Did the ACC office ever expect that in the first year of its expanded 14 team football roster all but three programs would be bowl eligible?
Probably not by the way folks were low-balling northerners Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Boston College last summer when pre-season predictions were released, and yet it’s those three programs that join the eight other longtime conference members waiting to learn by Sunday or earlier where they will play their 13th game.
While speculation remains rampant three days before the entire 35 game bowl lineup is announced, and the ubiquitous bowl game prognosticators are giving it their best shot trying to accurately forecast SU’s destination, there’s simply too many factors related to the end goal of maximum revenue for all parties involved, including the results of games still to be played which likely has created some “either/or” scenarios, to get a definitive handle on where among the six destinations alluded to by AD Daryl Gross in a Wednesday interview on ESPN CNY the Orange will land.
It would be a fun Syracuse connection to play in Detroit in front of the city’s mayor Dave Bing proudly watching his alma mater in the team-seeking Little Caesars Pizza Bowl at Ford Field, but the players, not to be too choosy, want warm weather.
St. Petersburg (Beef ‘O’ Brady’s) and Shreveport (AdvoCare V100) could be in the mix, and both are warmer than Detroit, but the best exposure with some potential warmth (56 degree average) would be to play on New Year’s Day in the three year old Heart of Dallas Bowl against a likely Texas-based Conference USA opponent on the same Cotton Bowl field in which Syracuse won the 1959 national championship.
It’s a noon ET kickoff on ESPNU, with the built-in exposure of eyeballs that watch college football on Jan. 1 against a team it would seemingly be favored against.
Wherever the Orange go bowling, the ACC will have come through for its two newest members, not bad for a ‘Cuse team that scored with a precious six seconds left in its season to nab a crucial, program-boosting return trip to post season play.