ESPN ranks Russell Athletic Bowl #17th best bowl
|2014-12-08 16:56:32.0- -||
The Russell Athletic Bowl featuring Clemson and Oklahoma showcases two teams with a great football tradition.
This year, Clemson is ranked #17th in the college football poll while Oklahoma just left the polls after a last second 38-35 overtime-loss to their rivals Oklahoma State.
Both teams can play with just about anyone on a given day if they execute their gameplans. Just ask Alabama last year in the 2014 Sugar Bowl as the Sooners won easily 45-31.
However, ESPN analyst Mark Schlabach thinks the game is not very appealing as he ranks the bowl the #17 best match-up of the bowl season.
I'd probably be a lot more excited about this game if I knew that Clemson freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson was going to play. Watson, who led the Tigers to a 35-17 victory over South Carolina while playing with a torn ACL, might undergo surgery to repair his knee and miss the bowl game. It certainly seems like the smart thing to do. Cole Stoudt, who has struggled mightily lately, would start if Watson can't play. The Tigers will already be without former offensive coordinator Chad Morris, who left to become SMU's new coach. After a disappointing 8-4 season, the Sooners can probably lock up a top-five preseason ranking in 2015 if they defeat the Tigers. That's how it works, right?
This game is not a playoff game or a marquee New Year's bowl but in my opinion there is no way this match-up should be ranked below the Boca Raton Bowl featuring Marshall vs Northern Illinois (#14 overall). I doubt anyone is clamoring for those tickets despite their excellent team records this year.
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