GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Clemson’s return to the College Football Playoff for the fourth consecutive year highlighted a Sunday in which the Atlantic Coast Conference matched a league record with 11 bowl bids.
The ACC Champion Tigers (13-0) are No. 2 in the CFP Top 25 poll and will face No. 3 Notre Dame (12-0) in the CFP Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas, at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29.
If the Tigers advance past the Fighting Irish, they will face No. 1 Alabama (13-0) or No. 4 Oklahoma (12-1) for the CFP National Championship at 8 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 7, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
Clemson is bidding for the program’s third national football championship and the third by an ACC team in the last six seasons. The Tigers have won six of their last eight postseason games and take a 22-20 all-time postseason record into their CFP semifinal matchup with Notre Dame. Both CFP semifinals and the national championship game will be carried live by ESPN.
Buoyed by Clemson’s four-time selection, the ACC has placed a team in the College Football Playoff in each of its first five years of its existence. The Tigers earned the No. 1 seed last season and in 2015, and were the No. 2 seed in 2016. Florida State was seeded No. 3 as the conference champion in 2014.
The ACC is one of just two conferences that has placed a team in the CFP or the BCS Championship in each of the last six years.
Since 2013, the ACC is second among all conferences with 65 postseason appearances, has the second-best record of any conference in the BCS, New Year’s Six and CFP games, and is tied for the most national championships (Florida State in 2013, Clemson in 2016).
Virginia Tech (6-6), which received a bid to the Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman, will be appearing in a bowl game for the 26th consecutive year, extending the longest active streak in college football.
Boston College (7-5), Duke (7-5), Georgia Tech (7-5), Miami (7-5), NC State (9-3), Pitt (7-6), Syracuse (9-3), Virginia (7-5) and Wake Forest (6-6) are also bound for bowl games.
Over the last three years, the ACC has placed a nation’s best 32 teams in bowl games. For the 18th consecutive season, the ACC has earned at least six bowl bids. The ACC ranks second among all conferences with 127 bowl appearances since 2005.
No. 20 Syracuse is set for the Camping World Bowl in Orlando, Florida, and will face West Virginia (8-3) at 5:15 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 28 (ESPN). The Orange, under third-year head coach Dino Babers, is bowl eligible for the first time since 2013. Syracuse owns a 15-9-1 record in 25 previous bowl game appearances.
NC State is headed to Jacksonville, Florida, for a matchup versus Texas A&M (8-4) in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl at 7:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve (ESPN). The Wolfpack stands 17-13-1 all-time in bowl games and will take part in postseason play for the fifth straight year under sixth-year head coach Dave Doeren.
Coastal Division Champion Pitt earned a spot opposite Stanford (8-4) in the Hyundai Sun Bowl, which will be played at 2 p.m. on Dec. 31 in El Paso, Texas (CBS). The Panthers, are 13-20 in 33 previous bowl appearances.
Miami is set to face Wisconsin (7-5) in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, which will kick off at Yankee Stadium at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 27 (ESPN). The Hurricanes, who are 20-21 in all-time bowl game appearances, are making their sixth straight appearance in a bowl game.
Virginia will appear in a bowl game for the second consecutive year when the Cavaliers make the trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, for the Belk Bowl versus South Carolina (7-5) on Dec. 29. That game is set for a noon kickoff (ABC). The Cavaliers are 7-12 in 19 previous bowl games. Virginia is eligible for bowl games in back-to-back years for the first time in 14 seasons, when the Cavaliers made postseason trips in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005.
Virginia Tech’s appearance opposite Cincinnati (10-2) in the Military Bowl will continue the streak of bowl game appearances that began in 1993. The Hokies have appeared in 31 previous bowl games overall, posting a 13-18 mark. This year’s Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman is slated for a noon kickoff on Dec. 31 in Annapolis, Maryland (ESPN).
Duke will head to Shreveport, Louisiana, for the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl on Dec. 27, and will face Temple (8-4) at 1:30 p.m. (ESPN). The Blue Devils, 5-8 all-time in bowl games, will make their sixth postseason appearance in the last seven seasons under veteran head coach David Cutcliffe.
Georgia Tech will play Minnesota (6-6) in the Quick Lane Bowl at Detroit’s Ford Field on Dec. 26 at 5:15 p.m. (ESPN). The Yellow Jackets, who have won their last two bowl games and are 25-19 all-time in postseason appearances, will be playing their final game under veteran coach Paul Johnson. Johnson, who has posted 189 wins in 22 seasons as a collegiate head coach, announced his retirement last week.
Boston College is slated to face Boise State (10-3) in the SERVPRO First Responders Bowl, which will be played at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 26 (ESPN), in Dallas, Texas. The Eagles, who are 14-12 all-time in bowl games, seek their third postseason win in the last six years under head coach Steve Addazio.
Wake Forest, 8-4 all-time in bowl games, will make its third consecutive postseason appearance and will be the first ACC team to see action when it plays Memphis (8-5) in the Birmingham Bowl at noon on Friday, Dec. 22 (ESPN).