For the first time in 30 years, the citizens of Clemson, S.C. will taste oranges. After a three-decade slump, gregarious Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has led the Tigers to the Orange Bowl where they will face off against the Big East champion West Virginia Mountaineers on Jan. 4th in Miami. While both squads will enter the contest with three losses, they both are relatively young teams who began picking up momentum at the end of the season when it counted. Clemson left all doubters to rest as to who the kings of the ACC were in 2011 by thrashing a higher ranked Virginia Tech team 38-10 in the conference championship game. Meanwhile, West Virginia won three close games in a row to secure their spot in Miami.
Both teams are led by outstanding quarterbacks who went somewhat under-the-radar this season in Tajh Boyd for Clemson and Geno Smith of West Virginia. Expect a lot of offense in this contest, with Mountaineers head coach/offensive mastermind Dana Holgorsen likely relishing at the opportunity to have a month to game plan for the Tigers. Clemson meanwhile should be able to counter with the outstanding arm of Boyd and the explosiveness of surefire Freshman All-American Sammy Watkins.
Which team do you think will win the Orange Bowl?