The Champs Sports Bowl was the best hope for Maryland to make a jump in the ACC Bowl picture. Instead, they will play in the Military Bowl. Therefore, the Champs Sports Bowl will feature a matchup between North Carolina State and West Virginia, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette.
N.C. State finished with an 8-4 record this season, including a 5-3 record in the ACC. They scored signature wins over Florida State and North Carolina, but also lost to East Carolina. They also missed a chance to reach the ACC Championship game with a 38-31 loss to Maryland in the final week of the season. However, their robust fanbase was attractive to Champs Sports Bowl executives as compared to Maryland.
West Virginia finished the season 9-3, including a 5-2 record in the Big East. Their three losses are to LSU, Connecticut and Syracuse. They ended the season with four consecutive victories. They also defeated Maryland earlier in the season, and that was a big factor because bowl executives like to avoid rematches.
SB Nation's Wolfpack blog Backing The Pack is "fine" with playing West Virginia instead of Notre Dame, while SB Nation's West Virginia blog The Smoking Musket is happy about being co-Big East champions even if they got the dummy end of the stick.
The game will take place on December 28 at 6:30 p.m. in Orlando.