Before the games begin, there's time to indulge in a bit of wishful conjecture.
The good news is that there's only one bad scenario here for the Tigers.
>No. 1: Clemson vs. Florida in the Sugar Bowl
A second-straight BCS bid and a trip to New Orleans would be a worthy accomplishment, and would help wash just a bit of the bitter taste of tough chicken out of the mouths of the Tigers and their fans.
How it can happen: TCU knocks off Oklahoma today in its home finale at Fort Worth, and the Tigers slide into the Sugar Bowl as the next best available at-large team.
No. 2: Clemson vs. LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl
This is what happens if Saturday's games unfold as expected, with Alabama beating Georgia and Oklahoma wrapping up No. 2 position in the Big 12 by beating TCU.
How it can happen: Oklahoma beats TCU and the SEC's picks then go as expected. The Alabama-Georgia loser goes to the Cotton Bowl, the Capital One Bowl snares Texas A&M, South Carolina lands in the Outback, and the Chick-fil-A happily chooses LSU to set up of a battle of Tigers.
No. 3: Clemson vs. Georgia in the Chick-fil-A Bowl
Everyone wants to see the Tigers back in the BCS, but if it doesn't happen, this is the matchup that would get fans of both schools excited - an early, high-stakes preview of next season's opener at Death Valley. It's always a good thing when the Tigers play the Dawgs.
How it can happen: Oklahoma beats Texas, sealing the Tigers out of the Sugar. Alabama beats Georgia, but the Cotton Bowl jumps the Bulldogs and picks LSU. The Capital One follows through with its plans to pick Texas A&M, and the Outback Bowl - having played host to Georgia last season - opts for South Carolina. That leaves Georgia playing Clemson in Atlanta.
No. 4: The Wrecking Ball Scenario
The projected pecking order for the bowls in question falls apart of Georgia Tech beats Florida State in the ACC Championship Game. The Jackets would go to the Orange Bowl with the ACC's automatic spot, throwing the Seminoles into the at-large pool. Assuming that the Sugar Bowl would pass on a Florida-Florida State rematch, the Seminoles could push Clemson out of the Chick-fil-A and into the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, against, ugh, Rutgers.
So stayed tuned. There are a lot of 'anythings' that could happen out there