Orange Bowl had to choose West Virginia
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Orange Bowl didn't have a choice about which teams it could invite.
The bowl had an automatic tie-in with the ACC. It also was the last BCS bowl to make its school selection, and West Virginia, the Big East's automatic BCS qualifier, hadn't been picked.
Still, Orange Bowl representatives said it's an ideal matchup between ACC champion Clemson and Big East co-champion WVU.
"We weren't quite sure what was going to happen with the Sugar (Bowl)," Orange Bowl representative Jeff Rubin said. "Once they finally made a decision where they were going to go, that left us with the opportunity to invite the Big East team, which was West Virginia."
Though the game is Jan. 4, Rubin the bowl hopes fans spend the week in Miami enjoying the festivities.
The Orange Bowl will shut down South Beach on Dec. 31 to allow for concerts and other activities. It's also working with the WVU Alumni Association to create other events, including a tailgate on game day.
Rubin said close to 60,000 tickets were pre-sold, including a 17,500 ticket allotment purchased by each school. Sun Life Stadium holds just more than 75,000 fans.
West Virginia fans will be located in the Northwest quadrant of the stadium, while Clemson fans will sit in the Southeast quadrant.
The rock band Train will perform at halftime.
"We're looking forward to it," Rubin said. "Both schools travel very well, and there seems to be a lot of enthusiasm on both sides of the table. We think that's going to bring a lot of fans down."
West Virginia players and coaches also will receive hospitable treatment. The team will arrive Dec. 29 with two large fire hoses shooting over the plane when it hits the tarmac.
Each player receives an orange, backpack and snack as he steps off the plane, and the team is escorted by 18 police officers on motorcycles to the Fontainebleau Resort.
"Whenever they travel, we have police officers that take them. It's presidential," Rubin said. "It's an amazing experience, but this is what the players have earned."
The Mountaineers will practice on campus at Barry University.
Dolphin likes WVU
A dolphin named Flipper at the Miami Seaquarium picked West Virginia to beat Clemson.
A ball with each school's respective logo was placed in the dolphin's tank, and Flipper knocked the West Virginia ball out of the tank.
Last season, Flipper picked Virginia Tech over Stanford, but the Cardinal won, 40-12.
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.