12/5/12 – #8 LSU vs. #14 Clemson, A BCS-type Bowl Game in Atlanta
Well, we made it through our selection process and we couldn’t be happier with the result.
We’ve got one of the top bowl match-ups of the post-season with the #8 LSU Tigers against the #14 Clemson Tigers. This is great stuff!
The fact of the matter is that this is an incredible game on a lot of different levels. The national media has weighed in and ranked this game as the 4th best bowl of the season, including all the BCS games.
Two 10-win national power teams whose only losses came to top-12 ranked teams. The irresistible force of the Clemson offense against the immoveable object that is the LSU defense. Tigers vs. Tigers. Whose fans will re-create “Death Valley” in the Dome? And it goes on, and on, and on …
Both of these teams are loaded with star power.
Clemson touts First-Team All American and All ACC quarterback and ACC Player of the Year Tajh Boyd and his 3,550 passing yards and 34 touchdowns along with All American and Remington finalist center Dalton Freeman. Clemson also boasts four other First Team All ACCers with wideout DeAndre Hopkins, tailback Andre Ellington, tight end Brandon Ford and tackle Brandon Thomas.
LSU counters with the nation’s 11th-ranked defense and a host of First-Team All SEC defensive standouts with Butkus finalist Kevin Minter (111 tackles), defensive end Sam Montgomery 7 sacks), and safety Eric Reid (81 tackles, 2 ints) that only gives up 16.9 points per game.
Both of these teams are playing for an important 11th win. A win would likely give LSU a top-5 final ranking and Clemson would likely finish in the top-10 with a victory. That’s a lot to play for when you talk about final rankings and positioning your team for making a run next season.
Both of these teams are very familiar with the national stage of playing in Atlanta. LSU played in the Georgia Dome in last year’s SEC Championship, while Clemson started this season with a win in our Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.
And to make it even sweeter, these two teams have only met twice in their history. They first played in 1958 when LSU defeated Clemson 7-0 in the Sugar Bowl. The two Tigers did not play again until 1996 when they met in the Peach Bowl where LSU won again, this time 10-7. Both games were very tight, one-score games and we expect the same this year.
On all levels, a perfect bowl game. And let me tell you, we WANTED both these teams. And these two teams want to play each other. It’s a win for LSU a win for Clemson and a win for us!
In our Monday morning conference call with the teams, the head coaches summed it up best:
Clemson’s Dabo Swinney
“This is a great match-up versus one of the best teams in America. LSU is a team that less than a year ago played for the national championship and was just a few plays away for playing for it again this year. We’re excited about being in Atlanta and playing in a great venue.”
“The opportunity for an 11th win has not presented itself many times in our history here at Clemson. I truly believe this is a BCS bowl game here.”
LSU’s Les Miles
“This is a very competitive game in a big venue in Atlanta. It’s one of the marquee match-ups this season. An opportunity to win 11 games and play a great opponent, we’re looking forward to it.”
“I was told the Chick-fil-A Bowl positioned themselves very strongly for an LSU team. To be very honest with you, I want to go to the place that wants us and I personally enjoy the place the Chick-fil-A Bowl has arranged.”
So there you have it. Clemson’s coach and players are excited. LSU’s coaches and players are excited. And now we want to hear from the fans.
What gets you fired up about this game? Who is going to win and why? Who will be the better Tigers in the Georgia Dome on New Year’s Eve? Leave your comments below!
And remember to follow us on Twitter (@chickfilabowl) to stay up to date on Bowl activities all the way through the game. Lots of great pictures and news from behind the scenes during Bowl Week!