11/21 – It’s Rivalry Week – Some Possible Scenarios
What a week we just had in college football! It doesn’t get much more exciting than this in a week that saw both #1 and #2 lose to really shake things up. This is just another example why college football has the most meaningful and important regular season in all of sports.
And it just gets better from here, with Rivalry Week hitting the nation in full force. Make sure you’re strapped in because the bowl picture isn’t in focus just yet and we could see another week like the last one.
A lot of discussion in our Team Selection Committee meeting this week about where various teams will end up and which teams are on our short list right now. And after all that discussion, we’re not sure we have a much clearer picture now than we did last week. Here’s why.
All the teams in our selection process are still in the same position, with the possible exception of Duke whose road to Atlanta got a little tougher after a tough loss to Georgia Tech.
After that, a lot depends on what the BCS Bowls will do, especially the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Those bowl selections will define the pool of teams available to us and other bowls in the ACC and SEC.
In the ACC, the big unknown is whether or not they will get both Florida State and Clemson – or one of those and Georgia Tech – into the BCS (assuming both teams win out).
In the SEC, the big unknown is which teams and what match-up is most attractive to the Allstate Sugar Bowl. If you assume that Alabama makes it to the national championship game, then the Sugar will get first pick among the remaining SEC teams including Florida, Georgia, LSU and Texas A&M. After this, the Sugar will have to pick an at-large team that would most likely be Clemson or Oklahoma.This will begin the selection process for the SEC bowls and determine which teams in the conference we will have the opportunity to select.
Remember, in the ACC, we select first after the ACC champion (and maybe one other team) go up to the BCS.
Here’s this week’s list and notes for the teams that are the most likely right now.
IN THE ACC (in alphabetical order):
This team is firing on all cylinders right now and has a chance to prove they are an elite team when they face rival #12 South Carolina on Saturday. If the Tigers do not go up to the BCS, they become a very attractive team for us and we’ll give them a good look with the other ACC teams in our mix.
The Seminoles have locked in their spot in Charlotte against Georgia Tech with an Orange Bowl berth on the line. This week, FSU hosts rival Florida in an epic #10 vs. #4 match-up. A win in that game could ensure the Seminoles a BCS slot either way. This is another team that, if they are available, they would make a great selection for a trip to Atlanta.
The win against Duke kept the Yellow Jackets on our short list this week. After the grudge match with Georgia this week, Tech will face Florida State with a chance to win the ACC and go to the Orange Bowl. Short of that, Georgia Tech is in our picture and could create a strong match-up with a team from the SEC.
The Wolfpack held their own in a tough road contest at #11 Clemson last week in a game that saw the two high-powered offenses put up 110 total points. Mike Glennon is turning into a premier passer and really helps the NC State offense go. Tom O’Brien’s team will have to win this week to get to 7-5 to have a shot at a return trip to Atlanta and the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
In the SEC (in alphabetical order):
We were on hand in Baton Rouge for the Tigers’ battle with Ole Miss. What a game that was! LSU really showed what they were made of scoring 21 points in the 4th quarter to earn the win in another tough SEC conference game. Right now, LSU still has a wide range of bowl possibilities, including ours, so we’ll keep them on our short list and see if they are still there to be considered when our selection comes.
The Bulldogs ended a three-game slide against three of the top seven teams in the country with a convincing 45-14 win against the Razorbacks to remain in our selection process. Our scout reported a very loud and very passionate home crowd and a fan base that was really excited about a possible trip to the Chick-fil-A Bowl. To stay in the mix, they need a road win in the Egg Bowl to be among the final teams considered. We’ll certainly be scouting them again this week to see how they fare.
We’re not buying into the reports that the Gamecocks struggled with Wofford this week. The problem is that most people don’t follow Wofford or have any idea how talented the Terriers are. In the end, South Carolina’s depth and talent won out as they should have. We’ve watched this team all year and they are worthy of their #12 ranking. This week they have a chance to show they are even better than that with a trip to #11 Clemson. A win there will ensure a great bowl destination for the Gamecocks, and that destination just may be Atlanta.
BACK ON THE ROAD
We’re back on the road again this week in force scouting five more games in the ACC and SEC.Here is where we’ll be:
Remember to follow our scouts on Twitter (@chickfilabowl) and Instagram (@chickfilabowl) to see what they do on campus. Lots of great photos and insight from behind the scenes!
ESPN (Schlabach): NC State vs. South Carolina
CBS Sports: Clemson vs. Florida
Sports Illustrated: Clemson vs. Mississippi State
TRACKING TO OUR 16TH STRAIGHT SELLOUT
And a warning, Chick-fil-A Bowl tickets are getting scarce. Less than 700 tickets remain as of Nov. 20, so if you think your team is headed here, you need to purchase now before we reach our 16th straight sellout. By the time we name the teams, the tickets will be all but gone. Order tickets by calling 404-586-8499 or visiting our online ticket store: http://www.chick-fil-abowl.com/Tickets/BowlGameTickets.aspx