No BCS, no problem

Xavier Brewer

CLEMSON - Xavier Brewer had no problem taking the politically incorrect route when discussing Clemson's bowl plans.

Before last month's 27-17 loss to South Carolina, Clemson had BCS potential, with a shot at playing in either the Sugar or Fiesta Bowl.

The loss, of course, dropped Clemson out of the conversation and into the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Missing out on a second-straight trip to the BCS left the Tigers feeling down about their final game of the 2012 season.

"That's what we all had our sites set on. We wanted to go to the Sugar Bowl," Brewer said. "We wanted to take care of business against South Carolina, but we weren't able to do that."

They had an entire week to think about what could have been.

"We've got to suck it up," Brewer said. "We let that out of our system last week. Now, it's time to prepare for a great LSU team."

Those letters -- L-S-U -- certainly helped reenergize the mood around the West End Zone in Clemson.

"It's a big deal. I'm definitely excited about the opportunity," Brewer said. "I really wanted to go to the Sugar Bowl, but that's not going to happen.

"This is the next best thing, playing against a top 10 team. That's what you want to do after your season. You want to play against the best."

Over the years, LSU has proven to be one of the best. It was just last year that those Tigers were the undefeated SEC Champions playing for a national title.

"They're smash mouth. They're going to run right down hill and open up for play-action," Brewer said. "We're just going to have to buckle up our chinstraps and be ready to play good football."

Ready to play old man football…

"The SEC is definitely the premier conference in the country, not just the south," Brewer said. "They've proven that, because they win the games that they need to win. They win the big games and they win all their bowl games.

"Pretty much, this is another opportunity for us to prove that we're in that elite level and we can play with guys like that."

Brewer believes Clemson has the players to do it.

"I feel like we recruit the type of talent to definitely play with them, so we've just got to go out and prove it," he said. "There's nothing we can talk about. We've just got to go out and play."

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