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Here's how NC State ended up in the Belk Bowl

This is not 'Nam, Dude, there are rules.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

It's a new and theoretically improved era in the bowl selection process, where bowls get a pool of eligible teams and can talk among themselves about which matchups best suit their games. The added flexibility is great, but the lack of an orderly draft-style you-go-then-they-go-then-we-go selection process begs for controversy.

We got a bit of that this year with the Belk Bowl's selection of NC State over Pittsburgh. (And Virginia Tech.) Let's be clear about one thing: the Belk Bowl wanted Frank Beamer's farewell game, as the Daily Press' David Teel explains here. Virginia Tech fans in particular are not pleased about how things worked out.

But the rules say you can't take a 6-6 team (VT) over an 8-4 team (Pitt) in a Tier One game--the Belk is a Tier One game. You can, however, take a 7-5 team over an 8-4 team, which is what the Belk folks elected to do with Virginia Tech out of play. Confused? Yeah, I don't blame you. Basically, none of the Tier One games wanted Pitt, which led to a reshuffle and got the Pack to Charlotte. The other options (Duke, Miami, Louisville) were already placed elsewhere.

The interesting piece of intel from Teel's piece is that the Military Bowl welcomed Virginia Tech, but Tech and/or the league shut down that idea, because playing Navy in that game is far tougher than playing Tulsa in the Independence Bowl. That's partially why the Hokies are going to Shreveport--to create a happy ending for Frank Beamer. They hope.

If Hokies supporters are upset about a lengthy trip that isn't fair to fans, they might want first to look at their school's cowardice in rejecting a nearby game against Navy. I feel bad that Frank Beamer's career has to end in the Independence Bowl, but Virginia Tech helped make that happen, and so it goes. This is not our problem.