ESPN ranks Clemson's non-conference schedule as ACC's most difficult

The Clemson Sports Blog

Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins fights though a tackle by South Carolina's Victor Hampton.

Photo by Sefton Ipock

Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins fights though a tackle by South Carolina's Victor Hampton.

ESPN has ranked Clemson's non-conference schedule as the ACC's most difficult.

In her rankings published on Thursday, ESPN's ACC blogger, Heather Dinich, analyzed each of the league's 14 non-conference schedules and concluded that Clemson's games against 2012 top-10 teams Georgia and South Carolina trumped Virginia's slate, which includes match-ups against Oregon, BYU and Ball State.

"Having to play two of the top three teams in the SEC East - and one on the road - buys the Tigers a pass on their two FCS teams," Dinich wrote.

The combined 2012 winning percentage of Clemson's four opponents - S.C. State, Citadel, the Bulldogs and the Gamecocks - comes in at 71.4 percent, which ranks second highest in the league behind North Carolina's opponents, who combined for a 74.5 winning mark.

Virginia's schedule was ranked second to Clemson's, followed by Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Miami, Boston College, Maryland, Wake Forest, N.C. State and Duke.

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