We’re getting closer to bowl season – and for the seventh year in a row, Wake Forest (7-4) will be in attendance. Amid all of the shifting expectations for Demon Deacons 2022, it’s worth noting that this will only be the 17th bowl game in program history. Dave Clawson has quite an impressive streak.
As I was writing this article on October 14th, the Deacs were at a very different point. Let’s take a look at where various media think Wake will play in December:
Sports illustrated: Bad Boy Mower Pinstripe Loopl (New York) vs. Wisconsin (Dec. 29)
ESPN: Wasabi Fenway Bowl (Boston) v UCF (17 Dec)
US today: Gator Bowl (Jacksonville) vs. Mississippi State (Dec. 30)
CBS Sports: Holiday Bowl (San Diego) v. Utah (Dec. 28)
247 sports: Sun Bowl (El Paso) vs. Washington (January 2)
Athalon Sports: military bowl (Annapolis) vs. Penn State (Dec. 28)
Obviously, the goal for the Demon Deacons is unclear. After this weekend the dust settles and usually there is more consistency between the different locations.
There are currently nine ACC teams (plus Notre Dame) eligible for the Bowl. Georgia Tech (in Georgia) and Miami (vs Pitt) need a win this week to join the others. That’s 10-12 bids from 15 teams total, a prime example of the quality throughout the conference this season.
Here’s a list of all bowl games that have worked with the ACC (and Notre Dame):
Capital One Orange Bowl (Miami, FL)
TaxSlayer Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, FL)
Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl (El Paso, TX)
Duke’s Mayo Bowl (Charlotte, NC)
Cheez-it Bowl (Orlando, FL)
Pinstripe Shell (New York, NY)
Holiday Bowl (San Diego, CA)
Military Bowl (Annapolis, MD)
Fenway Bowl (Boston, MA)
Those are the nine bowls that are guaranteed to take an ACC team. From the predictions above, it’s clear that many of them are real possibilities for Wake. The following bowls are options if/when there are more ACC teams eligible to enter.
Gasparilla Bowl (St. Petersburg, FL)
Birmingham Bowl (Birmingham, AL)
Cotton Bowl (Arlington, TX)
Peach Bowl/Fiesta Bowl (College Football Playoff)
Clemson, North Carolina and Notre Dame will get their bowl game picks as the teams tied with the conference with the best records. Florida State and Louisville are currently ranked in the official CFP rankings, so they will get their postseason picks ahead of the Demon Deacons as well. That leaves Wake, NC State, Pitt, Duke and Syracuse (and possibly Miami or Georgia Tech) – it’s clear to everyone where these teams will end up.