The conference notably added the Holiday Bowl to its postseason slate
The Atlantic Coast Conference unveiled a new lineup of bowl games on Thursday that ACC teams will take part in from 2020 to 2025. The highlights of the new lineup include the addition of the Holiday Bowl in San Diego and the new bowl game in Boston that was first announced in April.
The ACC slate of bowl games will include the Belk Bowl, the Camping World Bowl, the Gator Bowl, the Holiday Bowl, the Military Bowl, the Pinstripe Bowl, the Sun Bowl and the Boston bowl game, which will be named this fall. One ACC team will also play in the Gasparilla Bowl, the Birmingham Bowl or the First Responder Bowl annually. And the Orange Bowl, which has been billed as the “Home of the ACC” since 2007, will feature an ACC team each year, unless the opposing team is from the Big Ten. If such a matchup arises, the ACC team will play in the Outback Bowl instead.
“We are proud to partner with this exceptional collection of bowls for the [2020 to 2025] seasons,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “We have enjoyed the long-standing relationships and look forward to working with those that are new to our lineup. The partnerships provide our 15-member league premier matchups, enhanced financials and attractive destinations.”
The Independence Bowl, Music City Bowl and Quick Lane Bowl will no longer be affiliated with the conference moving forward. The three bowl games were based in Shreveport, Louisiana; Nashville, Tennessee; and Detroit.
With the new lineup set, the ACC will have postseason games in Annapolis, Maryland; Birmingham, Alabama; Boston; Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas; El Paso, Texas; Jacksonville, Florida; Miami Gardens, Florida; New York City; Orlando, Florida; San Diego; and Tampa, Florida. The conference will also send 10 of its 15 teams to bowl games on annual basis beginning in 2020, which is an improvement on its current total of eight berths.
Of note for Pitt is the relative disadvantage the new array of bowl games continues to put the team at in terms of travel time and potential fan presence. Eight of the ACC teams have the potential to be sent to bowl games in their home states, and four others are within 175 miles of at least one bowl game. Only Pitt and Louisville do not have either advantage, and Pitt’s average travel distance to the 12 bowl game destinations is 988.7 miles.
In addition, bowl game placement ?— aside from placement in the Orange Bowl ?— will now be based on “geographic proximity, avoiding repeat appearances and matchups, and regular-season won-loss records.” As a result, teams like Boston College and Miami could essentially play home games in the postseason, and Pitt ?— which is 0-4 in its last four bowl games ?— could be hamstrung by its relative geographic isolation.