Home » blog » BCS Orange Bowl Preview & Prediction

Posted by on December 16th, 2011 in blog, CFF Features, Jeff Siverhus | No Comments

This year’s Orange Bowl matchup pits the ACC Champion (10-3) #15 ranked Clemson Tigers against the Big East Champion (9-3) #23 ranked West Virginia Mountaineers. At first glance, based on their similar records, one would think this is a very good matchup. I would disagree and say The Mountaineers selection is another good case for demolishing the BCS system. West Virginia gained their bid to the Orange Bowl based on the fact that they were able to win the Big East Conference and the BCS system has deemed the Big East an automatic qualifier (AQ) Conference. Let’s break this matchup down and I will further make my case.

West Virginia won the Big East, which is the weakest AQ within the BCS, by virtue of beating currently unranked Cincinnati for the Conference Championship. In addition, two of West Virginia’s  three losses were at the hands of a 5-7 Syracuse team, which by the way was their only Conference win, and 7-5 Louisville. None of the Mountaineers nine wins were against what I would consider to be “quality” opponents. Please understand, I am not saying West Virginia is a terrible team, I am just stating I do not believe they are a team worthy to be playing in one of the four BCS games.

The Clemson Tigers enter this contest fresh of their ACC Championship drubbing of Virginia Tech. The Tigers had climbed as high as #7 in mid season, only to stumble down the stretch. However, it appears they have regained their mid season form in the ACC Championship game. The Tigers have quality wins over ranked opponents of Auburn, Florida St. and Virginia Tech (twice).

I believe the Mountaineers will make this a decent game in the beginning with their talented QB Geno Smith connecting with the duo WR’s Tevon Austin and Stedman Bailey. If however, Clemson plays a wide opened game as they did against VTech they could make this a blowout in the 2nd half. I do not believe the West Virginia defense has anyone to matchup with Clemson’s freshman sensation Sammy Watkins and I look for him to have a huge night against their defense. The current point spread has Clemson giving WV 3 ½ points, my bet is Clemson covers that and then some.


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