The Atlantic Coast Conference will lose its bid for an automatic berth in the Florida Citrus Bowl, the Orlando Sentinel reported in Tuesday's editions.

The conference has offered to commit its league champion to the bowl game every year, but would give the Citrus Bowl the option of turning elsewhere for a host team in alternate years.In the past dozen games, the Orlando bowl has matched two at-large berths.

"They (he ACC) need a New Year's bowl and we need a national championship game," Citrus Bowl president Paul Roddy said. "We're going to hold a meeting just to see if we have an interest in an affiliation. There are upsides and downsides to this."

An ACC delegation including Commissioner Gene Corrigan, Clemson Athletic Director Bobby Robinson and North Carolina Athletic Director John Swofford recently made a presentation in Orlando to Citrus Bowl Executive Director Chuck Rohe and several officers, the Sentinel said.

Roddy confirmed the presentation and that a full executive committee meeting was called for Tuesday to act on the proposal.

"We had a nice discussion. Right now, we're in the dating stage," said Corrigan from his home in Greensboro, N.C.

"I don't know if either of us is ready to slip on a ring. I love the Citrus Bowl, personally. There are so many positives with that bowl."

But an informal survey of the majority of the Citrus Bowl's 11-member executive committee indicated that while there is a desire to maintain good relations with the ACC, there is little sentiment for an automatic tie-in with the conference.

Most bowl committee members indicated that the freedom of two at-large berths has been a factor in the bowl's rapid rise in the postseason pecking order, the newspaper said.