CLEMSON — 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."