Christmas Day Notes - Enormity of the Orange Bowl

Mike Ehrmann

Merry Christmas! We hope you're having a great holiday and maybe some of you are finding Orange Bowl tickets under the tree. What a better time to emerge from our collective post-SCar hangover and start getting excited for the Orange Bowl than Christmas. It's a big one. Here's a few reasons why.

Bowl games are obviously cheaper now than in the good ol' days. When you see Colorado State and Rutgers in bowl games, that certainly rings true. The Orange Bowl is not exempt from the degradation. Clemson has won 14 ACC Championships (plus 1983 when we were not officially crowned) and yet this is only our fifth Orange Bowl appearance. Winning the ACC wasn't necessarily enough back in the day, and now we're getting in as ACC #2.

Nevertheless, Billy Hair and Homer Jordan are the only Clemson QBs to win an Orange Bowl. Tajh Boyd has a chance to join them. Think of that, Rodney Williams... Steve Fuller... they never had the honor of playing in this bowl. Also, Boyd needs just one more win to tie Williams as the winningest QB in school history--something that would elevate his legacy to another level.

Frank Howard and Danny Ford are the only Clemson coaches win the OB. It may be blasphemy to mention our current head coach in the same breath as those titans, but that's great company he could join.

Urban Meyer is an exceptional coach and it seems we've been fighting over some of the same recruits lately, as he tries to bring kids from the South up to play in Columbus. So there may be recruiting implications to this one too.

The loser of this bowl will be subjected to hearing how overrated they are all offseason. Should OSU lose, they'll end with back-to-back losses after 24 straight wins. That's a quick fall and a painful one. If Clemson loses, it's 4-3 down the stretch. You can't rise to #3 in the nation and them drop three of your final seven games. That feels a lot like failure.

It's hard to call anything good when the Chickens beat you. They're despicable swine. I stopped going to Columbia after a grown man clucked in my face following the 2009 loss. Nevertheless, any season that ends with the Clemson Tigers hoisting an Orange Bowl trophy, finishing in the top 10, and claiming the program's only BCS bowl victory is far from disaster. The offseason will be much easier to endure with a finish like that. You can bet I'd be loading up on Orange Bowl merchandise.

With just one more win, I'll look back and remember this season fondly. However it will be a very hollow 10 wins and a missed opportunity if we suffer yet another loss under the national spotlight. This Orange Bowl is huge. It's time to shake off the Chicken hangover and get excited if you're not already. Expect plenty of coverage from us as we head into game week.

Finally, I'd like to point you to the video I embedded below. I was able to connect with Mark Rogers, who is an ESPN guy and extremely knowledgeable about the Ohio State Buckeyes. If you didn't catch it before, he answered questions about OSU's defense, Braxton Miller, and their motivation heading into the game. I hope you enjoy!

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