Pitt fans, rejoice: The Panthers
could return to Birmingham for a fourth consecutive season. (Michael Wade
By Martin Rickman
Y'all ready for more Beef 'O' Brady's in your life? Good, because the ACC locked up partnerships with that bowl and four others, the league announced in a release on Wednesday. The ACC will continue its relationships with the AdvoCare V100 Bowl in Shreveport, La., and the Military Bowl in Washington, D.C., while adding the Birmingham Bowl and a new bowl to be hosted at Ford Field in Detroit.
These deals give the ACC a minimum of nine guaranteed bowl berths from 2014-19, with that total expanding to 10 in 2014 and '16. The conference previously announced partnerships with the Orange Bowl, Russell Athletic Bowl, Capital One Bowl, Sun Bowl, Music City Bowl, Gator Bowl, Pinstripe Bowl and, of course, the bowl hit of the winter, the Belk Bowl.
Extended time in St. Petersburg included, this isn't the best group of bowls for the ACC, which has been trying to show how solid and put-together it is since the latest round of realignment. Positive affirmation is never a bad thing, friends. The top three bowls (Orange, Russell, Capital One) are strong, the Music City and Gator bowls are underrated and it will be fun to see ACC fans in New York City for the Pinstripe. The Belk Bowl has also put on some competitive games since changing its name from the Tire Bowl.
I think the most exciting announcement here is the Detroit bowl (although the continued partnership with the Military Bowl isn't a bad thing at all). This gives the ACC more traction in the Midwest (along with the partial membership of Notre Dame), and it never hurts to make a recruiting dent in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Pennsylvania. It also shows a bit of a bridge to new member Pittsburgh, who deserves to feel at home once in a while. (So does the bowl game in Birmingham, a destination the Panthers are more than familiar with at this point. After three straight bowls there, they probably own a condo by now.)