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Heels Headed to Detroit for Quick Lane Bowl

The ACC avoids bowl-mageddon after the College Football Playoff Committee threw a last-minute wrench into the works and placed all bowl eligible teams in games. UNC will play Rutgers in Detroit.

Larry Fedora will hope to hoist another bowl game trophy, this time in Detroit
Larry Fedora will hope to hoist another bowl game trophy, this time in Detroit
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

All the bowl dust has settled and it appears Carolina will head to Detroit for the Quick Lane Bowl to face Big Ten opponent Rutgers on December 26 at 4:30 pm.

The ACC had been facing a nightmare scenario in which it had more bowl-eligible teams than guaranteed slots, but those concerns had eased somewhat as it appeared the league would place Florida State in the Final Four, and Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl against a Big Ten opponent. If that happened, then the ACC would get the B1G's slot in the Citrus Bowl and the bowl-mageddon would be avoided.

But the College Football Playoff Committee threw a last-minute wrench into the works on Sunday afternoon. Although neither team played on Saturday, Mississippi State jumped Michigan State in their final ranking, thrusting Mississippi State into the Orange Bowl versus GT and Sparty to the Citrus, sending the ACC scrambling to place its teams.

As it turns out, it's Pitt, who was the last team to earn bowl eligibility, who is outside the ACC's slate of guaranteed games. The Panthers will head to Fort Worth, Texas for the Armed Services Bowl.

Here is the ACC's bowl lineup:





Florida State



Georgia Tech

Mississippi State

Russell Athletic



Music City

Notre Dame







Arizona State


Boston College

Penn State


Virginia Tech




South Carolina

Quick Lane

North Carolina



NC State

Central Florida

Armed Forces



This pretty much shakes out as expected under the bowl-mageddon scenario. One of the ACC's 7-5 teams was going to be left out of the Tier I bowls (Sun, Pinstripe, Belk, and Music City) and one of the 6-6 teams was going to have to hope for help from outside the league's slots. There had been a lot of talk of Notre Dame to Charlotte but Nashville has to be thrilled with that matchup and Charlotte gets nearby Georgia. The northeastern bowls also get geographically friendly matchups with BC in New York and VT in Annapolis. Plus you can't help but laugh at Miami and SCAR in Shreveport for the Big Disappointment Bowl. The big loser here, though, appears to be NC State. When it looked like the ACC was going to get the Citrus slot, it appeared State was a lock for the Belk Bowl. Instead the Pack fell through all the Tier 2 bowls and into the league's flex spot in St. Petersburg against a Central Florida team that won a share of the American Athletic Conference title and will be playing 90 minutes from its campus. At least it's not Shreveport.

As for the Heels, while it's not a prime destination, it is a manageable matchup against a fairly pedestrian 7-5 Rutgers team. It will be the fifth time since 2006 that Carolina has faced the Knights. Hopefully Carolina can find its offense that it apparently left on the field at Duke and bring it to the Motor City while finding enough defense to slow down All-B1G receiver Leonte Carroo. But hey, UNC's last post-season trip to Detroit ended pretty well, right?