ACC expansion could threaten Clemson-UGA series

Clemson University athletic director Terry Don Phillips listens to a question during a press conference in Clemson, S.C. on Monday, July 18, 2011, where it was announced that the school will add women's golf to its athletic program beginning with the 2013-14 academic year. (AP Photo/Anderson Independent-Mail, Mark Crammer)

Photo by Mark Crammer

Clemson University athletic director Terry Don Phillips listens to a question during a press conference in Clemson, S.C. on Monday, July 18, 2011, where it was announced that the school will add women's golf to its athletic program beginning with the 2013-14 academic year. (AP Photo/Anderson Independent-Mail, Mark Crammer)

— One of Clemson’s most-anticipated non-conference series could be in jeopardy thanks to the ACC’s move to a nine-game football schedule.

In a statement Wednesday, Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips said he has “discussed” the Tigers’ planned 2013-14 home-and-home series against Georgia with the Bulldogs’ athletic director, Greg McGarity.

Last month, the ACC announced its move to a nine-game conference schedule once Pittsburgh and Syracuse join the league. The two Big East are expected to join the league by 2014, but could leave as early as 2013.

That means ACC teams must cut an opponent from their non-conference schedules, from four to three, but when remains an issue.

In addition, the nine-game schedule means teams will alternate between four and five league home games per year, which could wreak havoc with the model of playing seven home games per season.

“It has become a recent issue with the ACC’s decision to play a ninth conference game,” Phillips said of the series. “We want to play Georgia in 2013-14, but we also would like to continue to play seven home games each year from a budgetary standpoint. Nothing has been decided at this point and we will continue discussions with Georgia."

In 2013, Clemson has home games with Georgia, Kent State and The Citadel, as well as a road game at South Carolina. In 2014, the Tigers are scheduled to open the season at Georgia, with visits from Coastal Carolina, Central Michigan and South Carolina.

The teams have not played since the 2002-03 season. Georgia won both games, taking a 31-28 win in Athens to open the 2002 season and blasting Clemson 30-0 to open 2003.

The SEC is also expanding to 14 teams, but is expected to keep its eight-game league schedule as is.

McGarity told the Macon Telegraph that he and Phillips are “in the discussion stage” about the series.

“I'm just trying to get educated basically on when the ACC will go to nine games and how does that affect our series,” he said. “As you look down the road, is it happening in '13, is it happening in '14, because if and when it happens, we need to be able to fill a spot. Clemson may say 'Hey we want to continue to play,' which will be fine with us."

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Comments » 6

Terri (Inactive) writes:

College football is the most exciting game in America. The conference muckety-mucks are doing a bang-up job of trying to lessen that excitement and enjoyment.
It is more important...for some unknown and inexplicable reason, at least to me, that Clemson play either Syracuse or Pitt, or BC or whatever ACC team, instead of a traditional rival like Georgia.

It isn't the money. Is it these lamebrains can't devise a schedule unless there are nine ACC foes? Please someone explain.

jojo6272 writes:

I agree fully with what Terri writes, but i would like to add another point of view. I began the 2011 season witnessing the near close win over Wofford, saw us struggle until Auburn, then witnessed the embarassing defeats to Georgia Tech, NC State, and South Carolina. To top it off i anxiously awaited the Orange Bowl, but painfully endured the embarassing loss(a basketball score in an basketball conference). The Clemson faithful are desparately wanting to renew the class and strength of the team to the level we were at in the early to mid 1980's when the Georgia game was nail biting and set the tone for the season. If we ever want to try to reach the same level of competition that we see our fellow schools in the SEC achieve, then we have to keep the non conference game with teams like Georgia and South Carolina. If we are indeed willing to accept bare average competion, stay with a weak non-conference schedule with the likes of Wofford, Citadel, Kent State, and Coastal Carolina. My vote is to maintain the strongest of schedules and dump the small schools. Is it just me or is it a no brainer. Really, why would i want to buy season tickets for two nonconference weak games like the 4 schools i just mentioned? Let's go one step further, put all our effort into joining the SEC and let;s get out of the basketball conference.

JSBCharleston writes:

Playing in the ACC, we already play enough weak teams and I would hope that playing the likes of Georgia will always be there. Playing in one of the weakest conferences in college football and then playing more teams like The Citadel, Kent state etc... doesn't do anything to make our program any better.

DMM writes:

in response to jojo6272:

I agree fully with what Terri writes, but i would like to add another point of view. I began the 2011 season witnessing the near close win over Wofford, saw us struggle until Auburn, then witnessed the embarassing defeats to Georgia Tech, NC State, and South Carolina. To top it off i anxiously awaited the Orange Bowl, but painfully endured the embarassing loss(a basketball score in an basketball conference). The Clemson faithful are desparately wanting to renew the class and strength of the team to the level we were at in the early to mid 1980's when the Georgia game was nail biting and set the tone for the season. If we ever want to try to reach the same level of competition that we see our fellow schools in the SEC achieve, then we have to keep the non conference game with teams like Georgia and South Carolina. If we are indeed willing to accept bare average competion, stay with a weak non-conference schedule with the likes of Wofford, Citadel, Kent State, and Coastal Carolina. My vote is to maintain the strongest of schedules and dump the small schools. Is it just me or is it a no brainer. Really, why would i want to buy season tickets for two nonconference weak games like the 4 schools i just mentioned? Let's go one step further, put all our effort into joining the SEC and let;s get out of the basketball conference.

jojo6272, you are spot on with everything said here. Kudos. Hopefully TDP and others will read this and understand these are the only options to gain the respect and up the ante for Clemson University.

beckel writes:

If we have to drop Georgia, it will save two certain losses! Look on the bright side.

Terri (Inactive) writes:

in response to beckel:

If we have to drop Georgia, it will save two certain losses! Look on the bright side.

I think Clemson will beat Georgia one of the games at least and probably twice. If the line gels(as observors are saying it is starting to), Clemson could be a top five team for a few years to come. They are loaded with talent. More is on the way. And the system Dabo and his coaches are implementing is working. Sure they got beat three times this year, but they are looking much better.

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