Week 5 was a light one for teams in the ACC and Big East, but the biggest games of the weekend might have an impact far beyond the teams playing in them. Our Champs Sports Bowl representatives have been on the road up and down the east coast meeting with fans and officials from our partner schools as we prepare for the second bowl season under the current conference pairings that give us the second team from the Big East (first after BCS) and the third team from the ACC (second after BCS).

Here are the big stories from last weekend and our most recent Team Selection Committee meeting:


With their second consecutive win over a ranked conference team, Clemson has established themselves as the team to beat in the conference. Following a win over Florida State with a 23-3 thrashing of Coastal Division favorite Virginia Tech, the Tigers now have the inside track to the ACC Championship.  They'll have to beat Georgia Tech to get there, and the Yellow Jackets (who, like Clemson, are 5-0 and ranked in the Top 15) also looked dominant on Saturday.  Our reps on the road met with fans from both Techs and everyone liked the idea of playing in Orlando. Clemson fans have designs on the Discover Orange Bowl after their fast start, so we understand if they're not as excited to see us at this point in the year.

The more interesting development after Saturday is that Florida State fans all over Twitter seem to be convinced that they are bound for the Champs Sports Bowl. The logic is that Clemson would have to lose two games to let the Seminoles back into the Atlantic Division race, so FSU may be on the outside looking in. With no game in Tallahassee last weekend, we didn't have anyone out there to gauge fan interest, so we don't know yet if this feeling is isolated to the Internet. This is something our committee plans to keep its eyes on in the next few weeks.

Big East

The biggest game of last weekend came before the weekend, as Pittsburgh stomped USF on Thursday night. On one hand, it was a great recovery for the Panthers, who had lost two straight to deceptively-good Iowa and Notre Dame teams and was all but written out of the Big East race. On the other hand, it could be the beginning of another year where the conference teams beat up on each other.

As the only remaining ranked team, West Virginia seems way ahead of the pack and might not get tested until late in the year. USF was the rising upstart contender before Thursday night, and they could very well recover that distinction by rattling off a few wins. At the moment, however, the Bulls are back in a scrum that includes Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Rutgers. If it's anything like last year, we may not have a good idea of who is available for our selection until the last few weeks of November.

Notre Dame

With a 38-10 win over Purdue, the Irish have won three straight and appear to have righted the ship after a rough start. Many experts are projecting Notre Dame to appear in Orlando, but the Irish will need at least four more wins to be in contention late in the year.

About The Author

Matt Repchak
Matt Repchak

Matt (Tampa, Fla.) joined FCSports in 2005 after graduating from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. He started in the communications department and gradually became the point person for all digital projects within the organization, including web, video and social.

Matt enjoys The Black Keys, Joss Whedon, Paul F. Tompkins and the Tampa Bay Rays.