ACC hooks up with Orange beginning in 2015
Whole new New Year's Day beginning to take shape
The ACC announced Tuesday morning it had forged a new 12-year agreement with the Orange Bowl.
The Orange will take the ACC champion beginning in 2014, the first year of the new playoff. In years when the champion is ranked in the top four and plays in the playoff, that champion will be replaced by another ACC team. The two entities have a similar relationship in the BCS with the ACC champion contracted to the Orange Bowl through the end of the current BCS deal (2014 bowls).
While on the surface this isn't huge news -- the ACC/Orange deal was expected -- it does lend some definition to college football's new postseason. New Year's Day looks spectacular beginning in 2015. The Orange will be played at 1 p.m. ET, followed by the Rose at 5 p.m. ET and the Champions Bowl in prime time.
In addition, there are now three what are being referred to as "contract" bowls. The Rose, Champions and now Orange all have committed leagues in the six-bowl rotation.
That means in any given year, there could be only three spots available in those six bowls. Four teams will be committed to the two semifinals. Both the Rose and Champions have conference partners. The Orange will have the ACC. Access for the so-called have nots could be an issue.
It's also interesting to note that the ACC release states that the Orange will host "at least" four national semifinals during the 12-year rotation. That seems to confirm that the Rose and Champions bowl may not participate in a regular semifinal rotation. The Rose wants to protect its traditional Pac-12-Big Ten matchup as much as possible. The Champions Bowl, site still undecided, matches the Big 12 and SEC champions.
More playoff games for the Sugar and Fiesta Bowls? Stay tuned.
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