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ACC Power Rankings and Bowl Preview: Return of the King

Clemson is rightfully back at #1 and all is right with the world and we break down some bowls!

ACC Championship - Clemson v Notre Dame Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

#1 Clemson (10-1, 9-1) LW:#2 Bowl Game: Sugar Bowl vs Ohio State, Jan 1, 8:45 PM ESPN.

Well, wasn’t that fun? With the Tigers at fuller strength, Clemson whipped Notre Dame 34-10 in Charlotte, rightfully reclaiming their spot atop the conference. The boys had a lot of fun celebrating this, including posing on Notre Dame’s gold chairs.

Clemson has a little under two weeks to prep for Big Ten Champ Ohio State in New Orleans.

Bowl Enjoyability: Maybe don’t expect last year’s late game theatrics, but Fields vs. Lawrence is always fun.

#2 Notre Dame (10-1, 9-1) LW: #1 Bowl Game: Rose Bowl (in Texas) vs Bama, Jan 1 4:00 PM, ESPN.

Notre Dame’s cameo as a full-fledged ACC was going so magically, and the Irish were going to have a chance to claim the title and leave saying, “We’re a strong, independent team who doesn’t need a conference,” only to get absolutely dunked on by a healthy Clemson, continuing this idea that Notre Dame may be frauds. But it gets better. Notre Dame still got in the playoff where it will face Bama in Jerryworld, where the Tide have won many a game and is the home of Clemson’s 2018 beatdown of the Irish in the playoffs. This went from dream season to nightmare for Notre Dame really quickly, and I love it.

Bowl Watchability: Should be a good bit of schadenfreude if nothing else.

#3 North Carolina (8-3, 7-3) LW: #3 Bowl Game: Orange Bowl vs Texas A&M Jan 2, 8:00 PM ESPN.

The Heels big win over Miami earned them a trip to the Orange Bowl. The Heels will face Mack Brown’s old nemesis from Texas, the Texas A&M Aggies. This is probably the closest we could get to a Texas-Texas A&M bowl for a while, but, honestly, if we ever are going to get an actual Horns-Aggies game, it needs to be in Texas and in front of a packed house.

Bowl Watchability: This one is also good.

#4 Miami (8-2, 7-2) LW: #4 Bowl Game: Cheez-It Bowl vs Oklahoma State, Dec 29, 5:30 PM ESPN.

The Canes head north to Orlando for the battle for the big cheese cracker with Oklahoma State. The Canes are trying to get the taste of that UNC loss out of their mouth.

Bowl Watchability This should actually be a fun one to watch.

5 NC State (8-3, 7-3) LW: #5 Bowl Game: Taxslayer Gator Bowl vs Kentucky, Jan. 2, 12:00 PM ESPN

The #23 Wolfpack head to Jacksonville to face off with Kentucky. The Cats are somehow a 2.5 point favorite despite their 4-6 record. The Pack can get a nice win here over an SEC team.

Bowl Watchability: Could be a close one.

#6 Pitt (6-5, 5-5) LW: #6 No Bowl.

#7 Boston College (6-5, 5-5) LW: #7 No Bowl.

#8 Virginia Tech (5-6, 5-5) LW: #8 No Bowl.

#9 Virginia (5-5, 4-5) LW: #9 No Bowl.

#10 Louisville (4-7, 3-7) LW: # 10 No Bowl.

#11 Wake Forest (4-4, 3-4) LW: #11 Bowl Game: Duke’s Mayo Bowl vs Wisconsin, 12/30, 12:00 PM ESPN.

The Deacs will stay in the state of NC, heading to Charlotte for the Duke’s Mayo Bowl (formerly the Belk Bowl) against Wisconsin. Both teams come in with a .500 record.

Bowl Watchability: It’s football if nothing else.

#12 Georgia Tech (3-7, 3-6) LW:#12 No Bowl.

#13 Florida State (3-6, 2-6) LW: #13 No Bowl.

#14 Duke (2-9, 1-9) LW: #14 No Bowl.

No bowl for the Devils, but some interesting news. As we saw last week, former Clemson QB Chase Brice announced his intentions to transfer from Duke. It was announced that Brice will stay in NC and become an Appalachian State Mountaineer for the 2021 season. Should be a good fit and hopefully be a good audition for the NFL for him.

#15 Syracuse (1-10, 1-9) LW: #15 No Bowl.