In case you missed it, the Canes beat Pitt 29-24 on Friday afternoon to finish the regular season at 8-4.
With more than enough wins to qualify for a bowl game, the only thing left for Miami to find out is not if they'll be bowling, but where. With the announcements set to take place in about 8 days after Conference Championship games, let's take a look at some of the places Miami may end up for their postseason game. (Note: I'm not doing matchups, just destination for Miami)
Tiers and things
Before we get to the bowl options, let's look at the ACC Bowl Tie-ins. They're split into tiers. It's simple, really. Take a look:
This is the big unknown. Notre Dame is eligible for any ACC Bowl tie-in as long as it's within 1 game (record) of the team eligible for the slot. BUT, if the ACC is in the playoff (likely #1 Clemson), Notre Dame CANNOT take the Orange Bowl Slot (normally reserved for the ACC Champion).
New Year's Six
If the ACC #1 team (Clemson or UNC) isn't in the College Football Playoff, then they'll get one of the spots in the New Year's Six bowls (Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Peach Bowl) that aren't the CFB Semi-finals games.
Chick-fil-A Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, and Russell Athletic Bowl are top choice options.
Tier 1 bowls
For those ACC teams who finish 3-6 in the conference (this includes Miami), they will be selected by/placed in tier 1 bowls. Those include the Sun Bowl, Belk Bowl, Pinstripe Bowl, Music City Bowl OR TaxSlayer Bowl (one of the last 2, Big Ten gets one game, ACC gets the other).
Tier 2 bowls
There is another tier of bowls that's possible for ACC teams 3-6, such as the Military Bowl, Independence Bowl, and Quick Lane Bowl. This just depends on the selection order for the bowls. Some team(s) will slide to a tier 2 bowl.
Since this matters, here they are (as of 11/28; regular season conference play completed):
1. Clemson (Atlantic Division Champion)
2. UNC (Coastal Division Champion)
3 (tied). FSU 6-2
3 (tied). Pitt 6-2
5 (tied). Louisville 5-3
5 (tied). Miami 5-3
So, basically, you're looking at Miami in the same group as Louisville, Pittsburgh, and FSU (and don't forget Notre Dame, who could be as high as #2 on the ACC selection list) as the ACC's 3-6 teams for bowl selection purposes.
TaxSlayer Bowl, January 2, Jacksonville, FL
This is one of the slots for the ACC's 3-6 teams. Miami is in that group. It's a game in Florida, so that could bode well for Canes fans attending. They would be pitted against an SEC team anywhere from 3-8 in conference standing.
Belk Bowl, December 30, Charlotte, NC
The Canes will finally make it to Charlotte!!!....but not for the ACC Championship Game. Another ACC 3-6 slot, this game would put Miami against and SEC school from 3-8 in conference. This might not be as well attended as the TaxSlayer bowl, tho.
Pinstripe Bowl, December 26, New York, NY
This is one that is really intriguing. Miami as a city is what I like to call "Tropical New York", with a heavy transplant population. The school mirrors that, with a healthy percentage of the student body and alumni base hailing from the Northeast. Miami is still a marquee name, and for an event in NYC, that could be a perfect fit. This game would put the Canes against a Big Ten team finishing between 5-7 in conference.
Quick Lane Bowl, December 28, Detroit, MI
This is my personal dream come true. I'm from Detroit, and I would love nothing more than to fold my trip home for Christmas into a trip to see the Canes play in a bowl game. This would put Miami up against Northern Illinois, who has already locked up a spot in this game by virtue of their MAC West division championship.
Sun Bowl, December 26, El Paso, TX
We've done this one before, and I have no interest in doing it again. This would put Miami against the 5th place finisher from the Pac-12. But, El Paso for Christmas? I don't wish that on the beat writers, or players, or coaches, or anybody, really.
The Russell Athletic Bowl (December 29th, Orlando, FL) tweeted this pre-game.
So, it's possible Miami could be in the discussion for this Orlando-based bowl game, since, yanno, we won today's game.
The other possibility is the Military Bowl on December 28th in Annapolis, MD. Not as high a chance as the above listed bowls IMO, but hey, stranger things have happened.
So, those are the options for where Miami might go bowling, at least in my estimation. Have a favorite? A least favorite? Leave a comment below.