The Clemson football brand has gone national thanks to their five straight appearances in the College Football Playoffs.
Clemson football is now signing kids from coast to coast and all over North America. However, there is something that Clemson could do in order to strengthen the brand – step outside its comfort zone and play some of the programs from around the country that they have never faced.
Clemson has been playing football since 1886 when Walter Riggs lead Clemson to a 2-1 record; bookend wins over Furman and Wofford while losing their first-ever “Big Thursday” matchup against South Carolina.
Since then, Clemson has played some of the best programs that college football has to offer, never ducking any opponent and the willingness to play anyone, anywhere.
However, there are five major program that Clemson has never faced in any game – regular season or in a bowl matchup. A home and home with these five programs would add to the brand the paw is creating.
Somehow Michigan and Clemson have never played in a football game. While it is not all that surprising that the two have never met in the regular season, the fact that these two never matched up in a bowl game is.
Michigan is the definition of a college football blueblood and is Top 10 in nearly every college football statistic, including having the most all-time wins with 962. Clemson does have more bowl wins, which might surprise a lot of people. Clemson is 25-21 all-time in bowl games while Michigan is 27-27 all-time.
They have battled over the years on the recruiting trail with each program beating the other. Like Clemson, Michigan has a national brand and hopefully, at some point, the two iconic brands can battle it out on the gridiron.
Another team that is shocking to see that Clemson has never played. Like Michigan, Texas is a college football blueblood and ranks fourth all-time in wins with 916.
A trip to Austin during college football season would be a blast. There is no doubt that while Clemson has the best entrance in college football, watching Bevo lead Texas onto the field in Austin would be an absolute blast.
Once and for all, at least people would stop thinking burnt orange and Clemson orange are similar.
Clemson football has not played a Southern California based team since they lost to USC (the real USC) in 1966. Clemson has more all-time wins, a better bowl record, more conference championships, more bowl game appearances, and more national titles than UCLA.
With Clemson starting to attract more and more kids from California, setting up a home and home would be a great selling point and opportunity to not only play for a national title but also get a chance to come back home and play in front of friends and family.
Back to the Big Ten. Clemson football has had some battles over the last few years with Big Ten rival Ohio State but have never had the privilege of facing Wisconsin.
Camp Randall is one of the best places to see a college football game and Clemson football fans would love the opportunity to take in a game in an environment like this one.
There really is no comparison in terms of program success as other than having a couple of Heisman winners and more NFL draft picks, Clemson is the much better program.
The Pacific Northwest is a beautiful place for most of the year. Sure, it rains a little there, but the weather overall is beautiful. There may not be a better place to see a college football game on the West Coast than Husky Stadium.
While Washington does not produce a lot of big-time college football talent, being able to venture into another part of the country doesn’t hurt the growth and the attraction of new fans, students, money, etc.
Other than spending two more weeks in the AP Top 25 and producing 51 more NFL draft picks, as a program Washington does not hold a candle to Clemson in terms of program success.
Iowa – Clemson and the Iowa Hawkeyes have never faced off and it would awesome to go see the Iowa wave in person.
Army – Okay, these two did playback in 1937, but Clemson should play the service academies once a decade.
Arkansas – No reason that schools in the SEC and ACC don’t play every once in a while.
Oklahoma State – Maybe they would provide more of a fight than Oklahoma has.
Oregon – Arguably two of the premier Nike schools and two of the most recognizable brands in college football. The winner gets to keep Phil Knight.