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NC State bowl watch: Pinstripe Bowl shenanigans could affect Wolfpack

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Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

As if the ACC's bowl setup were not confusing enough already, there's also the politicking behind the scenes that we have to contend with in the days leading up to the day when the matchups are set. (That would be Sunday.) Take, for, instance, this string of tweets from the N&O's Joe Giglio, regarding Duke and Pinstripe Bowl.

If you need a refresher on the bowl setup: There's the Orange Bowl/New Year's Six games (the ACC champ is guaranteed to land there somewhere, and I suspect FSU will get a NY6 game as well. Then the Russell Athletic Bowl picks. Then there are the "Tier One" bowls, as reference by Giglio: Pinstripe, Sun, Belk, and either the Gator or Music City. Tier Two: Military, Independence, Quick Lane (Detroit).

As an eight-win team, Pitt is supposed to be locked into a Tier One bowl, and the Pinstripe is a logical fit there. So it would take some shenanigans to hop Duke past Pittsburgh, thereby pushing the Panthers to the second tier--and into the Military Bowl.

The Military Bowl seems like NC State's most likely landing spot at this point, but if Pitt's pushed down a peg, then the Wolfpack is probably out of luck. Which would then suggest a trip to lovely Shreveport or Detroit. Of course, State could end up in either of those places regardless of what happens with Duke and Pitt. Just something to keep an eye on.