The ACC has been known for a number of things, but showing up in BCS bowl games isn't exactly one of them.
In recent years the ACC champion has failed to show up in its BCS game.
Georgia Tech fell to Iowa last season, Kansas defeated Virginia Tech in 2008, Louisville downed Wake Forest in 2007, Penn State beat Florida State in 2006, Auburn beat Virginia Tech in 2005, Miami beat Florida State in 2004, Georgia beat Florida State in 2003, Florida beat Maryland in 2002, Oklahoma beat Florida State in 2001 and Tennessee beat Florida State in 1999.
That's a long history of ACC losers in BCS bowls. In fact, the only teams from the ACC to win BCS bowls were Florida State in 2000 and Virginia Tech in 2009.
So which team in the ACC right now has the best chance to win the championship and go to a BCS bowl game? Right now the front runner is Florida State.
Florida State still has tough conference contests against North Carolina State, North Carolina, Clemson and Maryland, but those games aren't exactly losable. North Carolina State just lost to East Carolina, North Carolina has been struggling all season due to suspensions, Clemson has played well at times but is mostly inconsistent, and Maryland has only one conference loss to Clemson.
The road to the ACC championship is a tough road for Florida State, but it is manageable. FSU came out flat against Boston College, but don't expect them to do the same against N.C. State, who they will have had a week and a half to plan for.
The other challenger in the ACC to win the championship appears to be Virginia Tech. Tech lost its first two games to Boise State and James Madison but since then has gone undefeated, winning five straight games.
Their only major contests remaining on the schedule are games at Miami and then at home against Georgia Tech. Those two games are winnable and would send Virginia Tech to another ACC championship game.
The question remains if the ACC championship game consists of Florida State against Virginia Tech, which team has the better chance to win the BCS bowl game they would then advance to?
Right now the bowl predictions for the Orange Bowl have Florida State slated to play against Michigan State, Auburn or TCU. Other experts have Virginia Tech against Auburn. Those matchups will be tough for either Florida State or Virginia Tech, but they are games that both teams could win.
The 2010 season has plenty of surprises left in store, including plenty left in the ACC. The BCS awaits an ACC team that can finally get over the hump and put the conference back to national respectability.
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