By now you’ve heard about the ACC’s 12 year extended partnership with the Orange bowl that gives the media rights over to the ACC and allows the ACC to hand pick the opponent. As I reflect on it, I’ve come to the conclusion that the ACC and B1G will battle alot. Consider some reasons and I think it will make sense to you:
1) Originality - the ACC and B1G do not regulary play each other in bowl games and very few times in the regular season. It means original matchups vs good opponents, a win-win for ACC and B1G fans.
2) Snowbirds - many people in B1G country flock to Florida on holiday and even come to retire or find employment.
3) Time Zone - the B1G is in the right time zones for a 1:00pm est kick off. Unlike the Pac12 whom many will still be hungover or sleeping by the time the game starts. Because of this, but not limited to this reason only, it will eliminate Pac teams from consideration in most years.
4) No bowl conflicts - as mentioned already, the ACC and B1G do not play one another in any other bowl games which means that choosing a B1G team to play does not devalue another bowl game, unlike the Chick fil-A bowl which matches up the #2 ACC vs #5 SEC. If the ACC chose an SEC opponent, it would push the CFA and Music City bowls down another notch, it would be a conflict of interest to select an SEC opponent.
5) TV ratings - Since the ACC controls the media rights, obviously they are going to take the biggest opponent that they can get and try to broaden their audience as much as possible. The B1G conference does not overlap into the ACC other than Pennsylvania and like the ACC it covers a densely populated region.
In years when Notre Dame does not qualify for the Orange bowl and the B1G does not get a team in the playoff, the B1G’s #2 team will get the nod most of the time unless it involves Northwestern or it happens to be a repeat from the regular season or from last year’s Orange bowl. There will also be some scenarios where the ACC will take the #3 from the B1G depending on the opponent and record.
In other years the ACC may also select in this order if available: Texas, USC, Oklahoma, Boise State, other BE champ, Oregon, WVU, Okla St, SEC team.
With all things considered, in my estimation, I think the ACC and B1G will square off in the Orange bowl about 50% of the time.