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Ranking the Watchability of the ACC's Bowl Games in 2019

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Ranking the Watchability of the ACC's Bowl Games in 2019

Ranking the Watchability of the ACC's Bowl Games in 2019

With nine bowl tie-ins and Clemson once again in the College Football Playoff, the ACC has 10 teams participating in the postseason. No other conference has more and only the SEC has an equal number of teams in the postseason.

However, we all know that it was not a banner season in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The good news for the ACC is that the bowl season gives everyone new life. Three league teams will play SEC teams, two will match up with Big Ten foes, and one will face a Pac-12 challenger. Wins in these games won't change the nation's perception of the ACC, but it will give the conference a boost heading into the offseason.

Here are all the ACC bowl games ranked from can't miss that one to it's just a football game.

1. Fiesta Bowl/College Football Playoff Semifinal – Clemson (13-0) vs. Ohio State (13-0)

Dec. 28 – 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

This Goliath vs. Goliath battle features two programs with a chip on their shoulder. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has been playing the disrespect card for much of the season while the Buckeyes' Ryan Day will be using the committee's No. 1 snub as motivation. This may be the most anticipated game of the playoff era.

2. Orange Bowl – Virginia (9-4) vs. Florida (10-2)

Dec. 30 – 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

The only other time Virginia appeared in a New Year's Six bowl was their 23-22 loss to Tennessee in the 1990 Sugar Bowl. This game will feature UVA's electric quarterback Bryce Perkins facing off with Florida's rugged defense.

3. Belk Bowl – Virginia Tech (8-4) vs. Kentucky (7-5)

Dec. 31 – 12 p.m. ET, ESPN

Despite losing to Virginia to end their regular season, the Hokies did well to get to 8-4. Kentucky is making its fourth straight bowl appearance under Mark Stoops. In his final game with Virginia Tech, defensive coordinator Bud Foster will have to contain the Wildcats' star wide receiver-turned-quarterback Lynn Bowden Jr.

4. Sun Bowl – Florida State (6-6) vs. Arizona State (7-5)

Dec. 31 – 2 p.m. ET, CBS

It will be a 2020 audition of sorts for Seminole players as they attempt to impress new head coach Mike Norvell. Arizona State has an exciting young quarterback in Jayden Daniels, who had 17 touchdowns and just two interceptions in 2019. Sun Devil running back Eno Benjamin has declared for the NFL draft, but he hasn't yet decided if he will play in the Sun Bowl. Florida State will be without its top running back, Cam Akers.

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5. Pinstripe Bowl – Wake Forest (8-4) vs. Michigan State (6-6)

Dec. 27 – 3:20 p.m. ET, ESPN

In totality, Wake quarterback Jamie Newman had a very strong season. But he had a dreadful final four weeks and he will be facing a very good Michigan State defense. Offensively, the Spartans struggled down the stretch, averaging just 15 points over their last seven games.

6. Music City Bowl – Louisville (7-5) vs. Mississippi State (6-6)

Dec. 30 – 4 p.m. ET, ESPN

Scott Satterfield's team should not be disappointed by losing to Kentucky on Thanksgiving weekend. After last year's 2-10 finish, 7-5 and playing in the Music City Bowl is a great accomplishment. Plus, the Cardinals have a chance to even up their record against the SEC when they play the Bulldogs in Nashville.

7. Military Bowl – North Carolina (6-6) vs. Temple (8-4)

Dec. 27 – 12 p.m. ET, ESPN

Much like Louisville, Carolina has to be excited to be playing in late December. Freshman quarterback Sam Howell is definitely worth a view against a Temple defense that played its best football in November.

8. Birmingham Bowl – Boston College (6-6) vs. Cincinnati (10-3)

Jan. 2 – 3 p.m. ET, ESPN

In five of Steve Addazio's six years at Boston College, the Eagles finished with seven wins. At 6-6, Boston College could get there again, but it won't be with Addazio, who was fired at season's end. The Eagles also will have to take on the AAC East champs without running back AJ Dillon, who declared for the NFL draft and announced that he would skip the bowl game.

9. Independence Bowl – Miami (6-6) vs. Louisiana Tech (9-3)

Dec. 26 – 4 p.m. ET, ESPN

The Hurricanes are playing a Holtz-coached team. It brings back memories of yesteryear. Of course, at 6-6 in the Independence Bowl is not exactly what occurred back in the late '80s when Skip's dad took on the powerful Miami teams led by Jimmy Johnson.

10. Quick Lane Bowl – Pittsburgh (7-5) vs. Eastern Michigan (6-6)

Dec. 26 – 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

When Pittsburgh played Virginia Tech on Nov. 23, the Panthers still had a shot at the ACC title and an Orange Bowl bid. Two losses later and Pitt is playing the 6-6 Eagles from the MAC on the day after Christmas in Detroit. That was quite a fall.

— Written by Jon Kinne, who has been part of the Athlon Contributor Network for three years, covering the ACC and Notre Dame. Follow him on Twitter @JonRKinne.