#1. Peach Bowl: Clemson vs. Georgia
Sound crazy? It may be more possible than you think.
Here are two bits of information being passed around involving the SEC as of late Sunday evening: 1) Auburn appears headed to the Capital One bowl, and 2) Florida seems to be on track to the Independence to possibly play Oklahoma. Assuming those two statements are true, and also that the winner of Saturday's SEC Championship game between Georgia and LSU will go to the BCS, it is possible for Georgia to fall all the way to the Peach.
For starters, the Bulldogs have to lose Saturday's game against LSU. That sends LSU to the BCS, and Georgia free-falling down the SEC bowl pecking order.
With Auburn going to the Capital One, the Outback Bowl would then have to select South Carolina and the Cotton Bowl would have to take Alabama - which at this point seems likely in both cases as a Florida Bowl wants Steve Spurrier and the Cotton Bowl generally takes a team from the SEC West.
That leaves Georgia to go to the Peach Bowl.
On the ACC side of things, Florida State must lose to Virginia Tech in Saturday's ACC Championship game to avoid a total meltdown of the ACC's bowl pecking order. That sends Virginia Tech to the BCS and Miami to the Gator Bowl.
The Peach Bowl would then make its choice between Clemson, Florida State, Boston College and Georgia Tech. So ask yourself, would the Peach Bowl then select a Florida State team that would be riding a four-game losing streak and is no longer ranked in the top 25 to face Georgia? Sure, it's possible. Or a Boston College team that would sell 1/5th the amount of tickets that Clemson would? Probably not. And forget Georgia Tech, they are likely headed to the Music City Bowl in Nashville.
That leaves either Clemson or Florida State. At that point, a decision would have to be made. The kicker however still concerns South Carolina. The Outback Bowl must select the Gamecocks if Clemson is going to have any shot at the Peach. Under no circumstances would there be a Clemson-South Carolina rematch.
It may be a long shot, but it's possible. To further back up these claims, reference the following articles in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Raleigh News & Observer.
#2. Peach Bowl: Clemson vs. Alabama
This one may be even more of a stretch, as most bowl prognosticators have already penciled in Alabama to the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. However, if Georgia were to win the SEC Championship game, that could send LSU to the Cotton Bowl instead of the Crimson Tide. And again, assuming the Outback Bowl decides to take our good friend Steve Spurrier and the South Carolina Gamecocks, and the Capital One Bowl takes Auburn, the Tide could possibly roll into Atlanta to represent the SEC.
Not probable, but a great match up none the less.
#3. Champs Sports Bowl: Clemson vs. Nebraska
Just a week ago, this appeared to be the ideal postseason scenario for the Tigers. But now, with Florida State involved in its longest losing streak in over 22 years, the Seminoles may be the leading candidate to land in Orlando. However, if the Outback Bowl decides to pass on South Carolina, the Peach Bowl would most certainly pick the Gamecocks, and FSU would then likely be the leading candidate to represent the ACC in Atlanta (Bowden-Spurrier), which could leave Clemson in the Champs Sports Bowl against a team from the Big 12.
A match up against the Cornhuskers has obvious appeal because Nebraska is an opponent that is nationally respected, and it also gives fans a rematch of the 1981 Orange Bowl, a 22-15 Clemson win that gave the Tigers their only National Championship.
Players like Orlando because it gives them more travel money, and also because of the warm environment.
#4. Champs Sports Bowl: Clemson vs. Colorado
The Buffalos were winners of the Big 12 North Division this season, and would also offer substantial "name appeal" not to mention a good match up for 7-4 Clemson.
Yes, the Big 12 North is not as strong as the Big 12 South, but Colorado is still considered a healthy program, despite recent off-the-field issues.
Again, players also like Orlando because it gives them more travel money, and also because of the warm environment. Fans would enjoy this game because Clemson rarely ever plays a team from the Big 12.
#5. Meineke Car Care Bowl: Clemson vs. South Florida
It doesn't offer a tremendous amount of "name recognition" but playing close to home in Charlotte offers plenty of advantages for the average Clemson fan. The South Florida program is considered a program on a rise, and the Bulls were at least close to contending for the Big East's BCS bid until losing to Connecticut this past weekend. Yes, that's right, Connecticut. It's not the sexiest match up, but it's a bowl game that's close to home. A home game in Charlotte isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Editor's Note: CUTigers.com will be speaking with representatives from the Chic-Fil-A Peach Bowl, the Champs Sports Bowl and the Meineke Car Care Bowl Monday to get the latest information on the Tigers' chances with each postseason game. Stay tuned!
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