Here’s how Pitt can play in the Orange Bowl (but it’s far from a lock)
Pitt never has played in the Orange Bowl, but two more victories in the regular season and some help the day after Thanksgiving could make it happen.
If Clemson wins the ACC championship and is among the top four teams in the College Football Playoff rankings at season’s end, the Orange Bowl will choose the highest-ranked ACC team not among the top four.
That likely will be either Virginia, Pitt or Virginia Tech from the ACC Coastal. The new CFP rankings will be released Tuesday.
When the Associated Press Top 25 was announced Sunday, Virginia Tech was ranked 25th with 61 voting points. Virginia (23) and Pitt (nine) were unranked.
Meanwhile, there are a few crucial games to be played, with a three-team jam atop the ACC Coastal standings.
First-place Virginia (7-3, 5-2) is a half-game ahead of Pitt and Virginia Tech (both 7-3, 4-2) after the Panthers defeated North Carolina in overtime, 34-27, and the Hokies crushed Georgia Tech, 45-0.
The Panthers and Hokies meet at 3:30 p.m. next Saturday in Blacksburg, Va., to help resolve part of the puzzle (ESPN2).
If Pitt loses, it will be eliminated from the race for the Coastal championship. But a Pitt victory, another against Boston College on Nov. 30 at Heinz Field and a Virginia loss to Virginia Tech on Nov. 29 would give Pitt its second consecutive Coastal title.
Virginia will clinch the Coastal and likely an Orange Bowl berth if it defeats Virginia Tech.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .