ACC, Orange Bowl Make a Deal

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Atlantic Coast Conference will begin a partnership with the Orange Bowl this season, marking the first time since the 1950s that the ACC has had a tie-in with such a high-profile bowl game.

The winner of the ACC championship game will play in the Orange Bowl, one of the four Bowl Championship Series games, unless that team ends the season ranked No. 1 or No. 2, therefore qualifying to play in the BCS title game. The deal is similar to those that the Big Ten and Pacific-10 have had with the Rose Bowl for decades.

"To have a relationship with the Orange Bowl, I think we'll be in great shape as a conference, regardless of what's happening in front of us," ACC Commissioner John Swofford said.

The conference also announced a modified system for determining which teams play at which bowl games to avoid a situation like last season, when Boston College finished with an 8-3 record but was relegated to the MPC Computers Bowl in Boise, Idaho.

"When I first heard we were going to Boise, I thought it was a practical joke," BC guard Josh Beekman said earlier this week.

Virginia and North Carolina State, which both finished with 6-5 records, played in the more desirable Music City and Meineke bowls, respectively. Under the new system, Boston College would have most likely played in the Music City Bowl in Nashville.

Swofford also said the ACC will probably pick up its two-year option to keep the ACC championship game in Jacksonville, Fla., after this season. . . .

Duke basketball player J.J. Redick and Maryland field hockey player Paula Infante were named ACC male and female athletes of the year, respectively.

-- Adam Kilgore

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