Fiesta Bowl Rep: Clemson and Ohio St. the best of the bowl matchups
|Saturday, December 17, 2016, 8:01 AM- -|
CLEMSON - Following Friday's practice, members of the media spoke with members of the Fiesta Bowl's Yellow Jacket Committee. We got to speak with one special member of the Fiesta Bowl committee, Bob Whitehouse, who is very thrilled to host the No. 2 Tigers and No. 3 Buckeyes in Arizona. He spoke about the matchup between Clemson and Ohio State, the Clemson brand, activities fans should take advantage of, and the Fiesta Bowl’s uniqueness.
The Tigers are fifteen days away from kickoff in Arizona, and Whitehouse knows the Tigers will travel well and present a big sea of orange in the stands, just like they did last year at the National Championship.
Q: What does it mean to have Clemson and Ohio State in this bowl game?
BW: “We’re thrilled with the selection that the College Football Playoff Committee gave to the Fiesta Bowl with the number two and the number three selection. We think we’ve got two perennial top ten teams. They have both been in the playoffs twice in the first three years. We’re fortunate that we think we’ve got the best matchup of all of the bowl games.
Q: You had Ohio State last year in the Fiesta Bowl, and you had Clemson in the National Championship game. Does that hurt or help business to have these teams come out again?
“I think the fact that we’ve got the number two and number three team in the country makes it an exciting matchup. I think college football fans across the country are going to be tuning in and those that are gonna travel from both South Carolina and Ohio and Arizona is excited to host both teams. We’re going to have a great matchup, and we expect to have a packed house for the game. We can’t wait to show off our Arizona hospitality. “
Q: For fans that are thinking about coming out and spending a few days or even a week what are some things they should take advantage of that the Fiesta Bowl has to offer?
“Well, I would say the first thing is our hospitality. You will find that Arizonians are going to roll out the red carpet for everyone that comes out. The second thing that comes to mind especially on a day like today is the weather. We’re going to hopefully have sunshine and seventy-degree weather. It’s going to be Chamber of Commerce weather whereas it might be a little bit chilly here (South Carolina) and in Ohio. We’ve also got some national treasures, like the Grand Canyon where you can get a lot of the southwest culture and flavor in Arizona, and that will culminate with that great game on December 31st. “
Q: Do people on the National scene now look at Clemson as an elite team like Alabama or Ohio State and how much weight does the Clemson brand carry?
“I think from the bowls perspective we; weconsider Clemson as a perennial team. If you look at the history of bowl games, they have been at New Year’s six bowl games three out of the last four years. We know they were out there for the National Championship and we’re excited because this is the first year they will be out here for the playoffs at the Fiesta Bowl. Our yellow jacket committee members, and the fan base in Arizona is thrilled to have both Clemson and Ohio State.”
Q: Does this program still have the reputation of traveling well and were you pleased with how they showed up last year?
“We were thrilled with how they showed up. I was fortunate enough to be at the game, and I would say there was a lot of red for Alabama and just as much Orange for Clemson. I imagine ya’ll were both there and got to see that and we’re excited for the kind of passion and excitement Clemson fans bring to the game because that’s what College Football is all about.”
Q: I’m sure you’ve gotten the tour today and seen what’s being built, what are your thoughts on what Clemson is building here?
“I think the vison of both Coach (Swinney) and Dan (Radakovich) have had here is tremendous. We got to walk through, and we know it is still about six weeks away from being finished, but I can’t imagine being a seventeen-year-old high school football player and walking through these facilities. Being in awe, we joked about why would you ever want to leave that facility. Everything is there for you. I think it is going to be great, we were just talking to Coach (Swinney) about the blood, sweat, and tears they put into this and I think it is only going to set the bar higher across the country for College Football programs.”
Q: What do you think makes the Fiesta Bowl unique?
“I think it is the people. We’ve got a yellow jacket committee of 125 and we’ve got 2500 volunteers where the vision started with nine gentlemen in 1971. They built the bowl on hospitality and welcoming fans from across the country to make a unique life time experience you’ll never forget. That is what we continue to build on and do that around a great College Football game on New Year’s Eve this year.”