Clemson Football: Best Bowl Options for the Tigers

Zach Gilliland@@ZachGilliland93Featured ColumnistDecember 2, 2014

Clemson Football: Best Bowl Options for the Tigers

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    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    It’s bowl season for the college football world, but it’s still unclear where the Clemson Tigers will wrap up their season.

    Last season at this time, the Orange Bowl was looking pretty good for head coach Dabo Swinney and company, but that's not the case this year.

    Georgia Tech’s victory over Georgia could likely give the Yellow Jackets the edge for the Orange Bowl if Florida State wins the ACC Championship Game this Saturday.

    The Tigers still have a shot at the ACC-affiliated Orange Bowl, but other options appear to be more realistic at this point.

Pinstripe Bowl

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    The Tigers defense will look to keep its numbers impressive with one final game this season.
    The Tigers defense will look to keep its numbers impressive with one final game this season.Tyler Smith/Getty Images

    Date: Dec. 27

    Location: The Bronx, New York

    Matchup: ACC vs. Big Ten

    This is where ESPN’s Brett McMurphy has the Tigers slotted to play in his latest bowl projections, but this is where Clemson is least likely to go. This bowl will take an ACC team, but other teams within the conference make more sense.

    The game is played in New York, which isn’t close for Tigers fans who would want to travel to the game. Based on location, Boston College and Syracuse seem like the more logical picks for this bowl.

Orange Bowl

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    The Tigers could be set for back-to-back Orange Bowl appearances, depending on what happens with Georgia Tech.
    The Tigers could be set for back-to-back Orange Bowl appearances, depending on what happens with Georgia Tech.Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Date: Dec. 31

    Location: Miami, Florida

    Matchup: ACC vs. SEC/Big Ten/Notre Dame

    The Tigers still have an outside shot at this major bowl, but it all depends on what happens in the ACC Championship Game on Saturday. Georgia Tech is at No. 16 in the College Football Playoff rankings right now, but it will likely move up after the big win against Georgia.

    The Yellow Jackets could stay ranked higher than the Tigers—even with a loss to undefeated Florida State—which would likely give them the chance to play in the Orange Bowl.

Belk Bowl

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    The Tigers' rushing attack will present a tough challenge to whichever team it faces in the bowl game.
    The Tigers' rushing attack will present a tough challenge to whichever team it faces in the bowl game.Tyler Smith/Getty Images

    Date: Dec. 30

    Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

    Matchup: ACC vs. SEC 

    This matchup seems to be a good fit for the Tigers. It is played in Charlotte, so it’s a no-brainer that the stadium would be filled with orange.

    This game would give the Tigers a chance to take down another SEC team, something they have done five times since 2011.

    The next bowl I will talk about seems like a better fit for the Tigers, but the Belk Bowl is still a possibility.

Russell Athletic Bowl

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    Deshaun Watson is expected to play in the bowl game, which makes the Tigers much more difficult to game-plan for offensively.
    Deshaun Watson is expected to play in the bowl game, which makes the Tigers much more difficult to game-plan for offensively.Tyler Smith/Getty Images

    Date: Dec. 29

    Location: Orlando, Florida

    Matchup: ACC vs. Big 12

    This is the postseason game that I think the Tigers will end up playing in. I say this because I think Georgia Tech will keep it close enough with Florida State to go to the Orange Bowl, and the Russell Athletic Bowl would be the next best slot for the Tigers.

    Football writer Phil Steele projects that the Tigers could take on Oklahoma in this bowl game, and that could be great for the Clemson program going into next season.

    Going to the Orange Bowl could be great for momentum, but beating an established program like Oklahoma would be great for recruiting.

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