Clemson is projected to play Alabama in the Orange Bowl by several outlets now, but the bowl itself has its "concerns" about the Tigers.
Addressing Clemson fans, athletic director Dan Radakovich said – after talks with the Orange Bowl committee – potential low ticket sales and the Tigers' BCS standing could stand in the way of a Clemson bid.
"While the team won 10 games and remains ranked among the top in the nation, the only thing we can control now are ticket sales," Radakovich said. "It is critical that we support our team by letting the Orange Bowl know our fans are interested in attending the game and buying tickets. There is no question the opponent will be of high quality and this game will be another great test."
In addition to simply buying tickets, Radakovich is calling on fans to buy through the school.
"The last time we sold at least 10,000 tickets through the athletic ticket office for a bowl game was the 2009 Gator Bowl against Nebraska," he said. "With more than 20,000 Clemson fans at each of our last three bowl games, there is no question that our fans have purchased bowl tickets through third parties and the secondary marketplace, but we need your help in purchasing tickets through the athletic ticket office. This makes a huge statement with the bowls and their committees."
Clemson finds itself in a potentially crowded at-large pool for only a few spots.
Factoring BCS bowl ties/procedures and the current rankings, there are only three available places among a field of one each from the Big Five conferences.
The Tigers are the lowest ranked team in the mix, but they could benefit from the Orange's longstanding ties to the ACC.
"If the Seminoles move up to the title game, the Orange Bowl -- an ACC partner that recently entered into a contractual agreement for the next 12 years -- would be highly unlikely to turn away an eligible ACC team (Clemson)," SI's Stewart Mandel wrote Sunday, "and incur the wrath of commissioner John Swofford (whose league would lose $6 million as a result)."
If they are really looking elsewhere, this weekend's action could change their selection by the minute.
In the top-14 eligible, No. 9 Baylor hosts Texas, No. 6 Oklahoma State hosts Oklahoma, No. 11 Arizona State hosts No. 7 Stanford in the PAC-12 title game and No. 2 Ohio State takes on No. 10 Michigan State in the Big Ten title game (neutral site game). Another at-large spot can open up if No. 14 Northern Illinois (12-0) loses to Bowling Green (9-3) Friday in the MAC Championship Game (neutral site game).
The BCS Selection Show will air on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. Sunday night.