One of the marquee matchups in the BCS slate will see two dynamic offenses face off against each other, with Ohio State playing Clemson in the Orange Bowl.
When first hearing about the matchup, Shakin' the Southland noted Clemson's opportunity to prove themselves against a marquee opponent:
This is a great opportunity on a big stage. Clemson needs to show up like they did against LSU and UGA and not like they did against FSU and SCar. This is also big for Tajh Boyd's legacy. He has an opportunity to tie Rodney Williams for the most wins by a Clemson QB while joining Billy Hair (1950) and Homer Jordan (1981) as the only Clemson QBs to win an Orange Bowl. I believe that would cement him as the greatest Tiger QB ever.
Shakin' the Southland posted video of former Clemson head coach Danny Ford, who helped bring the school to national prominence in the 1980s, talking about the game.
Land-Grant Holy Land took a look at Ohio State's history in the Orange Bowl -- and it's been a good (albeit brief) one for the Buckeyes:
Between 1935 and today, Ohio State has established an Orange Bowl history that is short, and sweet. The Buckeyes have never been defeated in the Orange Bowl. Of course, they've only played in the Orange Bowl one time.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said the Tigers have been more consistent than the Buckeyes, and LGHL took opposition to that claim, noting Ohio State's recent success:
Granted it's not like Ohio State's been beating world beaters; the loss to Michigan State certainly added fuel to the naysayers' argument that the Buckeyes' 24 consecutive victories were aided by only facing a small number of truly quality opponents. But if you go back even further, particularly over the five years Swinney specifically mentioned, Ohio State went 54-11 (83% winning percentage) including two BCS bowl wins while Clemson went 46-20 (70% winning percentage) with a 70-33 loss to West Virginia in the last BCS bowl they played in during the same stretch.
We get defending your own program's progress, but ol' Dabo might want to get his facts straight before making such a lofty claim next time.
The Buckeyes are going to be making a change in the defensive secondary, as freshman safety Vonn Bell will be starting in place of Corey Brown:
"It's still like, wow. I look back to my freshman year at Central. I told them I just wanna be in the game and run in front of a crowd of 100,000, it's every kids dream and I'm just living it," Bell told WRCB's Paul Shahen. "Going to a BCS game, it's every kids dream. I'm just fortunate enough to play in it, just blessed to be a part of something special like that."
Ohio State's defense has been a concern all season long -- especially in the secondary, and LGHL's Ted Glover is worried about the unit against Tajh Boyd:
But everyone is concerned about the here and now -- Clemson brings a potent passing attack, and there's a lot of worry that Tajh Boyd will run up some huge numbers on a vulnerable OSU secondary.
He will. Big numbers. Huge. Not gonna lie, it's probably going to be hard to watch at times, but it's going to give Bell (and Powell, for that matter), valuable experience heading in to next season. And really, that's the long play here. This game is important, for a couple reasons, but keeping this team prepared for next year's chase is as important as any of them. Getting these young, talented players valuable playing time in a big game situation will only help Ohio State moving forward.
Jeanna Thomas of Land-Grant Holy Land discovered a website made by South Carolinians to try and drive Ohioans out of their state, fueling the flames of this budding rivalry:
With that in mind, it's really important for the Buckeyes to beat Clemson in the Orange Bowl, and beat them badly. The fine people of South Carolina have invested a great deal of energy and enthusiasm into hating Ohio in general, and it would be inconsiderate for the Buckeyes to allow all of this South Carolinian animus go to waste. Beat the Tigers, Buckeyes, and give South Carolina one more reason to hate Ohio. It's the right thing to do.