Where will the Tigers Land?

CUTigers.com spoke with Champs Sports Bowl representative James Aleo about the possibilities.

It's always a fun time of year. And for the Clemson Tigers, it has to have added excitement this go-around after a postseason-clinching win over South Carolina Saturday, 31-14.

But where will the Tigers fall in the ACC's pecking order when bowl bids are officially extended next Sunday, Dec. 7?

Right now any guess appears to be a good one simply because there's another weekend of football left to be played, including the all-important ACC Championship game between Boston College and Virginia Tech.

James Aleo, a representative for the Champs Sports/Capital One Bowls in Orlando agrees.

"Right now it is anyone's guess," he told CUTigers.com Sunday afternoon. "You have 10 teams from the ACC that are within one game of each other that are bowl eligible. Nine of them are in consideration.

"One thing some may not realize is that there is a rule that teams with seven wins have to be placed in bowls with the ACC ties before a team with six wins can be placed. There are nine bowls with ACC ties so N.C. State will most likely not go to a bowl with ACC ties."

Aleo says the Champs Sports Bowl, which picks fourth in the ACC bowl pecking order, will be looking to find the most attractive matchup when determining which teams will get invited to Orlando.

"You have to look at who will be available and determine the most attractive match-up," he said. "We will look to see who the Big Ten team will be and then determine the best match-up. If Ohio State doesn't go to the BCS, then Northwestern could be the Big Ten selection for the Champ Sports Bowl.

"Sure, we will look at 'BIS' (butts in seats), but we will also look for a good regional audience and national interest in the for the television sponsors.

"Traditionally we have not been afraid to take a team that doesn't give you the best BIS factor. The economy could change that some this year. Some of the members may change their minds based on the economy."

As far as Clemson is concerned, the Champs Sports Bowl is well-aware of the orange-clad faithful.

"Clemson travels well all the time by reputation," Aleo said. "They are always an attractive option."

The Tigers last played in the Champs Sports Bowl in 2005, where they beat Colorado 19-10. The Tigers also faced Texas Tech in what was then called the Tangerine Bowl in 2002.

Regardless of how it all ends up playing out, one thing is known for sure right now - the timing of when a decision will be made.

"We will make our decision next Sunday morning," added Aleo. "The BCS will let us know which Big Ten teams are being considered for the BCS and we will know which ACC teams are available."

With Saturday's win over South Carolina, Clemson has been bowl eligible now for 10 straight years.

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