With all the uncertainty and hand-wringing that's come with college football realignment and an altered postseason format, it's comforting to know that John Swofford has been working to iron out a deal with the Orange Bowl so that we might be best pals for many years to come.
When ACC inks deal w Orange Bowl its champ is guaranteed "BCS" game spot even if the Orange is a semifinal and champ is rated below 12— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) June 29, 2012
The "BCS" games Schad is referring to are the six games that will host the playoffs on a rotational basis. Essentially the top tier of bowls is just expanding from four to six, and I don't know how the new system is going to affect payouts, but I'd imagine these will all remain very lucrative games. The other four major conference champs were already locked into a Big 6 bowl, so this is an important step in the ACC's ongoing quest to avoid falling too far behind.
To recap: the committee picks all four playoff teams. The Pac-12, SEC, Big XII, ACC, and Big Ten champs receive autobids to a Big 6 game, though not necessarily one of the playoff games. The committee will select schools to fill any remaining vacancies in the Big 6 games outside of the playoffs.
The agreement with the Orange Bowl also presents some fun opportunities for years when the Orange is hosting a semifinal game and the ACC champ is not in the playoffs. That ACC champ will then be shipped off to one of the other five bowls, which could mean a trip to a bowl in which that team would never get to play under normal circumstances. NC State in the Fiesta Bowl? Yes please. Not that we're ever going to win the stupid ACC football title which is dumb and I don't want it anyway so there.