The Peach Bowl (now and forever!) is designated as the Southeastern Conference's fifth-place bowl tie in. Which is to say, it gets the fifth selection after the BCS title game, the Sugar Bowl, the Capital One Bowl and the Cotton Bowl.
Anybody think LSU was the fifth-worst team in the SEC this season? They pushed the best team (Alabama) to the absolute limit. They lost to No. 2 (Florida) by eight points on the road. Plus, they beat two of the other squads in the league's top half (Texas A&M and South Carolina), something Georgia can't say.
But LSU is the one playing in December. It would be easy to dismiss this as typical bowl politics, except this is hardly the first time. In 2005, LSU went 10-1 in the regular season, winning the West but losing to Georgia in the SEC title game and wound up where? In the Peach Bowl, behind Alabama and Auburn teams that they beat. In fact, with the exception of 2008, every time in the last 20 years that LSU has wound up in this game (9-2 in 1996), they seemed a bit overqualified. In fact, both times a 10-win squad has played in this game, it has been LSU.
No debate about resumes, no concerns about what's "fair" to the conference runner-up. Nothing. Nobody in the league office lobbying for a bowl tie-in pecking order, or for the bowl sites to maybe switch things up a bit and take some different teams. I find that funny. Anybody else find it funny?
Now, that being said, it isn't all bad. For one, Atlanta is always a fun trip, and LSU will be heading to Dallas next August anyway for the Cowboy Classic against TCU. The Georgia Dome certainly beats the Citrus Bowl as a venue, and frankly, playing on New Year's Eve sounds better to me than New Year's morning. I'm usually out enjoying myself anyway, so watching a football game is no hardship. I'd certainly rather watch a game that night then have too get up earlier the next morning after partying past midnight.
Additionally, No. 14 Clemson offers a pretty intriguing matchup. Tahj Boyd leads an explosive offense, and while LSU has a clear edge at the line of scrimmage, the thought of the DBs that have been struggling for the last month covering Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins is certainly a little scary. Plus, their SB Nation affiliate, Shakin' the Southland, is a great blog, and Dr. B & Co.'s X &O series is one of the best football learning tools out there. I know I'll be looking forward to some future collaborations. LSU and Clemson annually compete for recruits, so there's some cache to be earned with a win, even if neither fan base will be all that excited with the venue. Tigers versus Tigers, Death Valley versus Death Valley. Oh! And Yabo Dabo Swinney versus Les Miles. That's whatcha call entertainment right there!