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ACC Bowlstravaganza: Breaking Down the ACC Bowl Slate

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We all know the Tigers are Texas bound, but where is the rest of the league going?

ACC Championship - Clemson v Pittsburgh Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

As hard as it is to believe, the 2018 football season is coming to the end. While it feels like just yesterday we were starting the season under the hot September sun, it is now bowl season, and 11 ACC teams will be participating in college football’s bizarre yet fun postseason.

Jared Birmingham Bowl: Wake Forest vs Memphis (-2.5). Birmingham, AL, Dec 22 12:00 PM ESPN

Wake Forest has the honor of being the first ACC team to play in bowl season. The Deacons finished the season hot with a 59-3 win over Duke. Memphis comes off a tough 56-41 loss to #8 UCF that saw the Tigers squander a 24-7 first quarter lead.

SERVPRO First Responders Bowl: Boston College vs #25 Boise State (-3.5). Dallas, TX, Dec 26 1:30 PM ESPN

Yeah, I had to google this one. Apparently this is the first ever SERVEPRO First Responders Bowl. Boise St fell in overtime in the Mountain West championship at a snow covered Albertsons Stadium in Boise. BC is riding a three game skid and after starting 7-2. This might be a good game to watch with some Christmas dinner leftovers and a very strong eggnog cocktail.

Quick Lane Bowl: Georgia Tech (-3.5) vs Minnesota. Detroit, MI, Dec 26, 5:15 PM ESPN

If leftover turkey and booze hasn’t already put you into a long winter’s nap, a nice matchup of Paul Johnson football vs a Big Ten team should go ahead and knock you on out. This will be Paul Johnson’s last game at Georgia Tech, though, so you may want to get your fill of cut blocks and midline reads here.

The Gophers concluded their season by ending a 14 year losing streak to Wisconsin. First Team All Big 10 WR Tyler Johnson could have some fun against Tech’s Defense.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Miami (-3) vs Wisconsin. New York (Bronx), NY, Dec 27, 5:15 PM ESPN

Remember when the Yankees and Miami were two of the dominating forces in sports? At least the Yankees have won a title in the last 10 years, but neither is what they used to be. Also remember when this game was a marquee matchup played in the Orange Bowl? Oh, that was just last year. Both Miami and Wisconsin were teams with high preseason hope that floundered this year. Miami’s the favorite, but I have a really hard time picking Florida boys over Wisconsin boys in a bowl game that featured literal frozen turf last season.

Walk-On’s Independence Bowl: Duke vs Temple (-6). Shreveport, LA. Dec 27 1:30 PM ESPN

Not the most attractive game, but anything can happen in Shreveport. Temple finished second to UCF in the America Conference East Division, and will be looking to get its ninth win. Duke faltered down the stretch, ending with a bad blowout loss to Wake. This is Duke’s 6th bowl in 7 seasons.

Camping World Bowl: Syracuse vs West Virginia (-7). Orlando, Fl. Dec 28, 5:15 PM ESPN

A matchup of old Big East rivals with some high flying offense. This one should be a fun one to watch. Plus the Mountaineers playing in a bowl sponsored by Camping World just feels right.

Dungey and company are averaging 38.8 points a game, while WVU is averaging 41.3. When these two teams were in the Big East they played for the Ben Schwartzwalder trophy, but the schools have announced the trophy will not be on the line at this game.

Belk Bowl: Virginia vs South Carolina (-6.5). Charlotte, NC. Dec 29, 12:00 PM ABC

Once again South Carolina gets Clemson’s leftovers. In 2016-17 when the Gamecocks men’s hoops team played in the Final Four, they did so at University of Phoenix stadium, where Clemson played in the 2015 National Championship and 2016 Fiesta Bowl. The story was that concession stands were still using tiger paw stamped $2 bills to make change, much to the chagrin of SCar fans. Last year, South Carolina football played in the Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, the site of Clemson’s 2016 National Championship win. Now, the Gamecocks head to Bank of America Stadium, where Clemson has won 3 of its last 4 ACC titles (2016 was in Orlando). I’m sure there will be plenty of paw stamped bills still floating around the Epicenter for that weekend.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl: Clemson (-10.5) vs Notre Dame. Dallas, TX. Dec 28, 4:00 PM ESPN

I won’t talk too much on our game, because if you’re a reader of the site you know you’re going to get plenty of top quality analysis of our fourth straight playoff semifinal game. I will say that while I know some people are disappointed we didn’t get Miami, I think this will be a fun game. It’s Clemson’s first trip to the Cotton Bowl since 1939 and I am a fan of diversifying our trophy case (the 2016 Fiesta Bowl trophy is FIRE). And maybe it’s because I’ve never been to Texas and want to go, or maybe just because I’m a big “King of the Hill” guy, but I think Dallas will be a good time for anyone who goes. Plus, we got Dabo in a cowboy hat.

Beautiful. One more.

Perfection, I tell you what.

Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman:Virginia Tech vs Cincinnati (-6.5). Washington, D.C. December 31 12:00 PM ESPN

Va Tech secured a bowl after beating Marshall in a make up game to extend their streak to 27 years. Despite finishing third in the AAC East, Cincy is going for 11 wins. This game feels less exciting since it’s after the CFP games.

Hyundai Sun Bowl: Pitt vs Stanford (-6.5). El Paso, Texas. Dec 31, 2:00 PM CBS

The cool thing here is that Pitt legitimately has a shot at finishing 7-7, which has to be a rare thing. Stanford won their rescheduled game with rival Cal Saturday to move to 8-4 and finish 3rd in the Pac-12 North.

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl: NC State vs Texas A&M (-4.5). Jacksonville, Fl. December 31. 7:30 PM ESPN

And we finish 2018 with Dave Doeren taking on Jimbo Fisher in Jacksonville. This one could be an exciting shootout, but NC State has also played some hideous games this year and if they bring that to this one, you’ll be flipping over to watch Ryan Seacrest introduce the Chainsmokers in Times Square by halftime. Kellen Mond should make easy work of the Pack D, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Pack offense responds. They’ll be without top WR Kelvin Harmon. Although, make sure to watch the end to see if Dave Doeren throws hands with any A&M staff members.