinal game at least four of those years. If an ACC team doesn’t make the semifinals, then the ACC Champion will be shuffled into one of the other “Big 6” bowls. That’s a big deal. The ACC Champ is going to be in one of the “Big 6” bowls no matter what.
An even bigger deal is that if an ACC team makes a semifinal game, and that game is not played in the Orange Bowl, then the Orange Bowl will take a different ACC team. Let’s say that Virginia Tech finishes #4 and gets shipped off to the Fiesta Bowl to play in a semifinal game. In that situation, the Orange Bowl would take the #2 ACC team. Hopefully someone like Clemson, Florida State or Miami, because obviously any of those teams would be great for the Orange Bowl.
There will also be a huge financial benefit to the ACC and its programs. The ACC now controls the Orange Bowl’s broadcasting rights, which really means the ACC controls the game. The Orange Bowl isn’t tied into the other “Big 6” bowl games under an umbrella like the BCS. It is its own separate entity, and the ACC can shop the TV rights to any network they want. Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC, ESPN…anybody can bid on the Orange Bowl now. That’s going to create a lot of revenue, and all the ACC programs are going to reap the benefits.
What a difference a month makes. Remember worrying about conference realignment a few weeks back, and last summer as well? Well, nothing is going to happen to the ACC now. Clemson and Florida...
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