Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

COLLEGE FOOTBAll: THE POSTSEASON DESTINATION UNKNOWN WITH GAMES YET TO BE PLAYED, PITT'S BOWL PROSPECT WON'T BE DETERMINED UNTIL DUST SETTLES

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

COLLEGE FOOTBAll: THE POSTSEASON DESTINATION UNKNOWN WITH GAMES YET TO BE PLAYED, PITT'S BOWL PROSPECT WON'T BE DETERMINED UNTIL DUST SETTLES

Article excerpt

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- It didn't take long after Pitt's sixth win of the season, a 35-23 victory Saturday night against Miami, for fans to start asking the next logical question.

Now that the Panthers are bowl eligible, where are they going?

The answer is still very much up in the air, thanks to the fact that there are games still to be played, as well as a new playoff system set in place this season.

It won't be resolved any time in the next few days, either. Pitt won't know its destination until Sunday. The College Football Playoff committee will release the semifinal matchups at 12:45 p.m. followed by the top bowl lineups, at which point the ACC, other conferences and the bowls will get to work crafting the rest of the lineups.

This is a slightly different process than previous years, which relied on a more hard-and-fast selection order for the bowl games. The selection process this season is a bit more flexible to allow the bowls and conference to create better games and matchups.

At 6-6, Pitt's most likely destinations would appear to be the lower-tier bowls in the ACC lineup: Military Bowl (Annapolis, Md.), Duck Commander Independence Bowl (Shreveport, La.), Quick Lane Bowl (Detroit) and Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl (St. Petersburg, Fla.).

But the possibilities don't necessarily end there. Depending on the result of the ACC championship Saturday between Florida State and Georgia Tech, Pitt could slide up into a pool of teams eligible for the ACC's "Tier One" bowls, the Pinstripe Bowl (New York), Belk Bowl (Charlotte, N.C.), Sun Bowl (El Paso, Texas), Music City Bowl (Nashville, Tenn.) or TaxSlayer Bowl (Jacksonville, Fla.).

For instance, if Florida State wins the ACC and goes to the College Football Playoff, that would slide every team up one spot. If the Big Ten takes a spot opposite the ACC in the Orange Bowl, that gives the ACC an extra spot in the Capital One Bowl, opening one more ACC bowl spot.

At this point, the only ACC bowls the Panthers are definitively out of are the Orange Bowl, Capital One Bowl and Russell Athletic Bowl.

The juiciest potential matchup for Pitt would come in either the Pinstripe or Quick Lane Bowls, both of which match up against a mid- tier Big Ten team. …

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