30 November 2006


From the Charleston Post & Courier today,

"The Gator Bowl has agreed to select Georgia Tech over Clemson if the Yellow Jackets lose Saturday's Atlantic Coast Conference title game in Jacksonville, Fla.

Mike Hartley, chairman of the Gator Bowl's selection committee, said the bowl and the ACC have resolved a dispute over contrasting interpretations of a new "one-loss rule" the conference applies to its bowl-selection process.

The rule would bar the Gator from taking Clemson (8-4, 5-3) over Georgia Tech (9-3, 7-1) because the Yellow Jackets have two more ACC wins. The Gator Bowl Association strongly sought an exemption to the rule because it didn't want the loser of the ACC title game to end up back at Alltel Stadium for the Jan. 1 bowl."

Earlier this week it looked as if Clemson to the Gator Bowl to possibly play Texas or West Virginia was nearly a done deal. The Gator didn't want Tech because their fans don't travel well, especially if they've just been to the stadium a month before for the ACCCG. The ACC has come to an agreement with the Gator that they will buy any unsold tickets from Georgia Tech's allotment if Tech loses the ACCCG and misses out an Orange Bowl bid. This leaves Clemson fans having to root for Tech versus the Deacs on Saturday. I'm a big fan of Jim Grobe. The guy is a class act and I was one of the few people on Tigernet picking them to do well this year (I said 2nd in the division, sue me.). It sucks to root for the Jackets, but the alternative is to have Clemson go back to the Champs Sports Bowl, to the Music City Bowl, or to the Car Care bowl.

Before the rabid fans start spouting off about the ACC conspiring to screw Clemson over, stop and look at the facts. A league must protects its members, and if you're a Georgia Tech administrator and you hear this talk about the Gator dropping you from a bowl you are contractually obligated to be in, you are sure as hell going to turn to the league directors for help. Clearly an agreement was reached to keep an ACC team in the Gator Bowl, and we know that the league has crappy enough bowl tie-ins as it is and can't afford poor relations with another one. At 8-4, I don't think Clemson deserves a shot at the Gator, but dread the thought of watching a matchup with Navy in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

So Clemson fans, break out your pocket protectors and English-Gujarati phrasebook to converse with your fellow Jacket fans and root for the Engineers on Saturday. If you need a ticket to the game, there's a guy outside Alltel Stadium wearing a ACC Commish jacket and sporting a Lego man haircut who's got some tickets he needs to unload.