The SEC’s decision hurts Clemson football more than any other program
The University of Presidents of SEC schools voted Thursday afternoon to adopt a 10 game, conference-only schedule for the 2020 season, which effectively ended the in-state rivalry games currently in place, including Clemson’s match-up with South Carolina.
While the Gamecocks don’t add much to the Clemson football schedule in terms of strength, the SEC choosing to play only conference still has a massive effect on the Tigers moving forward this season.
What do we mean?
Clemson football has no room for error if it wants to get back to the CFB Playoff
When you look at the perennial CFB Playoff contenders, not many were hurt by the SEC’s decision.
Ohio State is still going to get the benefit of the doubt. The Pac-12, like the Big Ten, had already adopted a conference-only schedule. The Big 12 still has notoriety. But the ACC is continuously picked on as the ‘lesser conference.’
Even with the addition of Notre Dame, people are going to look down on Clemson’s schedule. You better believe a 9-1 Clemson team simply isn’t going to get the benefit of the doubt over a 9-1 SEC team or two.
That was always going to be the case, sure, but now it’s become reality.
The Tigers don’t have an opportunity to showcase themselves in a non-conference tilt and they’re going to have to rely on the strength of Notre Dame and potential improvement of other opponents in the ACC to bolster their schedule.
In reality, Clemson had no room for error coming into the season anyway, but it certainly won’t help the Tigers when we go to ‘every conference for themselves’ and the Tigers are compared to other Power-5 teams who have the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the minds of the media.