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Let’s go bowling: Predicting Clemson’s possible bowl gamed destination

Ashleigh Snyder
Following its four-game win streak to close out the season, Clemson’s bowl game selection has improved considerably.

Although the Tigers may not be a contender for a New Year’s Six bowl game after narrowly sneaking into the rankings for the last week of the regular season, their bowl game selection is looking much-improved thanks to the four-game win streak to cap off the season.

The Tigers are now edging away from lesser-known, colder games (the Military Appreciation Bowl in Annapolis, Maryland, the Fenway Bowl in Boston, or the Pinstripe Bowl in New York City) and towards sunnier skies.

As head coach Dabo Swinney said after the team’s victory over North Carolina, “The more we win, the warmer it gets.”

Many analysts are pointing toward the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. The warm temperatures and cross-country travel would be an excellent introduction to the West Coast for the Tigers, who will begin playing two of the newest ACC additions, Stanford and Cal, on the road in the coming years.

The Holiday Bowl is a match between ACC and Pac-12 contenders, setting up the possibility for an interesting meeting, to say the least. Widely projected opposite the Tigers are the 8-4 Oregon State Beavers, led by former Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei.

Bowl game officials would be setting both Uiagalelei and his former squad up for an endless stream of media commentary and opinions, but only time will tell if this matchup actually takes place. USC has also been mentioned as a possible contender to play opposite the Tigers in the Holiday Bowl with their 7-5 record.

The Gator Bowl, based in Jacksonville, Florida, would be an exciting matchup due to the large overlap in fans between the Tigers and Jaguars, thanks to quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne. The Jaguars play the Carolina Panthers at home just a few days after the Dec. 29 bowl, so an enticing two-for-one trip for “Duuuval” and “C-L-E-M-S-O-N T-I-G-E-R-S” fans may be in the cards.

The Gator Bowl traditionally pits the ACC against the SEC, meaning a rematch of last year’s Orange Bowl is a slight possibility, as Tennessee is the only team in their conference with the same record as Clemson.

Another ACC versus Pac-12 matchup could be possible at the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, which hosted the Pittsburgh Panthers after their 8-4 record (5-3 ACC) in 2022.

Representatives from the Gator Bowl, Sun Bowl and Pop-Tarts Bowl (formerly the Cheez-it Bowl) were in attendance at the Tigers’ final home game against North Carolina, though the Pop-Tarts selection is unlikely as the Tigers won it in 2021 over Iowa State and repeats tend to be avoided.

Rounding out guesses for the Tigers’ bowl placement is the ReliaQuest Bowl in Tampa, Florida, which involves two teams from the ACC, SEC or Big 10. This matchup has featured ranked teams in recent years, with last year seeing No. 24 Mississippi State take down Illinois 19-10.

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About the Contributors
Grace O'Donnell
Grace O'Donnell, Sports Editor
Ashleigh Snyder
Ashleigh Snyder, Photo Editor
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  • L

    Leopard HenryNov 30, 2023 at 2:57 pm

    Going to the gator bowl makes sense. There would be more people more money and also convenient to many Clemson fans and whomever the opponent may be. We do not need to be in San Diego. They would not be a lot of fans at that bow from Clemson. Maybe 3000.

  • H

    HenryNov 30, 2023 at 2:24 pm

    Going, West For Clemson Tigers would not be wise. Geographically Florida would be better for them. The fans would be 2 to 3 times more in Florida than in San Diego California. The right bowl for them is one of the Florida bowl’s Let’s. hope you do choose them for one of the Florida Bowls.Thank you. Also, money would be greater in the Florida bowls than in San Diego. Thank you- Coach Leopard