Tech has never been to the Quick Lane, Military or Pinstripe bowls. The Military Bowl being played at Navy’s stadium has an obvious connection with coach Paul Johnson, who coached the Naval Academy for six seasons before coming to Tech. The Pinstripe seems like less of a possibility given that Syracuse seems like a logical selection from the ACC. The Jackets last played in the Independence Bowl at the end of the 2010 season.
After the College Football Playoff and the New Year’s Six bowls – it seems unlikely that anyone from the ACC besides Clemson will be involved there barring an upset of the Tigers – here are the ACC’s bowl tie-ins: The Camping World Bowl in Orlando, Fla., has first pick of any ACC team not in the CFP or a New Year’s Six bowl. Then four “tier one” bowls have equal selection status: Belk Bowl (Charlotte, N.C.), Sun Bowl (El Paso, Texas), Pinstripe Bowl and either the Music City (Nashville, Tenn.) or Gator (Jacksonville, Fla.) bowls, which share a selection.
After that, the following four bowls pick in order: Military, Independence, Quick Lane and either Gasparilla (Tampa, Fla.) or Heart of Dallas. If more teams are available and it hasn’t filled its two slots, the Birmingham (Ala.) Bowl is the final tie-in bowl.
At this point, six ACC teams are already bowl-eligible: No. 2 Clemson, No. 19 Syracuse, No. 21 N.C. State, No. 22 Boston College, No. 25 Virginia and Duke.
The Jackets have the potential to move up into a more attractive bowl. Bowl officials typically want teams that finish strong, and Tech has the opportunity to do that with a formidable three-game stretch to close the regular season.