The Miami Hurricanes earned bowl eligibility with a 38-14 win at Virginia Tech yesterday. That win, Miami’s 6th, secures a post-season game for Mark Richt’s Canes.
With that being the case, 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 3 weeks — 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:
New Year’s Six
If the ACC #1 team (Clemson or Pitt) 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.
Since the Orange Bowl is a CFP semi-final this season, the Chick-fila-A Peach Bowl or Playstation Fiesta Bowl replace it as top-tier NY6 options for ACC teams, along with the Camping World Bowl. These are top choice options and will select teams in the NY6 portion of bowl slotting.
Tier 1 bowls
For those ACC teams who finish 3-6 in the conference (this potentially includes Miami, pending game results from senior night vs Pitt), they will be selected by/placed in tier 1 bowls. Those include the Belk Bowl, Hyundai Sun Bowl, New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl OR TaxSlayer Bowl — one of the last 2, Big Ten gets one game, ACC gets the other.
These games are weighted equally, and select in a round-robin fashion. The order of selections rotates yearly, for equity among this bowl group.
NOTE: last year, the ACC got the TaxSlayer Bowl and the Big Ten got Music City Bowl, so expect that placement to switch for this season.
Tier 2 bowls
There is another tier of bowls that’s possible for ACC teams to be selected for. This tier of game is possible, if not likely, for Miami’s bowl placement. There are 5 additional bowls for which ACC teams could be selected, and they are as follows, in order of selection:
- Military Bowl
- Independence Bowl
- Quick Lane Bowl
- Gasparilla Bowl OR Heart of Dallas Bowl
- Birmingham Bowl (secondary bowl for this tier; only to be used if needed due to high number of bowl eligible teams)
At this point, it is unlikely that Miami is not going to make a Tier-1 game. But, it is POSSIBLE for Miami to make a Tier-1 bowl game, but the final ACC standings will determine that fate.
So, that’s the outline of things for now. Miami is in the running for any/all of the Tier-2 games on the list, and could possibly elevate to be in the running for a Tier-1 game, as well.
We’ll revisit this after the regular season when things are a bit more clear (though still won’t be fully settled), but at least you have a general idea of the bowl game options available to the Miami as of now.