New Orange Bowl Deal Gives ACC Its AQ Spot Back

No more automatic qualifiers under the new playoff system, huh? Even though his Syracuse team is set to be in a better spot thanks to the new Orange Bowl deal with the ACC, Sean Keeley still doesn't like what this means for the little guys:

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While college football has taken a step forward with the playoff, it's also taken a step back in terms of openness. Basically, the ACC now has the same deal with the Orange Bowl that the Pac-12 and Big Ten had for years with the Rose Bowl. It's that kind of exclusionary thinking that got the sport in the situation in the first place.

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The whole point of the playoff system was to eliminate AQ status and even the playing field. And yet, if anything, the playing field is even more segregated today than it was before the playoff. We all know it's going to be almost impossible for anyone outside the Big Four to make it into the playoff. And when it comes to the six bowl games that the playoff selection committee is in charge of, most of the spots will go to 2nd place and 3rd place Big Five schools over 1st place "second-tier" schools.

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