TaxSlayer Gator Bowl: Friday, December 29th at 12:00 PM in Jacksonville, Florida
The Gator is a traditional bowl game that has hosted the Tigers several times before. The most recent game was in 2009, which was Dabo Swinney’s first bowl game as head coach. The Tigers lost to Nebraska 26-21, so there might be some value for Clemson to get a chance to win the Gator for Coach Swinney.
Jacksonville is close by for most Tiger fans and wouldn’t be a difficult destination.
The Gator Bowl just hosted Notre Dame last year when they defeated South Carolina. It isn’t impossible for a bowl game to host a team twice in a row, and Notre Dame is the kind of team a bowl game might want in consecutive years, especially if they don’t see another viable option.
Clemson is a very viable option. Though the Irish have a strong draw, the Tigers travel well and are located much closer to Jacksonville than the Gator’s other options.
NC State is a consideration here and will be ranked ahead of the Tigers, but they aren’t traditionally considered a fanbase that travels as well as Clemson. The Wolfpack was also featured in this game just three seasons ago.
The Gator seems like a very strong possibility for the Tigers.
Possible opponents: The Gator hosts the SEC, so Tennessee, LSU, and Texas A&M are in play.