Report: Russell Athletic Bowl moving up ACC's bowl hierarchy

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

Alabama and Virginia Tech will play for the
The ACC sent 6-6 Virginia Tech to Orlando last season. (USATSI)

The ACC has had a relationship with the Russell Athletic Bowl since the Orlando bowl was created in its original incarnation as the Blockbuster Bowl in 1990. An ACC team has appeared in 20 of the 23 games in the bowl's history, but for the most part, it's been a secondary bowl game in the ACC's lineup.

It appears that will change in the future.

According to a report from ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy, the Russell Athletic Bowl will be moving up the ACC bowl hierarchy. Starting in the 2014 season, the bowl will host the top ACC team that is not selected for the College Football Playoff or the Orange Bowl.

For an idea of the impact that would have had last season, the Russell Athletic Bowl would have gotten 11-2 Clemson instead of 6-6 Virginia Tech.

Of course, this decision does impact the ACC's other bowl tie-ins. The ACC would reportedly lose its exclusive deal with both the Gator Bowl and the Music City Bowl. Instead, the ACC would "share" both bowls with the Big Ten, as both conferences would make three appearances over the six-year deal.

This would leave the ACC with a bowl lineup that includes the Orange Bowl, Russell Athletic Bowl, Gator Bowl, Music City Bowl, Belk Bowl and possibly the Pinstripe Bowl.

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