Sunday, December 3rd the FBS bowl game selections will be announced on ESPN. This season’s selection day will have an unusual feeling for the Tigers. Typically, they are winding down from the ACC championship game and waiting to hear if they earned a playoff spot or an invite to a New Year’s Six bowl game. That will not be the case this year. Still, Clemson has one more to keep the end-of-season momentum rolling in preparation for 2024. It will also be an opportunity for many young players to gain more experience as they get ready to play more important roles next season. Most importantly, it will allow Dabo Swinney and his remaining staff to evaluate this young talent against a good football team.
Where the Tigers Could Bowl
With bowl selection day right around the corner, it looks like Clemson is destined for the Holiday Bowl. Most publications, including ours, have the Tigers slated to go bowling in San Diego, California. Where there are some slight differences in opinion is in who Clemson will be facing out West. There are two teams now the predictions have narrowed down to.
Who Could Clemson See
The Holiday Bowl is slated to contain one ACC team (Clemson) and a Pac-12 conference team. The two PAC-12 teams many are predicting will make the game are Oregon State and the University of Southern California (USC). Both games could be good matchups for the Tigers. They are both good teams that will give Clemson great competition to end the season.
The Oregon State matchup would have been slightly more intriguing a few days ago. Former Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei transferred to Oregon State after last season. The storylines for the game would have written themselves. Unfortunately, Uiagalelei decided to enter the transfer portal once again at the end of this season. This came after the Beavers’ now former head coach Jonathan Smith left to become the new head man for Michigan State. This still could be an entertaining game if it happens though. It would be a battle between two top-25 teams who have a bit of a chip on their shoulders.
A matchup with USC could also be pretty interesting. Both teams came into this season with hopes of competing for a national championship. The season did not go as planned for either though. Clemson had a rough start but was able to turn it around to end the season. For USC it was the opposite. The Trojans started the season strong winning their first six games, then finished 1-5. These two teams trying to finish the season on a high note after some heavy disappointments would be intriguing to watch.
Whoever the Tigers play it should be an entertaining game. There will be good competition. Further, it gives Clemson one last chance to show it is continuing to grow. The biggest thing to look forward to is how the young players filling in for those not playing in the bowl game perform on this stage.