Since the ACC won’t have a team in the College Football Playoff this year, the league’s bowl picture is a bit muddier as a result. It would be best for everyone other than UNC for Clemson to go ahead and win the league title game and head to the Orange Bowl; otherwise, the Tigers are going to knock some teams down a peg.
NC State will be an attractive option to the Mayo Bowl regardless, for obvious reasons, and that’s where several of the latest projections have the Wolfpack landing.
Brett McMurphy has State playing Iowa in the Mayo Bowl (with an early Iowa -2.5 projected line), which is a game that would feature, uh, a lot of defense. Whole lot of defense. Yahoo! Sports projects that same matchup.
The Athletic has NC State playing Maryland in the Mayo Bowl. That game would certainly be easier on the eyeballs.
Sports Illustrated projects NC State to the Cheez-It Bowl in Orlando against Baylor. That destination feels unlikely given the other teams on the board, particularly FSU. (Or Clemson, should the Tigers lose to UNC).
Fox Sports has State in the Gator Bowl against Kentucky. Seen that movie already; no thank you.
ESPN’s Mark Schlabach and Kyle Bonagura disagree about the Pack’s landing spot. Schlabach has the Pack against UCLA (ha!) in the Sun Bowl, while Bonagura has the Pack playing Maryland in Charlotte.
Of the scenarios presented here, Charlotte feels the most likely, and I think I’m most intrigued by a game against Iowa. What can I say, the idea of a chaotic slugfest sounds fun. What would you like to see?