Florida State Claims ACC Title To Return To Orange Bowl

Florida State is back in a BCS bowl.

For the first time since the 2006 Orange Bowl, the Seminoles will return to the group of five bowls that make up the BCS after an absence that knocked them from the ranks of the traditional BCS combatants.

The Seminoles’ 21-15 victory over Georgia Tech in Saturday’s ACC Championship Game will send Florida State back to the BCS as the recipient of the ACC’s automatic BCS bowl bid. And because the Seminoles are not vying for the BCS national title, they will represent the conference in the Orange Bowl this year.

The Seminoles can anticipate an at-large opponent or the Big East’s BCS representative, Louisville, to meet them in the New Year’s Day night game.

Florida State went to a BCS bowl in six of the first eight years of the BCS era, but after Virginia Tech took over the Seminoles’ mantle as the perennial BCS combatant from the ACC, Florida State had a long break from the Bowl Championship Series.

2012 BCS AQ Conference Profile: Atlantic Coast Conference

BCS Know How will take you through the six automatic-qualifying BCS conferences in preparation for the 2012 season. Short and sweet previews begin with the ACC. Scroll down to see our profiles of the other conferences.

Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

Active Since: 1953

Current Member Schools:

Atlantic Division: Boston College Eagles, Clemson Tigers, Florida State Seminoles, Maryland Terrapins, North Carolina State Wolfpack, Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Coastal Division: Duke Blue Devils, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes, North Carolina Tar Heels, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies (12)

Bowl Affiliations: Orange Bowl (BCS), Military Bowl, Belk Bowl, Independence Bowl, Russell Athletic Bowl, Music City Bowl, Sun Bowl, Chick-fil-A Bowl (8)

2011 Results:
Conference Champion — Clemson Tigers (10-4, 6-2, Coastal Division Champion)
Conference Runner-up — Virginia Tech Hokies (11-3, 7-1, Atlantic Division Champion)
BCS Bowl Results: 2012 Orange Bowl: West Virginia 70 vs. Clemson 33; 2012 Sugar Bowl: Michigan 23 vs. Virginia Tech 20
Overall Bowl Record: 2-6

2012 Outlook: Up, down and up again, Clemson spent the early part of the 2011 season as a top-10 team. Stumbles mid-season broke any chance of a national title shot for the Tigers, but a Clemson ACC championship game victory over Virginia Tech brought the ACC two BCS bids for the first time in conference history.

With an unparalleled season in that respect in the review mirror, can the ACC again deliver top-flight talent on a national stage? The pieces seem in place, as Florida State — BCS bowl-less since 2006 — is a preseason top-10 team and the consistent Hokies figure to play a role in the national discussion somewhere down the line.

A conference that hasn’t participated in the BCS title game since 2003 may have a shot with the Seminoles in 2012. but a so0n-to-be-outdated BCS title shot or not, the ACC is certainly a force to reckon with.

Heisman Hopefuls: Clemson QB Tajh Boyd, Clemson WR Sammy Watkins, Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas; North Carolina RB Giovani Bernard; Florida State QB E.J. Manuel

BCS Know How’s 2012 Predictions:
Conference Champion — Florida State Seminoles
Conference Runner-up — Virginia Tech Hokies
BCS Bids — Florida State — Orange Bowl
Heisman Finalists: None

2011 BCS AQ Conference Profiles: Atlantic Coast Conference

Welcome to the 2011 college football season! BCS Know How will be taking you through the six automatic-qualifying BCS conferences and five non-AQ conferences with profiles of each conference. We begin with the ACC. Scroll down to see our profiles of the other 10 conferences.

Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

Active Since: 1953

Current Member Schools:

Atlantic Division: Boston College Eagles, Clemson Tigers, Florida State Seminoles, Maryland Terrapins, North Carolina State Wolfpack, Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
Coastal Division: Duke Blue Devils, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Miami (Fl.) Hurricanes, North Carolina Tar Heels, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies. (12)

Bowl Affiliations: Orange Bowl (BCS), Independence Bowl, Belk Bowl, Military Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl, Music City Bowl, Sun Bowl, Chick-fil-A Bowl (8)

2010 Results:
Conference Champion – Virginia Tech Hokies (11-3, 8-0, Coastal Division Champion)
Conference Runner-up – Florida State Seminoles (10-4, 6-2, Atlantic Division Champion)
BCS Bowl Result: 2011 Orange Bowl: Stanford 40 vs. Virginia Tech 12
Overall Bowl Record: 4-5

2011 Outlook: A consistently strong conference, the ACC delivers each year with talent from top to bottom.

2011 seems to be no different, as resurgent Miami, NC State, North Carolina and Boston College join the ranks of recent powers Virginia Tech, Florida State and Georgia Tech as legitimate contender’s for the conference’s BCS bid.

Can Virginia Tech make it two conference championships in a row, or will Florida State take that next step? Or could it be any of the handful of other teams seemingly on their way up?

Heisman Hopefuls: Virginia Tech RB David Wilson, Maryland QB Danny O’Brien, Florida State QB E.J. Manuel

BCS Know How’s 2011 Predictions:
Conference Champion – Florida State Seminoles
Conference Runner-up – Virginia Tech Hokies
BCS Bids – Florida State – Orange Bowl
Heisman Finalists: None

Virginia Tech On Their Way to the Orange Bowl

Virginia Tech used a masterful performance from quarterback Tyrod Taylor and a well-rounded attack to take down Florida State in the ACC Championship Game and claim an ACC title and Orange Bowl bid.

By winning the ACC Championship Game but not making their way to the national title game, the Hokies will fulfill the ACC’s contractual agreement with the ACC and act as the host of the Orange Bowl, which will be held January 3 in Miami, Fl.

The Hokies had an inauspicious start to their 2010 season, losing two straight to Oregon State and FCS James Madison, however since that embarrassing loss to a FCS team, the Hokies have reeled off 11 straight victories.

The Hokies’ opponent is yet to be decided in the Orange Bowl, but will likely either be the Big East champions or the Stanford Cardinal.

This will be Virginia Tech’s fifth appearance in a BCS bowl and third Orange Bowl appearance in four years.

Florida State Clinches Spot in ACC Championship Game

Maryland’s upset 38-31 victory over NC State on Saturday has given the ACC Atlantic Division title to the Florida State Seminoles, and in turn, a berth in the ACC Championship Game to be held next Saturday, December 4.

Florida State had not been in control of its own destiny on Saturday, instead playing Florida in a non-conference rivalry game while Maryland and NC State played in the game that would decide the Atlantic victor.

The Seminoles were convincing in their 31-7 victory over Florida, however the game could not effect the race for the spot in the ACC Championship Game.

An NC State victory would have given the Wolfpack the Atlantic crown and sent them on their way to Charlotte, North Carolina to play for the ACC’s automatic BCS bowl bid and likely trip to the Orange Bowl. However with a chance to control their own BCS destiny, the Wolfpack fell just short against the Terrapins.

The Virginia Tech Hokies will be awaiting the Seminoles after they clinched their spot in the game last weekend, and rounded out their ACC schedule on Saturday with a convincing victory over Virginia.

Virginia Tech Clinches a Spot in the ACC Championship Game

With their victory over Miami on Saturday, the Virginia Tech Hokies clinched a spot in the ACC Championship Game, to be held December 4th in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Hokies started the season with two crushing losses to Boise State and FCS James Madison, but rebounded and are now the only remaining team in the ACC to be undefeated through conference play.

The Hokies play Virginia next weekend, and a win there would give them a perfect 8-0 run through their ACC schedule and 10 straight wins headed into the ACC Championship Game.

The Hokies will either face the Florida State Seminoles or the North Carolina State Wolfpack in the ACC Championship Game.

If the Maryland Terrapins beat NC State next Saturday, the Hokies will face Florida State, however if the Wolfpack beat the Terrapins, the Hokies will see NC State on the other sideline.

ACC, Pac-10 and SEC Rundown Week Eight

Atlantic Coast Conference

Conference Leaders: Florida State (6-1, 4-0; Atlantic Division) and Virginia Tech (6-2, 3-0; Coastal Division)

Lurking: North Carolina State (5-2, 2-1; Atlantic Division) and Miami (FL) (5-2, 3-1; Coastal Division)

Game of Last Week: Maryland 24 vs. Boston College 21. Surprise ACC contender Maryland continued its good run on the road, holding off an injury-riddled Golden Eagle team.

Game of Next Week: North Carolina State vs. Florida State. This Thursday night matchup of the top two teams in the Atlantic Division could spell either an almost assured Seminole division win or a wide open race down the stretch.

Bowl Eligible Teams: Florida State Seminoles, Virginia Tech Hokies.

Pac-10

Conference Leader: Oregon (7-0, 4-0)

Lurking: Arizona (6-1, 3-1)

Game of Last Week: Oregon 60 vs. UCLA 13. A Thursday night proved to be the perfect showcase for the nation’s most explosive offense as the Ducks spent four quarters showing off their best against the Bruins.

Game of Next Week: Oregon vs. USC. The top team in all of the human polls takes to the Coliseum looking to avoid falling victim to the recent run of No. 1s being upset away from home.

Bowl Eligible Teams: Oregon Ducks, Arizona Wildcats, Stanford Cardinal.

SEC

Conference Leaders: South Carolina (5-2, 3-2; East Division) and Auburn (8-0, 5-0; West Division)

Lurking: Georgia (4-4, 4-3; East Division) and Alabama (7-1, 4-1; West Division)

Game of Last Week: Auburn 24 vs. LSU 17. A matchup of two top-ten teams turned into the Cam Newton show as the Auburn quarterback led his Tigers past LSU and to the top spot in the BCS standings.

Game of Next Week: Florida vs. Georgia. The “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” may have a little less shine this season as both teams have three SEC losses, however both are still alive in the SEC East race, and need wins to keep pace.

Bowl Eligible Teams: LSU Tigers, Auburn Tigers, Alabama Crimson Tide, Mississippi State Bulldogs.

ACC, Pac-10 and SEC Rundown Week Seven

Atlantic Coast Conference

Conference Leaders: Florida State (6-1, 4-0; Atlantic Division) and Virginia Tech (5-2, 3-0; Coastal Division)

Lurking: North Carolina State (5-2, 2-1; Atlantic Division) and Georgia Tech (5-2, 3-1; Coastal Division)

Game of Last Week: Florida State 24 vs. Boston College 19. The Seminoles struggled at times against BC, but were able to overcome mistakes and some pretty poor play to continue their undefeated run through their ACC schedule.

Game of Next Week: North Carolina vs. Miami. Each team has a loss in conference play, and will need a victory here to stay in the thick of things in the ACC race towards an ACC Championship Game berth.

Bowl Eligible Teams: Florida State Seminoles.

Pac-10

Conference Leader: Oregon (6-0, 3-0)

Lurking: Arizona (5-1, 2-1)

Game of Last Week: Washington 35 vs. Oregon State 34. Oregon State failed a two-point conversion in the second overtime on the road to lose their first Pac-10 game of 2010 on the road to the Huskies.

Game of Next Week: Arizona vs. Washington. Both teams have one loss in a very crowded section of the Pac-10 standings. Arizona’s lone loss came at the hands of Oregon State, who Washington just beat in double overtime.

Bowl Eligible Teams: Oregon Ducks.

SEC

Conference Leaders: South Carolina (4-2, 2-2; East Division) and LSU (7-0, 4-0; West Division)

Lurking: Florida (4-3, 2-3; East Division) and Auburn (7-0, 4-0; West Division)

Game of Last Week: Auburn 65 vs. Arkansas 43. With Ryan Mallett sidelined by an apparent concussion, Cam Newton and Auburn put up huge offensive numbers and stayed perfect with a big victory over Arkansas.

Game of Next Week: LSU vs. Auburn. No question, this game will decide the early-season favorite for the SEC title, and will leave the SEC with just one undefeated team.

Bowl Eligible Teams: LSU Tigers, Auburn Tigers, Alabama Crimson Tide.

ACC, Pac-10 and SEC Capsules Week Six

Atlantic Coast Conference

Conference Leaders: Florida State (5-1, 3-0; Atlantic Division) and Virginia Tech (4-2, 2-0; Coastal Division)

Lurking: Maryland (4-1, 1-0; Atlantic Division) and Georgia Tech (4-2, 3-1; Coastal Division)

Game of Last Week: Florida State 45 vs. Miami 17. In what was supposed to be an entertaining and close game, only one team seemed to show up, as the Seminoles proved themselves to be the early ACC favorites in blowout fashion.

Game of Next Week: Florida State vs. Boston College. After taking Miami down in convincing fashion, the Seminoles would be smart not to overlook the Eagles when they visit Tallahassee on Saturday afternoon.

Bowl Eligible Teams: None yet.

Pac-10

Conference Leader: Oregon (6-0, 3-0)

Lurking: Oregon State (3-2, 2-0)

Game of Last Week: Oregon State 29 vs. Arizona 27. Looking to prove their Pac-10 legitimacy, the Wildcats instead floundered at home, letting the Beavers continue to thrive in the later college football months.

Game of Next Week: California vs. USC. Two teams looking to move back into the Pac-10 race will face off in Los Angeles.

Bowl Eligible Teams: Oregon Ducks.

SEC

Conference Leaders: South Carolina (4-1, 2-0; East Division) and LSU (6-0, 4-0; West Division)

Lurking: Florida (4-2, 2-2; East Division) and Auburn (6-0, 3-0; West Division)

Game of Last Week: South Carolina 35 vs. Alabama 21. Not surprisingly, the biggest upset in almost two years in college football was the game of last week in the SEC. And it wasn’t even that close as the Gamecocks and Stephen Garcia looked quite a bit better than the Crimson Tide.

Game of Next Week: Arkansas vs. Auburn. Two legitimate SEC title contenders will face off in a matchup of two top-15 squads in the SEC West. Quarterbacks Cam Newton (Auburn) and Ryan Mallett (Arkansas) are sure to prove instrumental to both teams’ hopes for success.

Bowl Eligible Teams: LSU Tigers, Auburn Tigers.

Road to Glendale 2011: MAC and Sun Belt Positioning at Stake in Week Six

As part of BCS Know How’s 2010 college football season preview, we will be breaking down each week’s most important games that could have BCS and postseason implications in the “Road to Glendale 2011”.

Let’s move on to week six where two marquee matchups in non-BCS conferences will probably be your best bet for pressure packed college football this early in the season.

Troy at Middle Tennessee State: Tuesday Oct. 5, 8:00 p.m. ET

This mid-season Sun Belt showdown between the two conference favorites could act as a de facto Sun Belt championship game. With the skill both teams bring to the table in 2010, it wouldn’t be surprising to find these two teams at the top at season’s end.

This seemingly unimportant non-BCS conference game suddenly becomes a marquee matchup of Week 6, and could also provide high entertainment for 60 straight minutes of football.

The likely star here, Middle Tennessee State’s quarterback Dwight Dasher, is an all-around threat with the ability to pick apart defenses with both his feet and arm. Dasher will put his skills to the test against Troy, whose run of Sun Belt titles may be over this year after losing their long-time quarterback Levi Brown.

Brown, who holds many Troy all-time records, will be sorely missed in what will likely be a shootout between the two teams. However, the Trojans won’t be without any hope when they travel to MTSU’s Johnny “Red” Floyd Stadium in early October.

Long time Trojan coach Larry Blakeney returns star running backs DuJuan Harris and Shawn Southward, along with defensive ends sophomore Jonathan Massaquoi and senior Mario Addison, who will need to put the pressure on Dasher if they are to have any hope of pulling off the road victory.

Temple at Northern Illinois: Saturday Oct. 9, 12:00 p.m. ET

Another high quality non-BCS matchup will again feature two conference title hopefuls, this time the Temple Owls and Northern Illinois Huskies of the Mid-American Conference.

Both teams fell just short of the conference title game last season. With major changes occurring all over the conference, both teams could be right in the middle of the hunt for a berth in the championship game.

The game will feature two unheralded running backs in Northern Illinois’s Chad Spann and Temple’s Bernard Pierce. Both had shining seasons, including Pierce’s surprising MAC rushing title as a freshman in the ’09 season. Questionable quarterback situations will cause both teams to rely heavily on their running games.

Florida State at Miami (FL): Saturday Oct. 9, TBA

A rivalry that was once a non-conference affair has lost some of its luster after the teams joined the same conference and were unable to keep pace with the results of past decades for both teams.

However, after an entertaining edition of the rivalry in 2009, 2010 looks like it could be a reminder of what made both programs so strong during a dominant stretch of Florida football.

Quarterbacks Jacory Harris and Christian Ponder have a lot to do with it, and are early ACC Player of the Year favorites along with Heisman contenders. Coaches Randy Shannon and Jimbo Fisher, although both young and relatively inexperienced in relation to their programs’ history, have returned some youthful energy in the programs and could make the upcoming years more successful.

When the teams meet in Sun Life Stadium in Miami in Week 6, don’t be surprised if you see a game that reminds you of the “Wide Rights I-IV” and “Wide Left” that seemingly define this rivalry.

Just in case you’re wondering: Senior Matt Bosher kicks for the Hurricanes and sophomore Dustin Hopkins takes kicks for the Seminoles.

Other Games of Note: Wyoming at TCU, Pittsburgh at Notre Dame, Mississippi State at Houston, Alabama at South Carolina