Clemson and Iowa State – two teams that began the season ranked among the top 10 before falling by the wayside – will try to cap disappointing seasons with a victory when they play Wednesday in the Cheez-It Bowl at Orlando.
No. 19 Clemson (9-3), which made the College Football Playoff for six consecutive seasons, had three regular-season losses for the first time since 2014. But the Tigers still have a shot to become just the third team ever to post double-digit victories for 11 consecutive seasons, joining Florida State (14, 1987-2000) and Alabama (14, 2008-2021).
No Clemson player has indicated they have plans to skip the bowl game.
“There has been a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of excitement,” Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney said. “We went seven straight days (of practice) in Clemson and obviously had new pieces and things like that, and guys have really done a good job of leading and just practicing with purpose. That’s what it takes to be successful in the postseason.”
The Tigers, who are 149-36 with 14 consecutive bowl trips in as many seasons under Swinney, got off to a 4-3 start, including a 10-3 loss to Georgia in their season opener. They rallied to close the regular season with five straight victories.
But Clemson has lost both coordinators in the past few weeks, with defensive coordinator Brent Venables taking the head coaching post at Oklahoma and offensive coordinator Tony Elliott assuming the reins at Virginia.
Swinney recently filled both posts from within the program, naming quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter offensive coordinator, while defensive analyst Wes Goodwin and safeties coach Mickey Conn were named co-defensive coordinators.
“I’m really, really excited about the people that we have in place,” Swinney said. “I’ve always taken a lot of pride in developing our players and developing our…