Pitt leads ACC’s 10-team college football bowl contingent

Greensboro, NC – Led by league champion Pitt’s first-ever berth in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, the Atlantic Coast Conference placed 10 teams in college football postseason games on Sunday.

Pitt won the 2021 ACC Football Championship. (photo by Gene Galin)

This is the 21st consecutive season in which the ACC earned at least six bowl bids. Not including the pandemic-affected 2020 season, the ACC has sent at least 10 teams to a bowl every year since 2016. Since 2013, the ACC is second among all conferences with 91 postseason appearances.

“We’re incredibly proud of our 10 bowl teams, including Pitt, our ACC Champion that will compete in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl as part of the College Football Playoff New Year’s Six,” said ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips, Ph.D. “Following an extremely competitive ACC football season, we look forward to celebrating the many accomplishments of our student-athletes in the postseason.”

Pitt (11-2), which earned a No. 12 CFP national ranking following its 45-21 win over Wake Forest in Saturday night’s Subway ACC Football Championship Game, will face No. 10 Michigan State (10-2) on Thursday, Dec. 30, at Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium (7 p.m., ESPN). Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi served eight seasons as the Spartans’ defensive coordinator before leaving to become the Panthers’ head coach in 2015. It will be Pitt’s 36th all-time bowl game appearance.

In addition to the Panthers’ New Year’s Six selection, No. 17 Wake Forest, No. 18 NC State, No. 19 Clemson, Boston College, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech also received bowl bids on Sunday.

Wake Forest (10-3) earned a trip to the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida, and will face No. 25 Texas A&M at 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 31. The Demon Deacons concluded the 2017 season with a 55-52 victory over the Aggies in a Belk Bowl game that featured more than 100 total points and 1,200 yards of total offense. Wake Forest will be making its school-record sixth consecutive bowl appearance under head coach Dave Clawson. It will be the 16th overall postseason game for Wake Forest.

NC State (9-3) is headed for the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl versus UCLA (8-4) on Tuesday, Dec. 28 (8 p.m., FOX). The Wolfpack is making its seventh bowl appearance in the last nine seasons under current head coach Dave Doeren. NC State has made 33 previous bowl appearances overall, posting a 17-15-1 record.

Clemson (9-3) will face Iowa State (7-5) in the 2021 Cheez-It Bowl in Orlando, Florida, on Wednesday, Dec. 29. The contest is slated for a 5:45 p.m. kickoff on ESPN. Clemson will be making a bowl appearance for the 17th consecutive year, adding to its current school record that began in 2005. In total, it will be Clemson’s 48th bowl appearance, with the Tigers holding a 25-22 record in bowl play.

Boston College accepted an invitation to the Military Bowl presented by Peraton, benefiting the USO. The Eagles (6-6) square off against East Carolina (7-5) on Monday, Dec. 27 at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on ESPN. The Eagles are 14-13 all-time in bowl games. This year’s bowl appearance marks the fifth in the last six seasons for BC.

Louisville (6-6) will play in the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl versus Air Force (9-3) in Dallas on Tuesday, Dec. 28 at 3:15 p.m. (ESPN). This will be Louisville’s first appearance in the First Responder Bowl and the 24th bowl appearance in school history. Cardinals head coach Scott Satterfield will lead a team to a bowl game for the sixth time in his career.

Miami (7-5) landed a bid to the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl and will take on Washington State in El Paso, Texas on Dec. 31 at 12:30 p.m. (CBS). Miami’s appearance marks the ninth straight year and 45th time in school history the Hurricanes have competed in a bowl game. Miami owns a 20-24 overall record in previous bowl appearances.

North Carolina (6-6) is set for the Duke’s Mayo Bowl versus South Carolina (6-6) at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium on Thursday, Dec. 30, at 11:30 a.m. (ESPN). The Tar Heels earned the program’s 36th bowl appearance and the third straight under current head coach Mack Brown. UNC owns a 15-20 record in postseason bowl appearances, including a 1-3 mark in Charlotte.

Virginia (6-6) will play SMU (8-4) in the inaugural Wasabi Fenway Bowl played at Boston’s Fenway Park on Wednesday, Dec. 29. The game is scheduled to kick off at 11 a.m. and will be televised on ESPN. It will be UVA’s 22nd overall bowl appearance and fifth in six years under head coach Bronco Mendenhall, who earlier this week announced his decision to step down following this year’s postseason game.

Virginia Tech accepted its first-ever invitation to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in New York City. The Hokies (6-6) will square off against Maryland (6-6) at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 29 at Yankee Stadium (ESPN). The game will mark Virginia Tech’s 34th all-time bowl berth. The Hokies have achieved bowl eligibility for 29 straight seasons and will return to postseason action after opting out of the 2020 bowl season due to COVID-19.