Music City Bowl: Clemson (8-5) vs. Kentucky (7-5)
Synopsis: This is far from where the Tigers would like to be playing, and coach Dabo Swinney has been very vocal about it. Clemson rode a six-game winning streak to a division title, before losing its final two games of the season. They were one minute away from winning the ACC championship, but instead allowed a late touchdown by Georgia Tech to hand the Jackets the title.
Kentucky is one of several SEC teams with a 7-5 record, but the Wildcats took advantage of weaker opponents for much of the season. They did salvage two mildly impressive victories against Georgia and Auburn, but besides that they struggled to keep up with better competition.
Player to watch: C.J. Spiller. If you have not heard of the Tigers’ do-it-all running back before now, it’s time you start watching college football. Spiller is the best professional prospect at the running back position in the nation, and for good reason. In the ACC title game, he ran for a career-high 233 yards and four touchdowns. He does most of his damage in the return game however, with his 4.3 speed proving to be out of reach for many defenders.
Who has the edge? Clemson is clearly the more talented team in this game, but that is true much of the time the Tigers hit the field, yet they do not always win. Kentucky makes a habit of giving teams trouble in the postseason, and Clemson is devastated that they fell this far in the bowl selection process. That being said, the Wildcats have no answer for Spiller.
Clemson 27, Kentucky 21