Greensboro, N.C.—Florida State, the 2012 ACC Football Champion, highlights six Atlantic Coast Conference football teams who will participate in bowl games this year, bring the total number of league teams who have earned bowl bids since 2005 to 64.
The Seminoles, ranked 12th in the final Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings, will face Northern Illinois on Tuesday, January 1, 2013 in the 79th annual Discover Orange Bowl. The game will have an 8:30 p.m. kickoff (ET) and will be nationally televised by ESPN.
In addition to Seminoles, Clemson (Chick-fil-A), Virginia Tech (Russell Athletic), Georgia Tech (Hyundai Sun), Duke (Belk), and NC State (Franklin American Mortgage Music City), all accepted bowl invitations.
This year's pairings also extended consecutive bowl streaks for ACC teams who have three of the nation's five longest current bowl game streaks, led by Florida State which has the nation's longest current bowl streak. The Seminoles are making their 31st consecutive bowl trip in a streak that began with the 1982 Gator Bowl game. The Seminoles are joined by Virginia Tech, which will enjoy its 20th consecutive bowl trip--the nation's third longest skein and Georgia Tech, which is making it 16th straight bowl appearance, tied for the nation's fifth longest streak.
Florida State (11-2; 7-1 ACC), ranked 12th in the final BCS standings, captured its 13th ACC Football title since joining the league in 1992. But the ACC gridiron title is the Seminoles first in eight seasons, and its first berth in a BCS bowl game since claiming the inaugural ACC Football Championship Game in 2005. FSU, coached by Jimbo Fisher, has now posted a 30-10 record over the past three seasons and will be making its ninth appearance in the Discover Orange Bowl, last facing Penn State in the 2006 classic, a triple overtime loss to Penn State. The Seminoles will be facing Northern Illinois, 12-1, and champions of the Mid-American Conference and ranked 15th in the final BCS Standings. Florida State is 3-5 in its previous eight Orange Bowl appearances but is 25-14-2 overall in 41 bowl games, a winning percentage of .634, the sixth-best winning percentage nationally among teams with 15 or more bowl appearances. Ironically, Northern Illinois' head coach, Dave Doeren has been hired by FSU's Atlantic Division rival NC State, and will not coach in the bowl game.
Clemson (10-2; 7-1 ACC), ranked 14th in the final BCS Standings, and co-champions of the ACC's Atlantic Division, will be making its eighth appearance in an Atlanta bowl game when the Tigers face 8th-ranked LSU (10-2) in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in the Georgia Dome on Monday, December 31. The game will have a 7:30 p.m. (ET) kickoff and will be nationally televised by ESPN. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has guided the Tigers to back-to-back 10-win seasons, the first for Clemson since the 1989-90 seasons. The game will mark the first meeting between these two sets of Tigers since the 1996 Peach Bowl, the predecessor of the current Chick-fil-A Bowl. LSU, currently coached by Les Miles, has won both previous meetings between the two teams, including a 10-7 decision in 1996. The game will be Clemson's 35th appearance in a bowl game and their fifth straight bowl berth under Swinney. The Tigers have a 16-18 overall bowl record.
Virginia Tech (6-6, 4-4, ACC), will be making its first appearance in the Russell Athletic Bowl, which will be played on Friday, Dec. 28, in Orlando's Florida Citrus Bowl stadium. The game will have a 5:30 p.m. kickoff and will be nationally televised on ESPN. The Hokies of Coach Frank Beamer, who is the winningest active coach in the NCAA's Football Bowl Championship Subdivision with 257 career triumphs, will face Rutgers (9-3) of the Big East Conference. Beamer is currently tied with former BYU coach LaVell Edwards for 6th place on the all-time NCAA FBS wins list. The game will mark the 15th meeting between the two teams in a series which began in 1920, but it is their first game since 2003 when both were members of the Big East Conference. Tech, which is 9-16 in its 25 previous bowl trips, has an 11-3 advantage in its series with the Scarlet Knights.
Georgia Tech (6-7, 5-3), the ACC's Coastal Division champions, are making their second straight trip to the Hyundai Sun Bowl, which will be played on Monday, Dec. 31 in El Paso, Texas. The game, the 79th Annual Sun Bowl, will have a 2 p.m. (ET) kickoff and will be nationally televised by CBS-TV. The Yellow Jackets of coach Paul Johnson will be meeting the Trojans of Southern California (7-5) of the Pac-12 Conference, coached by Lane Kiffin. The meeting is the first between the two teams since 1973, when Tech dropped 23-6 decision to the then-No. 1-ranked Trojans. The Jackets are 1-2 against USC. Tech is making its 41st appearance in a postseason bowl game and has posted a 22-18 record, which ranks as the 15th-best winning percentage among teams with 15 or more appearances. USC, which has a 32-16 (.667) record in bowl games, has the 2nd-best winning percentage. Tech dropped a 30-27 overtime decision to Utah in last year's Hyundai Sun Bowl.
Duke (6-6, 3-5), under the direction of ACC Coach of the Year David Cutcliffe, is making its first bowl appearance since 1994, when it faces Big East foe Cincinnati (9-3) in the Belk Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 27 in Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium. The game will have a 6:30 p.m. kickoff and will be nationally televised by ESPN. Duke will be facing the Bearcats, who are coached by Butch Jones, for the first time. Duke is making its ninth bowl trip and has posted a 3-5 record in postseason games. The Blue Devils last bowl trip was a 34-20 loss to Wisconsin in the Hall of Fame Bowl Game in Tampa, Fla. The game marks the first appearance by the Blue Devils in a bowl game in North Carolina.
NC State (7-5, 3-5 ACC) is making its third straight bowl appearance when it faces Southeastern Conference foe Vanderbilt (8-4) in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl on Monday, Dec. 31 at noon in Nashville, Tenn. The game will be played in Nashville's LP Field and will be nationally televised by ESPN. The Wolfpack are making their third straight bowl appearance and fourth in the last five years. Interim head coach and offensive coordinator Dana Bible will guide the team against the Commodores as the school awaits the arrival of its new head coach Dave Doeren, who guided Northern Illinois to back-to-back MAC Championships. State will making its 27th bowl appearance and has a 14-11-1 record (.558), having recently claimed back-to-back triumphs over West Virginia in the 2010 Champs Sports Bowl and Louisville in last year's Belk Bowl. State's bowl winning percentage is 14th best nationally among schools with 15 or more bowl appearances. The game is only the second between the two schools in football and the first in 66 years as the Wolfpack dropped a 7-0 decision at Vanderbilt in 1946.
ACC Bowl Games In Chronological Order
(All times Eastern)
Date, Time Bowl Game ACC Team and Opponent Net.
Dec. 27, 6:30 pm Belk Bowl Duke (6-6) vs. Cincinnati (9-3) ESPN
Dec. 28, 5:30 pm Russell Athletic Bowl Virginia Tech (6-6) vs. Rutgers (9-3) ESPN
Dec. 31, Noon Franklin American Mortgage NC State (7-5) vs. Vanderbilt (8-4) ESPN
Music City Bowl
Dec. 31, 2 pm Hyundai Sun Bowl Georgia Tech (8-4) vs. Southern California (7-5) CBS
Dec. 31, 7:30 pm Chick-fil-A Bowl Clemson (10-2) vs. LSU (10-2) ESPN
Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m. Discover Orange Bowl Florida State (10-2) vs. Northern Illinois (12-1) ESPN