Can the Tigers go to the Cotton Bowl?
|Thursday, November 29, 2018, 4:33 PM- -|
The general assumption for many Clemson fans - and college football fans across the country - is that a Clemson appearance in the College Football Playoff means another appearance in the Orange Bowl, especially if the Tigers stay in the No. 2 spot behind Alabama.
In the words of Lee Corso, not so fast my friend.
Alabama sits at No. 1 in the CFP rankings this week, with Clemson at No. 2, Notre Dame at No. 3, and Georgia at No.4. Common thought has been that the top-ranked team gets its pick of a location and that Bama, with the familiarity with Dallas, would pick the Cotton Bowl.
However - the Orange Bowl sent out an email Thursday detailing how Clemson could wind up in the Cotton Bowl.
The email read:
How does the CFP select which game goes to which site? The Selection Committee will place the games using geography as a factor and giving a proximity preference to the No. 1 seed first and then if possible the No. 2. For example, if a Southern, Northeast, or Midwest team is No. 1 and a Southwestern team is No. 4, they would most likely come to the Capital One Orange Bowl, because sending that game to the Goodyear Cotton Bowl would give an advantage to the lower seed. Conversely, if a Southwestern team is No. 1 and a Southern, Northeast, or Midwest No. 4, that game would most likely wind up in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl.
Clemson's IPTAY offices sent out an email reminding Clemson fans of that possibility Thursday, saying in part:
Dear Tiger Fans,
We noticed in your 2018-19 Clemson post-season ticket request application that you requested tickets for the 2018 CFP Semifinal at the Orange Bowl and not the 2018 Cotton Bowl. If the Tigers are fortunate to advance to the College Football Playoff, the Cotton Bowl is also a possible destination along with the Orange Bowl. If interested, we wanted to give you the opportunity to add a ticket request for the Cotton Bowl. You can do so now by logging into to your online ticket account via the link below before 11:59 PM this evening.
So, what is a likely scenario that would see Clemson in the Cotton Bowl? Assuming Alabama and Clemson both win (they are favored) and stay at No. 1 and No. 2 in the rankings, that would leave Notre Dame at No. 3. No. 4 Georgia loses to Alabama in that scenario and would be replaced by No. 5 Oklahoma, which faces off against Texas. If the Sooners win, and take over at No. 4, the committee would likely send Oklahoma and Alabama to the Orange with Clemson and Notre Dame in the Cotton.
Or...the committee could have Oklahoma jump Notre Dame (idle this week) into the No. 3 spot, leaving Clemson to play Oklahoma in the Orange and Bama-Notre Dame in the Cotton.
There are also plenty of different scenarios available - upsets can and do happen - but the above criteria gives you an idea of what might happen under each scenario.