A different view of the Orange Bowl

There is a select group of people well-positioned to give their own unique take on the matchup between West Virginia and Clemson in the Discover Orange Bowl.


They are the men who see each team up close, who watch the demeanor of the head coaches, the sidelines and the players. Ryan McGee of ESPN The Magazine caught up with one referee from the Big East and one from the ACC to get their take on how the game will go down.

From the Big East ref:

"The biggest difference we've all noticed so far when it comes to how Bill Stewart ran things versus how Dana Holgorsen does it has been sideline discipline. It just feels like total chaos at times. Maybe he's still figuring out the CEO part of the job, but a crazy sideline is usually an indicator of disorganization elsewhere. ... Catch them in one of those stretches and you can gash them. That's why they lost games they shouldn't have and had so many that were close that shouldn't have been."

From the ACC ref:

"What did the Big East guy say about West Virginia? He said you don't know who you're going to get week to week, right? That's exactly how I feel about Clemson. ... If they are on, and that can be a big if, the only way to slow them down is to keep them off the field. As bad as West Virginia's running game is, I don't think they can do that."

You can also hear Ivan Maisel and Mark Schlabach preview the Orange Bowl on the ESPNU College Football podcast.