— ACC Football (@theACCfootball) December 7, 2015
Nine conference teams to play in college football postseason games
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Top-ranked Clemson’s selection as the No. 1 seed in the 2015 College Football Playoff highlighted a Sunday in which nine of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 14 football members – along with Notre Dame – secured spots in postseason bowl games.
The nine ACC selections give the conference a total of 31 bowl berths over the past three seasons. This marks the 15th consecutive year that at least six ACC teams received postseason berths. The ACC ranks second among all conferences with 95 total bowl bids since 2005.
The ACC champion Tigers (13-0) will face No. 4 seed Oklahoma (11-1) in the Capital One Orange Bowl at 4 p.m. on New Year’s Eve in one of two CFP semifinal games. No. 2 Alabama (12-1) meets No. 3 Michigan State (12-1) in the other semifinal in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. The winners will meet for the College Football Playoff National Championship at 8:30 p.m. ET on Monday, January 11, at Glendale, Arizona.
With Clemson’s selection, the ACC has placed a team in the four-team College Football Playoff in each of its first two years of existence. 2014 ACC champion Florida State landed the No. 3 seed last season.
A pair of ACC schools will continue the two longest current Division I bowl streaks in the nation, as Florida State (34th straight year) and Virginia Tech (23rd straight) confirmed their postseason destinations.
ACC Coastal Division champion North Carolina, Duke, Louisville, Miami, NC State and Pitt are also bound for holiday bowls.
Clemson, which carries a school-record 16-game winning streak into the College Football Playoff, will be bidding for the program’s first national title since 1981 and the second by an ACC team in the last three seasons. The Tigers have won three straight bowl games and take a 19-18 all-time postseason record into their meeting with Oklahoma. The Orange Bowl appearance will be the third in five years for the Tigers, who defeated Ohio State in their most recent trip two years ago.
No. 9 Florida State (10-2) will face No. 18 Houston (12-1) in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta (Noon, ESPN) on New Year’s Eve. North Carolina (11-2), No. 10 in the final CFP rankings, will face No. 17 Baylor (9-3) in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando on Dec. 29 (5:30 p.m., ESPN).
Florida State owns a 27-15-2 all-time record in bowl games, a winning percentage of .636 that ranks fifth among all schools that have played 15 or more postseason games. UNC, 14-17 in 31 previous bowl appearances, will play in a bowl game for the seventh time in eight years and for the third straight year under head coach Larry Fedora.
Joining Clemson, Florida State and North Carolina from the ACC will be Duke (New Era Pinstripe Bowl), Miami (Hyundai Sun Bowl), NC State (Belk Bowl), Louisville (Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl), Pitt (Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman) and Virginia Tech (Camping World Independence Bowl).
Duke (7-5), which extends its school-record bowl game appearance streak to four consecutive years, will play in the Pinstripe Bowl in New York’s Yankee Stadium for the first time when it meets Indiana (6-6) on Saturday, Dec. 26 (3:30 p.m., CBS). It will be the 12th bowl appearance for the Blue Devils, who are 3-8 all-time in postseason games.
Louisville (7-5) will make its second bowl appearance in as many years as an ACC member and its sixth straight overall when it faces Texas A&M (8-4) in the FAM Music Bowl at Nashville at 7 p.m. on Dec. 30. The Cardinals, who will play in a bowl game for the 20th time, own a 9-9-1 all-time record in previous appearances.
Miami (8-4) makes its second Sun Bowl appearance and its 39th bowl appearance overall when it faces Washington State (8-4) on Saturday, Dec. 26 at 2 p.m. (CBS). The Hurricanes own a 19-19 all-time record in bowl game appearances.
NC State (7-5) is set to meet Mississippi State (8-4) in the Belk Bowl at Charlotte on Dec. 30 at 3:30 p.m. (ESPN). The Wolfpack stands 15-12-1 all-time in bowl games and will take part in postseason play for the second straight year under third-year head coach Dave Doeren.
Pitt (8-4) has a 2:30 p.m. date with No. 21 Navy (9-2) on Dec. 28 in the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman at Annapolis, Maryland (ESPN). The Panthers, who own a 13-18 all-time record in bowl games, are making their eight straight postseason appearance.
Virginia Tech (6-6), whose 23-straight bowl game appearances is the longest active streak recognized by the NCAA, faces Tulsa (6-6) in the Independence Bowl at Shreveport, Louisiana, on Dec. 26 at 5:45 p.m. (ESPN). The Hokies will be playing their final game under retiring head coach Frank Beamer, college football’s winningest active coach with 279 career victories. Virginia Tech returns to the site where its current bowl game streak started – with a 45-20 win over Indiana on Dec. 31, 1993.