There’s still a road for Clemson football to play South Carolina this season
There’s still an opening that would allow the Clemson football team play its in-state rival during the 2020 season, if only the two conferences would allow it.
The Pac-12 announced Thursday afternoon that it would reverse course on its decision before the season began and allow its member institutions to schedule non-conference games, in the case of a game being canceled in conference.
What we’ve seen over the course of the last couple of weeks is an influx of games around the country (15 total FBS games were canceled or postponed last week and that same total has been nixed from this week’s list) due to outbreaks at some programs.
The SEC and ACC have begun postponing games until Dec. 12- a built-in open date for all teams within the conferences- and even some games are being moved to Dec. 19- the conference championship date.
All those cancellations and postponements have created some holes in scheduling as College Football treks forward hoping to finish the season and at least have a CFB Playoff.
Could these cancellations somehow bring Clemson football and South Carolina to the forefront for a matchup?
We’ve already seen conferences reverse course, change decisions and go completely different directions throughout the course of this year, so don’t tell me it’s not possible.
The ACC had a rule in place that member institutions could play one non-conference game (Clemson played The Citadel earlier this year) and the SEC has a rule that states teams can’t play any non-conference games.
But what if the Tigers and Gamecocks were to get to the week of Dec. 12 unscathed? We’re not saying it’s probable with the amount of outbreaks we’ve seen across the country, but just let yourself imagine really quickly: What if?
While the vast majority of both ACC and SEC teams would be making up games from earlier in the season, both Clemson and South Carolina would’ve played a complete schedule. What about those SEC teams that can’t reschedule a game for Dec. 12 and they’re off? Don’t you think there could be a little bit of pressure thrown the SEC’s way to allow an in-state non-conference foe as a way for some of these schools to make up for revenue lost due to a game not being able to be played at all? It’s certainly possible.
Would the ACC really say no to Clemson football if the Tigers asked for an appeal to play their in-state rival following the completion of their regular season slate?
We’re not saying it’s probable. We’re not even saying that there’s a 5 percent of chance of this happening. But the prospect of both Clemson and South Carolina having an open date at the end of their seasons while their peers are playing makeup games makes for an intriguing conversation.
Fans would love it. The revenue could be split evenly. And it would keep the nation’s second-longest continuous streak intact.
If Clemson is playing in the ACC Championship game- as it should be- the Tigers might elect just to take the week off for rest anyway- and that’s something that certainly should be considered- but something just tells me the competitor in Dabo Swinney would absolutely love to still make this work.
Is this going to happen? Not likely. It’s more of a pipedream than anything else, but it does present an intriguing proposition for Clemson football fans to keep their eyes on as we progress through the rest of this month and into December.
The SEC will likely be too stubborn either way, but this is still something fun to think about from a fan’s perspective.