TAMPA, Fla. – Greetings from Raymond James Stadium, where the orange-clad Clemson fans seem to be taking over the place, from downtown Tampa to the tailgating scene outside. The Tigers should outnumber the Jackets’ fans here, but Georgia Tech did sell all but a few hundred of its allotted tickets. Bottom line – it should be a better crowd and atmosphere than it was last year, but you can attribute part of that to the fact that these fans had longer to plan for the trip, and it’s a new matchup.
The Dr. Pepper ACC championship game has the potential to be one of the better title games of the day, though the Cincy-Pitt game will be hard to replicate, and obviously the Florida-Alabama game is stealing the show. If Texas handles Nebraska the way a lot of folks seem to think it will, then the ACC game could be the highlight of the night. Then again, about 75 percent of America seems to think Georgia Tech has this one wrapped up, according to ESPN's fan poll.
Given the history between these two teams, though, there’s no reason to think this shouldn’t be another thriller. Clemson and Georgia Tech are both looking for their first ACC title in at least a decade, and 11 of the past 14 games have been decided by five points or less. Four of Georgia Tech's past five wins over Clemson have been by a touchdown or less. Here's an interesting stat for you: Although Georgia Tech has won five of the past six games, Clemson has actually outscored the Jackets over the past six games by 111-109.
It will only matter to the Tigers, though, if they can find a way to outscore the No. 1 scoring offense in the ACC tonight.