The Orange Bowl is one of college football's greatest traditions. This year's game will mark the final time it's played as a BCS bowl with the College Football Playoff set to take over in 2015.
For ACC schools that have been invited to the game for years, it'll be tough to see the Orange Bowl go away from its roots a bit. At the same time, most are really excited to see how the playoff will play out and there's no question it will revolutionize postseason play in college football. Here's hoping we can go out with a bang in 2014.
Date and time, ET: Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, at 8:30 p.m. ET
TV channel: ESPN
Location: Miami Gardens, Florida
Stadium: Sun Life Stadium; 80,000 capacity
Tickets: Find available seats here.
Last year's score: Florida State 31, Northern Illinois 10
Last year's attendance: 72,073
Last year's TV rating: 6.5 Nielsen; approximately 10 million people.
Last year's payout for each school: $17 million
Team with the most all-time appearances: Oklahoma; 18
Team with the most all-time wins: Oklahoma; 12-6
Clemson (10-2, 7-1 ACC)
Clemson is a tough team to figure out. They came into the season with a top-10 ranking and expectations sky-high as a possible national title contender.
While they started out winning their first six games, a blowout loss to Florida State just about took them out of the running for a shot at the ACC championship. They were able to bounce back from the FSU loss with four-straight wins, though a loss to South Carolina in the season finale really put a damper on things once again.
With Clemson’s second-best win of the season coming against Georgia Tech, just how good are they? There’s no doubt that the Tigers’ offense ranks as one of the better units in the nation. They rank 13th nationally in scoring, averaging just over 40 points a game. Led by senior quarterback Tajh Boyd, Clemson has to feel like they’re never out of a game with their ability to put points up in a hurry. Keep an eye on wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who may be the best wideout in the country. The defense is also solid, though their impressive numbers are skewed a bit by a weak strength of schedule.
Last bowl game: 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl vs. LSU, 25-24 win
Last year without a bowl: 2004
All-time bowl record: 17-18
Head coach's bowl record: Dabo Swinney, 2-3
Ohio State (12-1, 8-0 Big Ten)
The former No. 2 Buckeyes fell out of the BCS National Championship after an upset loss at the hands of Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship, but they still boast one of the country's best teams and most exciting offenses. Plus, they seemingly have billions of fans who are capable of taking over any stadium.
Urban Meyer's squad is led by mobile quarterback Braxton Miller and bulldozing running back Carlos Hyde, who combine to give the Buckeyes the No. 1 rushing offense in the country, according to several metrics. Defense isn't Ohio State's strongest suit, but linebacker Ryan Shazier and cornerback Bradley Roby are among the highly talented defenders who'll be looking to shut down Boyd and Watkins.
Last bowl game: 2012 Gator Bowl vs. Florida, 24-17 loss
All-time bowl record: 20-23
Head coach's bowl record: Urban Meyer, 7-1
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