For the most hardcore NCAA football fans across the country, there really isn’t anything quite like December and January when bowl season gets underway. The new year will bring with it several quality BCS games, including the Discover Orange Bowl, which will pit the ACC champions against then Big East champions in a tale of two teams that not enough people seem to be talking about. While West Virginia reached No. 23 in the country on the heels of a three-game winning streak that included a win over Cincinnati as a team they needed to beat with a couple of games to play, the Clemson Tigers had little trouble in the ACC, where they managed to knock off Virginia Tech twice, including a dominant performance in the conference championship game.
While there is little doubt that they deserve to be in this game, the Tigers have to be thinking about what could have been if they had not dropped their final two conference road games, which included losses at Georgia Tech and North Carolina State. Clemson opened the year with eight straight wins, including three against nationally ranked opponents. Meanwhile, after losing two of three from the end of October in to November, the Mountaineers had to rally with three straight wins to get in, and will enter this game with a fighter’s mentality with the chance to prove that they belong. The pay head bookies will have Clemson listed at the favorites, and they are likely to win, but depending on the sports betting spread don’t count out a tough West Virginia team that has peaked at exactly the right time.