In recent years, The traditional playing of the Orange Bowl in South Florida has been moved around according to the College Football Playoff rotation and ESPN tv desires.
And the 2019 version of the postseason game that has become synonymous with Miami is once again on the move.
This after ESPN and the Orange Bowl announced on Monday afternoon that the game will move from its original placement of Wednesday afternoon January 1st to Monday night December 30th in a prime time slot:
— Orange Bowl (@OrangeBowl) May 13, 2019
First, there was a challenge with the calendar for 2020, as New Year’s Day falls on a Wednesday.
Second, the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl have locked down their traditional late afternoon and evening start times on January one. And, then third, the College football Playoff semifinals in the rotation this year are: the Fiesta Bowl and the Peach Bowl. And, they will actually be played on Saturday afternoon/evening December 28th.
Then, there’s reality that ESPN and the CFP have found that New Year’s Eve is a ratings loser, and especially with that being a Tuesday, they had planned to contest the Orange Bowl in the Florida afternoon sunshine midday on Jan 1st.
Now, instead, they will do what they have done twice before recently. In 2017, the Miami Hurricanes were beaten by Wisconsin (above) in the Orange Bowl, which also played on December 30th. And likewise, Florida State edged out Michigan 33 – 32 in the 2016 playing at the Orange Bowl also, on that same December 30th date.
The Orange Bowl had been a day game on New Year’s in the 1940s-1960s, until Texas and Alabama played in the first New Year’s Bowl game to be nationally televised in prime time on January 1, 1965.
The Orange Bowl has an “automatic tie-in” with the ACC Champion for this year. That is provided that the ACC team is not part of the College Football Playoff postseason.
And, there is a strong likelihood that the conference champ will be Clemson, again, for a fifth straight year. The Tigers have played in the CFP the last four years winning two titles, including a year ago in a blowout over Alabama in Santa Clara, CA.
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