January 3rd in Boise, Idaho
What would have to happen? Clemson most likely won't fall to the Humanitarian Bowl because the Tigers are assured of a 4-4 record in the ACC. The other bowls won't allow Clemson to pass them by, so the likelihood of Clemson making a return to Boise is slim. To even get consideration, Clemson would have to lose to Duke and South Carolina and that may still not be enough for the Tigers to fall this far in the pecking order.
Chance of heading to Boise-5%
Who would the Tigers play? Boise State seems poised to play on their home blue turf against whomever from the ACC heads out west.
Continental Tire Bowl
December 27th in Charlotte, North Carolina
What would have to happen? Similar to the Humanitarian Bowl, Clemson would have to lose to Duke and South Carolina to fall far enough for the Tire Bowl to get their hands on Clemson. While Charlotte would lick their chops to get a chance to host Clemson (hence why there is little chance the Tigers will fall to the Humanitarian Bowl), the Tigers would have to stumble down the stretch and Georgia Tech and Wake Forest would most likely both have to finish out their ACC season undefeated. Neither of those scenarios is likely to happen.
Chance of heading to Charlotte-15%
Who would the Tigers play? The Tire Bowl will get the 4th best Big East team if they want them, but that would mean a return of West Virginia to Charlotte. Considering the way the Mountaineers travel, that is a possibility. West Virginia would make even more sense to the Tire Bowl if the Tigers were there because it would match up Rich Rodriquez and Tommy Bowden. Virginia Tech is another option.
December 22nd in Orlando, Florida
What would have to happen? Clemson would almost have to lose to Duke for the Tigers to fall into the Tangerine Bowl's grasp. Even at 4-4 in league play, Clemson would still hold a share of 4th place unless both Virginia and Georgia Tech finish out their ACC schedule undefeated. The question is, would the Tangerine want Clemson for a 2nd straight year? Probably unlikely, hence the small percentage. The Tangerine would most likely pass on Clemson, allowing the Tigers to fall to Charlotte.
Chance of heading to Orlando-15%
Who would the Tigers play? The Tangerine would not want a Texas Tech/Clemson rematch considering the way that game was last year. So if the Tangerine takes Clemson, Texas Tech will go elsewhere. Look for Missouri or Oklahoma State to fall into the Tangerine IF Clemson is invited.
January 2nd in Atlanta, Georgia
What would have to happen? If Clemson beats Duke Saturday, the Peach Bowl seems imminent for the Tigers. Atlanta would love to have Clemson back after a 3 year hiatus, and most Clemson fans like the ease of the day trip to an indoor climate. An X factor in the equation may be Clemson's overall record and that final game against South Carolina. If the Tigers finish tied at 5-3 with Maryland or N.C. State, the Peach may look to overall record for the determining factor. N.C. State would travel well to Atlanta, the Terps most likely would not…at least relative to the Tigers and Wolfpack. If Clemson were to win out, I don't see any way the Tigers would fall below the Peach in the pecking order.
Chance of heading to Atlanta-40%
Who would the Tigers play? Most likely whomever comes out of the Georgia/Auburn/Tennessee pack. Those three teams are all fighting for the 4th SEC bid…along with holding out aspirations for better bowls. The SEC is as messed up as the ACC right now, so predicting a specific team is fruitless at this point.
Toyota Gator Bowl
January 1st in Jacksonville, Florida
What would have to happen? The scenario of Clemson finishing in a tie for 2nd in the ACC is not as far fetched as it may sound. Assuming Clemson beats Duke and South Carolina (both games are prerequisites for being considered by the Gator) there is a chain of events that could make no ACC team other than Florida State better than 5-3 in the league. Both N.C. State and Maryland have 2 losses in the ACC, and both have losable games left in conference play. In addition, they will play each other that would guarantee one of them getting their 3rd loss. In addition, the chances that any of the 3 loss teams will finish out undefeated is growing slimmer by the day. UVA and Georgia Tech play each other, and both have other games that could get them to their 4th loss. As ironic as it sounds, Clemson may be in the cat-birds seat for a tie for 2nd place at 5-3 simply because their road is the easiest with only Duke remaining.
Chance of heading to Jacksonville-25%
Who would the Tigers play? This is as big a mystery as any. Pitt could be headed for the BCS, but who really knows. My best guess is that Miami will end up in Jacksonville, but at this point that situation is way too early to call.
Clemson's Bowl Scenarios
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