BCS Bowl Picture 2012-13: Why Sugar Bowl Should Want Clemson over Oklahoma, KSU
The Clemson Tigers deserve an at-large BCS bowl bid.
Finishing the season at 10-2 and entering the conference championship weekend at No. 14 in the BCS standings, the Tigers have an appealing resume. With no bad losses—each to Florida State and South Carolina—Clemson features an explosive attack to keep pace with any opponent.
Also, in an article by Andrew Jones of FOXSportsCarolinas.com:
What makes Clemson's case for the BCS is that its offense is ridiculously good. Boyd set a school-record with 520 total yards Saturday [November 17]. He became the first player in ACC history to account for eight touchdowns in a single game — passed for five and ran for three — and engineered an offense that amassed 754 yards and set a program record by running 102 offensive plays.
To that end, let's break down Dabo Swinney's team and see why the Sugar Bowl must consider Clemson this bowl season.
Clemson's Offense By Comparison
The Tigers are slightly more explosive than both Oklahoma and Kansas State regarding average points per game. There, the Tigers get 42.3 per contest and both the Sooners and Wildcats are just above 40.
So, the disparity then becomes total offense. Clemson averages 518 total yards each game, which is five more than Oklahoma and over 100 more than Kansas State. Interestingly enough, the Tigers present a balance that is mixed in with the potency.
Oklahoma mainly throws the ball, and Kansas State is significantly more run-oriented. Clemson, though, ranks No. 13 in passing and No. 33 in rushing. Meaning: The Tigers can throw as well as the Sooners but run much more efficiently.
In addition, Clemson can slam the rock just as impressively as the Wildcats, but Tajh Boyd can spread the field better than Collin Klein. Now yes, the overall production is definitely based on each coach's offensive system.
Nevertheless, the ability to be explosive and maintain balance is a better approach than being one-dimensional.
With Clemson having fallen to the Seminoles and Gamecocks, the Tigers have two strong losses. The Sooners, though, are in a similar boat with Bob Stoops' two drops coming against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Kansas State.
Unfortunately, both were at home as opposed to Clemson at least losing at Florida State.
Kansas State, on the contrary to both, got whipped by the then-4-5 Baylor Bears. Any team that is expected to be among the best around simply does not lose a game to an inferior opponent. Much less get demolished and completely exposed.
As a result, the Wildcats falling to Baylor certainly makes the Big 12 look less appealing as a whole.
Factor in how the Big 12 has fared against the SEC in previous BCS games and the ACC appears to be a better current at-large option. Not to mention, Clemson having won its conference in 2011-12 and remaining quite consistent simply enhances the appeal.
Who is more appealing to the BCS for an at-large?
Recent Big 12 vs. SEC Matchups
This is mainly the result of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 BCS National Championship Games.
There, the Oklahoma Sooners fell to the Florida Gators, 24-14, and the Texas Longhorns lost to the Alabama Crimson Tide, 37-21.
The SEC has simply dominated during the BCS over the past six seasons; however, the ACC has not been given a BCS matchup vs. the SEC since 2004-05: Auburn over Virginia Tech. Obviously, part of that is certainly attributed to the bowl tie-ins and multiple BCS busters as well.
Therefore, the appeal of Clemson can be increased due to a lack of ACC-SEC matchups on the biggest of stages. We've seen the Big 12 struggle against college football's best conference, and Clemson deserves its opportunity to take down a school among the elite.
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