Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bowden's retirement means ACC bowl shakeup

Bobby Bowden's announcement that he is retiring as Florida State University's football coach after 34 seasons looks to have repercussions throughout the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Bowden said Tuesday he will step down after the Seminoles' bowl game and that's where it gets sticky. Stewart Verney of The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area reported Wednesday the Gator Bowl is courting FSU but not with the blessing of the ACC.

The Gator Bowl wants FSU because it will be the legendary Bowden's last game but that means the Gator won't take the loser of the ACC title game Saturday between Georgia Tech and Clemson, which it is not contractually obligated to do, Verney reports.

The ACC wants FSU in the Champs Sports Bowl and if that doesn't happen, the ensuing shakeup might move North Carolina out of the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn., where the Tar Heels are reported to be going. That means the Tar Heels could either go back to the Meineke Bowl in Charlotte or the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco. My guess is the UNC players would prefer to munch on sourdough bread as they take in the gorgeous views of San Francisco Bay from a cable car instead of playing for the second time in three years in Charlotte, which isn't much different from a regular-season game.

The players don't make the final decision on what bowl bid a team accepts. There's way too much money at stake for that to happen. Carolina will play in a bowl game, if invited, and it could mean the Meineke. But if it is, and I'm not a betting man, I'd wager on the Tar Heels' opponent that day.

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