CLEMSON - A year ago Clemson was happy just to get to a bowl, so happy the
team and coaching staff put on forced smiles and headed west to Boise, Idaho
for the Humanitarian Bowl.
Having won that one, this year's team was a little more selective. While
getting into a bowl it could win was a top priority, various Clemson players
began publicly wishing for a postseason trip to Orlando as far back as a
Where else to get a wish granted than the Magic Kingdom?
On Sunday, the Tigers accepted an invitation to the Dec. 23 Tangerine Bowl
(5:30 p.m., ESPN) at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando. The game will
pit Clemson against an as-yet undetermined opponent.
"I think going to Orlando is a testament to our fan base and how instrumental
they are in our going to bowls," Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden said Sunday.
"They make us attractive for hotels, restaurants and things like that."
That attraction - plus three wins in the last four games, including the 27-20
victory over South Carolina a week ago - proved to be enough to sway the
100-member selection committee to choose the Tigers instead of Virginia, even
though the Cavaliers had two more wins inside the Atlantic Coast Conference
(6-2 to 4-4).
But Clemson benefited from the game's date.
Because the Tangerine Bowl is held prior to Christmas, it can choose whomever
it pleases from the eligible teams once the Peach Bowl has made its
selection. And whereas the Peach Bowl, and many other bowls held after
Christmas, require no more than a one-game difference in conference record
before one team can jump another, the Tangerine is not held to that standard.
"We had a two-hour selection committee meeting this afternoon and there was a
lot of good discussion," said Tangerine Bowl Executive Director Tom Mickle.
"Virginia had a great season and they received a lot of support. But Clemson
is the winner, and we're excited to have them here."
Teams can begin arriving in Orlando as early as Monday, Dec. 16. Bowden said
he has a tentative bowl schedule already put together.
"It's all written up. We were just waiting for the start date," he said.
"We'll have a team meeting at 4 p.m. (today) and tell them when we'll start
practicing. You want to make this a reward for (the players), but there's a
fine line you walk.
"There's a lot of work involved because you want to win the game."
Possible Big 12 opponents include Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and
Choosing one of the four won't be done until the BCS releases Kansas State,
who suddenly has played its way into contention for an at-large bid to one of
the four major bowls. Mickle said that decision could come as soon as
Tuesday, but "I don't think that will happen, honestly. I look for it to go
into next weekend."
The Tangerine Bowl will pay out a minimum of $750,000 to each team, Mickle
said. That figure could rise depending on attendance.
Clemson will be allotted 12,500 tickets for sale, while the Big 12 opponent
will get 12,000.
Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium seats 62,000. Attendance at last year's inaugural
game was 28,562.
Tangerine Bowl Events
Friday, December 20
12:00 p.m. - SCHOLAR ATHLETE KICKOFF LUNCHEON
Rosen Centre, International Drive, Orlando.
If you're in town, you're here. Both teams are honored at the official Bowl luncheon where head coaches give pre-game comments, guests sit with players at every table and a scholar athlete from each team is honored. Sponsored by the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are $45 and available through Ticketmaster.
Sunday, December 22, 2002
Evening – Tangerine Jam
Universal Orlando - Islands of Adventure
Enjoy a full day admission to Islands of Adventure plus a private party in
the Sinbad Theater starting at 8 p.m. The private party features a pep rally
complete with school bands and cheerleaders, exclusive use of the Dueling
Dragons Roller Coaster and a DJ Party until 10:00 p.m. Discount advance
tickets are $38 ($62.44 value) available exclusively through the Tangerine
Bowl Ticket Office. Order online at www.fcsports.com or buy at the stadium
box office between December 19 and 22 (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.).
10:00 p.m. - Tangerine Jam After Party
Universal Orlando - City Walk
Use your Tangerine Jam ticket for free admission into the many venues of
CityWalk (for adults, 21 and over). Among them you will want to visit the
world renowned Pat O’Brien’s, decked out as Tangerine Jam Bowl Fan
Headquarters. Enjoy drink specials and special bowl giveaways. Admission is
free with Tangerine Jam ticket.
Monday, December 23, 2002
2:30 p.m. – One Cool Tailgate
Tinker Field - Adjacent to the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium
Orlando’s Biggest Holiday Party. Arrive early for the game and savor all the
barbecue and drink you can handle while rocking to Cactus Jack & the
Cadillacs. School bands and cheerleaders will stop by for a performance
under the 35-foot Christmas tree. Plenty of games, an artificial snowstorm,
a visit from Santa Claus, plus displays and exhibitions presented by
participating sponsors make this the place to be way before the game kicks
off. Tickets are $25 and available through Ticketmaster.
4:00 p.m. – Press Club
South Press Box, Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium
Enjoy the benefits of a skybox with the game services of a press box. The
privileged patrons of the Press Club will have tickets to "cover" the
ACC-Big 12 clash with all the comforts of our Stadium press box. Guests will
have access to the west side press level, an open bar, a tantalizing hot
buffet dinner, and prime seats along press row. We'll fix you up with a game
program, starting line-ups, flip chart and quarterly stats. Tickets are $150
per person. Adults only. Limited to the first 100 patrons. Visit
www.fcsports.com for availability updates or contact the FCS Ticket at
407.423.2476, extension 128.
5:30 p.m. – 13th Tangerine Bowl
Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium
This is the bowl that kicks off the college football post-season in Florida.
It is the Big 12 against the ACC for the fourth time in Orlando bowl
history. After a weekend of revelry it will be time for rivalry as thousands
of fans flock to the stadium for the Monday night spectacular – great
football with pre-game and halftime fanfare to make the bowl trip a complete
success. Tickets are $45 at Ticketmaster or online at fcsports.com.