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ACC won't be able to fill its 8 bowl game slots

ACC won't be able to fill its 8 bowl game slots

BOSTON (AP) Miami chose to stay home, self-imposing a bowl ban for the second straight year in the hopes of staving off more drastic punishments later on.

The NCAA told North Carolina to sit this one out.

Boston College, Virginia and Maryland are already out of bowl consideration, with too few wins to qualify. And unless Wake Forest and Virginia Tech can win this weekend, the Atlantic Coast Conference could have only five teams in bowl games - the fewest for the league since 2000, before beginning an expansion that brought it to it 12 schools.

``I think the guys need to know what's at stake,'' said Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe, whose team plays Vanderbilt on Saturday. ``We have smart guys at Wake Forest, and I think they know that it's either win or go home. If we win, we have a chance to play again. If we don't win, we're not going to be playing in the postseason.''

Even if the Hokies and Demon Deacons do reach the requisite six wins, the ACC would only have seven bowl-eligible teams for eight bowl slots.

Virginia Tech has the third-longest bowl streak in the nation, reaching the postseason for 19 consecutive years. Coach Frank Beamer, whose team plays Virginia this weekend, said he doesn't think the lack of bowl-eligible teams is a long-term problem for the conference.

``Absolutely, I think the league is strong,'' he said. ``I just think you prove yourself over the long haul. One particular season, it's kind of been unusual on this side (the Coastal Division). Clemson and Florida State, they sure are, they're good. They're talented and they're good.''

No. 10 Florida State, which has a non-conference game against Florida this weekend, has clinched a spot in the ACC title game against Georgia Tech on Dec. 1; the winner will go to the Orange Bowl. No. 12 Clemson would likely be the next choice for the bowls, potentially heading to the Chik-fil-A Bowl.

With six wins and the potential for seven, North Carolina State and Duke - which has not played in a bowl since the 1994 season - are in the next group.

``The only thing we can control is beating Boston College,'' N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien said. ``We could be the only seven-win team in contention. Three of us are playing to get to that seven-win level. So that's what we're playing for. And if that moves us up in the bowl thing, then that's good for these kids for what they've had to fight through.''

Wake Forest and Virginia Tech could earn their sixth wins this weekend and fill spots in the Dec. 28 Independence Bowl and the Dec. 31 Music City Bowl. But even if they both win, the league wouldn't have a team to send to the Dec. 27 Military Bowl in Washington, D.C..

``You look at two of them, (it's) not because of the lack of win total,'' Virginia coach Mike London said. ``Outside of those situations, you'd have two teams that would very much be in the hunt of having opportunities to go to a bowl game.

``The circumstances surrounding that are unfortunate, because it dealt with rules and infractions and violations. But from a football, on-the-field standpoint, they garnered enough wins to be considered to be bowl-eligible.''

The bowl bust won't be that big of a financial hit for the conference's schools. The three bowls the ACC has yet to qualify for pay a total of about $4 million to the participating teams; the conference allows for expenses of $3.3 million.

The remainder is split equally among the 12 conference teams - even the ones facing NCAA penalties - after a deduction for expenses of $3.3 million.

In other words, each school would lose about $50,000.

The five bowls the ACC has already locked up pay about $28 million, or about $2.3 million per school.

``(The) differential is very small,'' Georgia Tech associate athletic director Wayne Hogan said, adding that it would have no affect on the school's athletic budget. Because some teams lose money on the lower-tier bowls, he said, the revenue will be ``no worse than a wash.''

London said the league suffers more in stature.

``Everybody will be talking about the teams that are playing, what league is playing against what league,'' he said. ``It is interesting that this particular year when the bowl games are handed out or talked about that the absence of two ACC teams, because of the situations, won't be in the mix.''

---

AP Sports Writers Hank Kurz Jr., Joedy McCreary, Charles Odum and Tim Reynolds contributed to this story.

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Injuries to Marshall and Perine will open the door for Kapri Bibbs to make the Redskins

Injuries to Marshall and Perine will open the door for Kapri Bibbs to make the Redskins

Following the Redskins' Week 2 preseason win over the Jets on Thursday, Jay Gruden said both Byron Marshall and Samaje Perine were "OK" after the two running backs each left the game with injuries. Marshall's was labeled a lower-leg issue, while Perine's injury was called a twisted ankle.

Timetables for their recoveries were then reported on Friday, and while the two members of the backfield escaped anything too severe, they will each be sidelined for decent chunks of time.

Perine will miss a week, according to Mike Garafolo. Marshall, meanwhile, is looking at a longer two-to-four week recovery, per Tom Pelissero. Those pieces of news hurt them in more ways than one.

Derrius Guice's torn ACL in Week 1 of the team's exhibition schedule meant that Marshall and Perine both had a big-time opportunity to step up and earn a spot on Washington's 53-man roster, spots that were harder to envision for them when Guice was healthy.

Overall, the two were slated to compete with Kapri Bibbs for what will likely be two spaces on the depth chart behind the absolutely safe Chris Thompson and Rob Kelley. Now, though, they'll be forced to sit until they're healed up, giving Bibbs more chances in practice and the two remaining August contests to earn Jay Gruden's trust.

Against New York, Bibbs struggled on the ground but led the offense with seven grabs, including a 29-yard gain off a screen play. That performance absolutely brought him closer in the race with Marshall, who scored vs. the Patriots a week earlier. Next, he'll need to prove he can run effectively between the tackles vs. the Broncos in Week 3, which will put some heat on Perine as well.

The 'Skins have 15 days left until they have to finalize their regular season roster. As things stand now amongst the running backs, Bibbs presently has a real shot at stealing a job from the two shelved RBs. But with the way this race has unfolded thus far, that can all change in a split second. 

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Familiarity for coach and GM should allow Capital City Go-Go to hit ground running

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Associated Press

Familiarity for coach and GM should allow Capital City Go-Go to hit ground running

Despite being a brand new franchise with a new roster and new facilities, the Capital City Go-Go will carry into their inaugural season a level of continuity. Both their general manager and head coach are familiar with what they are getting into and the people they will be working with.

GM Pops Mensah-Bonsu is no stranger to the D.C. community and the Wizards franchise. He made a name for himself starring at George Washington University, spent time with the Wizards as a player in their 2013 training camp and remained a frequent visitor to Wizards games as a scout for the Spurs in recent years.

"To be back in the community and the first general manager of the G-League team is special," Mensah-Bonsu said. "This is D.C.’s team. I want them to embrace us."

Head coach Jarell Christian played college ball in Virginia and goes back several years with Wizards coach Scott Brooks. Christian joined the Oklahoma City's G-League staff when Brooks was in his final year as head coach of the Thunder.

Christian began his coaching journey with an eye trained on how Brooks goes about his job.

"My introduction to pro basketball was under Coach Brooks and his philosophies. A lot of that stuff, I believe in wholeheartedly. That’s my foundation," Christian said. "I got a chance to know him through training camp and throughout that season. He and I developed a bond and a relationship that stood the test of time. To this day, we still talk often. It’s just another chance for me to reconnect with him and to continue to grow our relationship."

The Go-Go intend to make what they do as similar to the Wizards as possible. When guys like Devin Robinson, one of their two-way players, is called up he can step right in without a learning curve of the playbook or how they practice.

Having Christian in place will help that process in particular.

"There won’t be any issue or any slippage with guys going up and down to know what’s in store for them," Christian said. "A lot of the stuff that the Wizards will do, we will implement with the Go-Go. Just some offensive and defensive concepts. Some of the playcalls and the terminology will be the same."

"Whatever you see the Wizards doing, you will probably see the Capital City Go-Go doing, too," Mensah-Bonsu said.

The symmetry between the G-League and the NBA teams will also be helped by the fact they will share the same practice facility. Their proximity will come with many advantages from the Go-Go perspective.

"I think it’s going to help motivate these guys. We’re going to be practicing in the same place that the Wizards do and the Mystics do," Mensah-Bonsu said. "I think if these guys can see Dwight Howard and John Wall and Bradley Beal walking around every day, it will help motivate them to get to that next level."

"The exposure our players get with the Wizards [front office], the Wizards personnel, being able to watch them practice daily, watching their practice habits and what their routines may be, is really big," Christian said.

That element will also apply beyond the players. Christian, who is just 32 years old, will get to watch how an NBA coaching staff operates on a daily basis.

Christian has yet to take a tour of the new building in Ward 8, but he has seen blueprints. Among the amenities the Go-Go will enjoy that other G-League teams do not usually have is a dedicated dining area.

Many G-League teams do not go to that length.

"A lot of organizations do not provide food for their players on a daily basis, but we will. That’s the No. 1 thing in my opinion that’s gonna set us apart from our competitors," he said.

The Go-Go won't take the floor for their first game until November, but it seems like a good foundation is starting to take place.

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