Not a huge surprise here, but it is something to toss out just before the ACC’s athletic directors converge for their spring meetings in Florida.
The league has added the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala., as its ninth bowl tie-in. The Jan. 6 – yes, Jan. 6 – game will pit an ACC team against an opponent from the Mid-American conference.
Last year’s No. 9 pick, the D.C.-based EagleBank Bowl, moves up to the No. 8 slot. The ACC’s deal with the Humanitarian Bowl, the game that previously picked out of the No. 8 slot, expired after last season.
The good: The ACC keeps nine bowl slots, which is a solid development for The Land of 8-4 Teams. After all, while there probably isn’t a national title contender in the entire conference (sorry, Virginia Tech), it is plausible that any of the 12 schools could toss up a 6-6 record.
The bad: While it’s better for a team to travel to Mobile than Boise (and I liked Boise), it isn’t exactly close to a whole lot. It wouldn’t be a bad landing spot for a Georgia Tech or Florida State during a down year, but who expects the Yellow Jackets or Seminoles to fall that far anytime soon?
The overall verdict: Commissioner John Swofford got a ninth game, and got it in his league’s “geographic footprint” (that’s a favorite Swofford phrase). When you’re getting down to your No. 9 team, having a place to send them is more important than location. And that makes that deal a good one, even if the GMAC Bowl probably will get stuck with a mediocre team as a result.