How Clemson went from A ... to Z

Updated: December 7, 2009, 2:07 PM ET
By Ryan McGee and Ryan Hockensmith

Important editorial note: This is NOT written by Bruce Feldman; he'll be undergoing back surgery early this week, so in his stead, ESPN The Magazine senior writer Ryan McGee -- who often has written on college football, including this piece -- and ESPN The Magazine editor Ryan Hockensmith -- who helps oversee the college football department -- are offering their thoughts on the just-announced bowl pairings. Enjoy, and feel free to leave well-wishes for Bruce in the Conversation section.

Ryan McGee goes inside the world of bowl selections

For a glimpse into the wild, wacky, what-the-deuce world of bowl team selections, you needn't look any further than the ACC. On Sunday afternoon, a six-pack of bowl selection committees with ACC tie-ins sat down in six cities and proceeded to have a WWE-style bunkhouse stampede to decide who got whom. And like pro wrestling, few left the cage without at least getting their feelings hurt.

I talked to two ACC-affiliated bowl officials Sunday night. One described the afternoon's cross-bowl talks as "more tense than my divorce proceedings." Another said of the day: "I've had more fun passing kidney stones."

How did it all go down? Stick with me here; it's worth it. But you might want to have some Tylenol on hand.