Cancel those travel plans to lovely Shreveport, folks, NC State is heading to Charlotte and the Belk Bowl. The Wolfpack will take on SEC foe Mississippi State, per ESPN's Brett McMurphy, in a Peach Bowl rematch from a couple decades ago. Ready for a little cowbell to close out the season?
Good luck to @PackFootball in the @belkbowl! pic.twitter.com/b7eMZl2Vou— The ACC (@theACC) December 6, 2015
NC State is fortunate to get this bowl bid, and Pitt fans could justifiably be upset about this, but a 7-5 team can be selected ahead of an 8-4 team, per the ACC's bowl selectin' rules. The Wolfpack is lucky to be here, and very nearly wasn't.
As late as Saturday, it appeared that the Belk Bowl was going to find a way to grab 6-6 Virginia Tech and get head coach Frank Beamer's final game. But as the machinations turned behind the scenes, they couldn't find justification for putting a 6-6 team in a Tier One ACC bowl game--by the letter of the law, a 6-6 team cannot hop an 8-4 team (Miami or Pitt) and jump to a Tier One game (Belk, Pinstripe, Sun, Music City/Gator) while relegating said 8-4 team to Tier Two (Military, Independence, Quick Lane) status.
Miami is headed for the Sun Bowl, and Louisville is on its way to the Music City, which then left NC State as the logical move for the Belk Bowl. We will gladly take it.
Mississippi State finished the regular season at 8-4 (4-4) in the SEC West. This game sets up as an entertaining duel between a couple of excellent mobile quarterbacks in Dak Prescott and Jacoby Brissett. Should be fun.