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The Countdown: 43 days until the ACC

The Orange Bowl - home of the ACC Champions

The traditional Orange Bowl trophy
The traditional Orange Bowl trophy
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

43 days until the ACC: The home of the ACC Champion

The Orange Bowl was first played in 1935 and has matched up opponents in sunny Miami every year since, making it the second oldest bowl game today, along with the Sugar Bowl and the Sun Bowl. While the game has been known as the home of the ACC Champion, it hasn't always had ACC ties.

In 1968, the Big 8 sent their champion to Miami, but once they joined schools from the Southwest Conference to form the Big 12, the Orange Bowl instead became attached to either the ACC or Big East Champion. In 2006, the tie-in belonged exclusively to the ACC and that marriage figures to continue for years to come.

But even before the ACC-Orange Bowl relationship started, the ACC, with it's Southern presence, has long had a part in the Orange Bowl. Current/future ACC teams have had a combined 43 appearances in the bowl game, starting with the very first Orange Bowl back in 1935, when Miami was shut out by Bucknell 26-0. 3 times the bowl game has matched up two eventual ACC teams. In 1951, Clemson beat Miami 15-14. In their final game as a Big East school, Miami beat Florida State 16-14 in the 2004 game. And most recently, Louisville beat Wake Forest in the 2007 game 24-13.

Overall, ACC schools are a combined 18-25 in the Orange Bowl, and every ACC school except for Pitt, NC State, Virginia, and North Carolina has made an appearance in the bowl game. It is the only BCS Bowl that the Panthers have yet to make an appearance in and, along with the Peach Bowl, the only other College Football Playoff bowl that has yet to host the Panthers. But with Pitt in the ACC, that figures to change someday.