CLEMSON — Imagine a time when Clemson and South Carolina do not play on the football field.
It could happen.
Conference Realignment is how.
The Pac-12 was resolved this past summer, which eliminated a lot of traditional rivalries on the West Coast.
When Texas A&M joined the SEC back in 2012, the Aggies stopped playing in-state rival Texas. Of course, that rivalry will renew when the Longhorns join the SEC next season.
Nebraska-Oklahoma, one of the best rivalries in the history of college football, died when the Cornhuskers joined the Big Ten in 2010.
Clemson and South Carolina have played every year since 1909, with the exception of 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. This year’s matchup will be the 120th edition of the Clemson-South Carolina game, one of the oldest rivalries in the history of the game.
The Tigers and Gamecocks play Saturday night at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.
“It is great for the fans, obviously,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “It is great for the players too. Go to college and be able to experience playing in games like this that are so meaningful. Everybody that you interact with, it is just so meaningful, not that the other games aren’t.
“That is one thing you worry about. Five years from now it can be totally different. That is just the way it is. A lot of these types of games will go away. They already are.”
With Oklahoma moving to the SEC, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have already announced they will end their annual rivalry game.
“They are not going to play Oklahoma-Oklahoma State,” Swinney said. “Are you kidding me? How can you not have Oklahoma-Oklahoma State? That does not make any sense. What? Can you imagine not playing Clemson-South Carolina (game)? I don’t understand it.
“I understand how we got here. I hate that for the players and I hate it for the fans. Again, as a guy who grew up in rivalry games and then played in them and then coached in them for a long time, it is what makes college football unique and is what makes college football special. It is what it right now. Hopefully, somewhere down the road, this whole thing gets blown up, and it will, we can salvage some of those things.”
To honor Clemson’s special senior class Dear Old Clemson is selling footballs signed by 7 of Clemson’s Avengers for only $100. These limited edition footballs are signed by Thomas, Orhorhoro, Davis, Mascoll, Henry, Murphy and Williams. Get one while supplies last.