Bowl projections: Clemson-to-Orange still looking good

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney answers a question during Tuesday's press conference ahead of the Discover Orange Bowl.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney answers a question during Tuesday's press conference ahead of the Discover Orange Bowl.

Bowl projections are always fun (and by fun, I mean maddening), but it is that time of the year. This is a projection of Clemson's likely destination - with a couple of the national outlook's alongside - and not just how it would be if the season ended today.

Here's some factors to keep in mind...

1) Six conferences have an automatic bid to the BCS. Every bowl has a tie-in with at least one of those conferences as follows: Rose (PAC-12 v. Big Ten), Sugar (SEC), Orange (ACC) and Fiesta (Big 12). After that, only one more team from each conference can go to a BCS bowl.

2) If a non-automatic-qualifying (AQ) conference lands a team in the top-12, they earn an automatic bid. Another case, which could very well be a factor this year, is if they get into the top-16 and are ahead of all teams ranked in an AQ conference.

3) There's an order to the selection of the BCS at-larges, which starts with the bowls replacing BCS Championship Game participants. The order this year is: No. 1 team's conference bowl, No. 2 team's conference's bowl, Orange, Sugar then Fiesta.

Orange Bowl

CBS Sports: Jerry Palm - Clemson v. Alabama

ESPN: Mark Schlabach - Ohio State v. UCF; Brad Edwards - Clemson v. Alabama.

O&W: Brandon Rink - Clemson v. Alabama

Short of an actual football miracle for Duke, Florida State is headed to the national title game, which opens up a slot in the Orange Bowl. By now, you're pretty familiar with that.

Monday, Dan Radakovich put out the call for Tiger fans to contact the Orange bowl committee about Clemson filling that spot, in a likely matchup with Alabama.

Of the teams eligible for selection (BCS top-14), the Tigers are last, but welcome to the bowl system, where politics reign supreme.

The ACC has had a longstanding tie with the south Florida bowl, and that extends into the playoff era starting next season, where a conference team is guaranteed to land there in years it's not hosting the playoffs.

Here's the games that could have an effect on Clemson's chances and the most relevant scenarios...

* Big 12: Texas at No. 9 Baylor; No. 17 Oklahoma at No. 6 Oklahoma State

* PAC-12: No. 7 Stanford at No. 11 Arizona State (Title game)

* Big Ten: No. 2 Ohio State v. No. 10 Michigan State (Neutral site title game).

* One more at-large spot can open up if No. 14 Northern Illinois (12-0) loses to Bowling Green (9-3) Friday in the MAC title game (neutral site).

1) All the favorites win - Oklahoma State is headed to the Fiesta (Big 12 champ) to likely play Northern Illinois, Arizona State will likely meet Michigan State in the Rose and Baylor is Clemson's main competition, as a top-eight team. The Bears haven't been to a major bowl game since the 1980 Cotton, but in this scenario, they could be one of two top-eight teams shut out - along with South Carolina.

2) Just one of the Big 12 favorites lose - Clemson's in the Orange and the Big 12 winner is in the Fiesta.

3) Ohio State loses to Michigan State - This is an interesting one. This shakes up the bowl selection order, as some SEC team will take a BCS title game spot. Michigan State heads to the Rose, while this sets up a Ohio State-Clemson matchup. Why? The Orange would need permission from the Sugar to take the top SEC team and therefore they'd likely go to New Orleans, while the Buckeyes would be ideal for Miami.

4) Stanford beats Arizona State, Texas beats Baylor - Outside of South Carolina, Oregon is likely the highest-ranked two-loss and also a top-10 team in this case. The Alabama-Oregon matchup was talked about much of the season, but that's before the two lost three games in November.

5) Northern Illinois loses - Here how the dominoes could fall on this one... If all of the favorites win, Clemson matches up with Alabama in the Orange, while it could be Baylor v. the SEC champ in the Sugar. UCF heads west to the Fiesta to meet the Big 12 champion. In scenarios 2-4 above, another PAC-12 team stands a good chance of slipping into the Sugar or Fiesta. Anyway you slice it, you're a Bowling Green Falcon to ensure Clemson's BCS bowling.

Other possible bowls...

Chick-fil-A Bowl

CBS Sports: Jerry Palm - Duke v. Texas A&M

ESPN: Mark Schlabach - Clemson v. Texas A&M; Brad Edwards - Miami v. Texas A&M.

O&W: Brandon Rink - Duke v. Texas A&M

Russell Athletic Bowl

On the opposite side of the scale, longtime Daily Press ACC writer David Teel is reporting that Duke (yes, Duke) would be selected over Clemson for the Chick-fil-A. And that sends the Tigers to Orlando for a Dec. 28 bowl matchup with the AAC.

CBS Sports: Jerry Palm - Miami v. Louisville

ESPN: Mark Schlabach - Miami v. Louisville; Brad Edwards - Virginia Tech v. Louisville.

O&W: Brandon Rink - Miami v. Cincinnati

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Comments » 12

Xander5000 writes:

Oh that would fabulous. Stick two of the most---p-offed passionate fan bases right now in the Orange Bowl when talking about Alabama vs. Clemson. Watch out South Beach. This could be an all out blood bath like that movie 300. Only in this battle, we really can't be sure who will be left standing.

essoclub writes:

Dabo wants us in the Orange Bowl because after we are thoroughly dismantled by Bama, he will simply say that they were one of the best teams in the country and we would have won the game if we did not have 8 turnovers.

Only Clemson can figure out how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in big games. The five straight losses to South Carolina are inexcusable. But, I know, Dabo has the program headed in the right direction. It's clearly a race to the bottom at this point.

SoCalTiger writes:

Along with the 10-win seasons and one ACC Championship, Dabo also brought you:

The biggest defeat in BCS bowl history.

The biggest defeat at Death Valley.

Five losses to Slurrier.

Now what? The Orange Bowl again? Bama again?

OMG

kellytown writes:

We need to start looking for a top tier coach!!!Dabo has proven that he is not the coach for us. We can't win big games against top teams. Dabo if you get your wish and play Alabama and we will loose. Then so will you The TIGER NATION will not accept another beat down. You will have to go. No excuses I don't want to here you say we could beat them 5 out of 10.

BigBud52 writes:

As an IPTAY member and tiger fan I pray we don't play Alabama in the Orange Bowl. Granted, we did win 10 games this year but look who we beat. Then look at who we lost to an by how much. Bama would be playing for yet another national championship had their kicker not missed everything but the team bus to the game. We are not in their league, an if Dabo thinks we are then he is nuts. Belk Bowl...Belk Bowl...Belk Bowl

TRUETIGER1 writes:

It's not about Clemson and hasn't been for years, it's about money. AD from GT and a president from West Virginia, really ? Was there absolutely no one to choose from ?

TRUETIGER1 writes:

Mabe we should go to The OB with the understanding, that if Dabo wins he stays, lose he goes, it would solve a bunch of problems. We have to do something, we are getting more negative records than positive. In the history of the school we never lost 5 in a row to the chickens.

33dtb writes:

famous last words, "It's just another game".

waran writes:

Dabo wants Orange Bowl as a BCS bowl is a larger bonus. Period. If we lose the bowl game, Dabo and Chad Morris should be fired. If they stay, I will not buy my season ticket next year and hope others dont also. Only money can force AD to take action, at least next year.

YabbaDaboDooDoo writes:

in response to Xander5000:

Oh that would fabulous. Stick two of the most---p-offed passionate fan bases right now in the Orange Bowl when talking about Alabama vs. Clemson. Watch out South Beach. This could be an all out blood bath like that movie 300. Only in this battle, we really can't be sure who will be left standing.

Oh it would be a blood bath alright! You thought the last Orange Bowl was bad? Really, you don't want to play Alabama.

YabbaDaboDooDoo writes:

in response to essoclub:

Dabo wants us in the Orange Bowl because after we are thoroughly dismantled by Bama, he will simply say that they were one of the best teams in the country and we would have won the game if we did not have 8 turnovers.

Only Clemson can figure out how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in big games. The five straight losses to South Carolina are inexcusable. But, I know, Dabo has the program headed in the right direction. It's clearly a race to the bottom at this point.

Snatch defeat from the jaws of victory... yeah, that's it. According to Clemson fans, Clemson is the best team in college football every single year and they only lose b/c they just find a way to beat themselves. It couldn't possibly be b/c the other team is better.

essoclub writes:

in response to YabbaDaboDooDoo:

Snatch defeat from the jaws of victory... yeah, that's it. According to Clemson fans, Clemson is the best team in college football every single year and they only lose b/c they just find a way to beat themselves. It couldn't possibly be b/c the other team is better.

YabbaDaboDooDoo is your handle… Really? That's the most creative thing that you could come up with? You lose all credibility right out of the gate with that handle. You might as well change it to toys_r_us. Game over. It does not even matter what you post.

With that said, I'll try to dumb things down for you, although I am not sure if that is even possible. Clearly, you are (a) a S. Carolina troll and (b) 12 years old.

The Gamecocks were the better team for four of the last five games vs. Clemson, but the Tigers completely imploded in this year's game. If you feel that is not an accurate statement, well, we will forgive you because you were probably playing Madden on your Xbox with your 7th grade buddies during the game as you clearly did not watch it. We also completely understand that the game continued well past your bedtime. We will not hold it against you as you very well could have snoozed through the 4th quarter.

Lastly, you are on the wrong message board my friend. Post something mindful, or don't post anything at all. Here's a suggestion: Grab a fruit roll-up and a juice box and leave the football talk to the adults. Have fun at recess today and don't miss your short bus to school. Run along now. Clown.

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