The Tigers (8-4) face the Volunteers (10-2) on Jan. 2. Here's what the media has to say.
CLEMSON COVERAGE: The State; The Greenville News; Anderson Independent-Mail.
TENNESSEE COVERAGE: The Knoxville News; The Tennessean; Maryville Daily Times.
PEACH PICKING: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a couple of interesting stories on the process the Peach Bowl uses to pick its participants. The shorter story is fairly straightforward. The longer one gets into detail about the selection process. It' includes this passage about Clemson fans:
And just like any other political process, there is a lot of lobbying on the eve of the big vote. In fact, as Peach Bowl executives find out, the Clemson fan base may have one of the strongest lobbies in the South.
Someone in the Tigers' camp got hold of the main fax number in the Peach Bowl office, and the machine hasn't stopped spitting out pages since 3 p.m., when the Gator Bowl officially selected Maryland and the Peach Bowl went "on the clock" to make its choice. So by now there are hundreds of faxes from Clemson fans piled up.
Most of the the faxes are quite simple -- just big, black paw prints on single pages. Some are open pleas to the selection committee to "do the right thing" by choosing the Tigers. Others are more cryptic, such as the ones with copies of $2 bills printed on them followed by the message, "Choose Clemson and These are Yours."
It's not really a bribe. Clemson has a unique tradition in which fans accompanying the team to a bowl destination use $2 bills -- often with big orange paw prints stamped on them -- to pay for everything they buy while in the host city. That way, it is reasoned, local establishments will know that it was Clemson money being spent in their town.
Clever constituents, these Clemson folks. Someone acquired the e-mail address of David Epps, the Peach Bowl's vice president for marketing and sales -- the "Ticket Guy" -- and they posted it with a link on TheTigerNet.com, a Web site/chatroom devoted to Clemson football. From 4 to 8 p.m., Epps received 2,300 e-mails from the Clemson faithful. Under headings such as "Go Tigers!" "Underachievers vs. Overachievers" and "Tigers Love Peaches," Epps reads why the Peach should pick Clemson over N.C. State.
Direct phone numbers of Peach Bowl employees also were posted. Executive assistant Patti Young, who has worked for the Peach Bowl in various capacities for 33 years, returns to her desk after a brief dinner break to find 99 phone messages in her voicemail box. When the automated voice informs her of this, she simply hangs up and walks away.
A plug for Tigernet and a glimpse at our great fan support. All in all, not a bad story.
PEACH NOTES: The official Clemson site has posted some notes about the upcoming matchup with Tennessee. Check 'em out.
BOWL CENTRAL: Fanblogs has a comprehensive list of links for all of the upcoming bowl games. Give it a look.