The Miami Hurricanes earned bowl eligibility with a 52-27 win over Louisville on Senior Day and Homecoming yesterday. That win, Miami’s 6th, secures a post-season game for Manny Diaz’s Canes in his first year at the helm.
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 4 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.....Clemson) 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. But, Clemson seems likely to be in the CFP yet again, so that’s merely an academic pursuit, really.
After being a CFP semi-final last season, the Orange Bowl is back at the top of the ACC bowl pecking order for 2019. The highest ranked non-Playoff ACC team will get placed here. There could be more to this but that’s only if there’s like a 4 or 5-way tie for this spot. Just go into this with the belief that the Coastal Division champ, the team that Clemson plays in the ACC Championship game, will get this spot. It’ll make your life easier.
Camping World Bowl
The Camping World Bowl, while not NY6, has premium standing as the next highest bowl game placement possible for an ACC team. This bowl gets to pick after the Orange Bowl/NY6 and before the Tier 1 bowls. So this has become a major target for ACC teams as it is a pretty premium game in terms of opponent, location (Orlando), and TV timeslot (Saturday, Noon, ABC).
Tier 1 bowls
For those ACC teams who finish 3-6 in the conference (this potentially includes Miami, pending game results from the last 3 weeks of the season), 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 Gator 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 Gator Bowl and the Big Ten got Music City Bowl, same as 2017. So that might change, or it might stay the same. WHO KNOWS!!!!
Tier 2 bowls
There is another tier of bowls for which ACC teams can be selected. This tier of game is possible for Miami’s bowl placement, again pending results across the conference in the last 3 weeks of the season. 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
- Birmingham Bowl
- NOTE: both Gasparilla and Birmingham bowls are secondary bowls for this tier; they are only to be used if needed due to high number of bowl eligible teams
Outlook for Miami
At this point, it seems likely that Miami would be placed in/selected by a Tier-1 bowl game. With games against FIU and Duke left, Miami should be able to add to their win total and make themselves a more amenable team for a Tier-1 game to select. But, that’s also dependent on Miami continuing their strong run of play from the last 3 games.
Though we don’t want it to be the case, it’s entirely possible that Miami drop 1 of those remaining games and profile more as a Tier-2 bowl team. But, remember, Miami is a national brand and Bowl Games are really television shows. So, even IF the Canes were to finish 7-5, one of the Tier-1 bowl games could select them due to the name brand caché and TV draw the Canes would bring to the proceedings.
It’ss POSSIBLE for Miami to be placed anywhere from the Orange Bowl to the lowest Tier-2 bowl game at this point. Further clarity will come when the last 3 weeks of the season play out, but as of now, it looks like Miami is playing for a chance to make it into the Camping World Bowl, or another Tier-1 bowl game, at this point.
So, that’s the outline of things for now. Miami is in the running for any/all of the Non-CFP bowl games on the list, and the rest of November across the ACC will help clarify this situation.
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.