Clemson football: Ranking the Tigers 2021 schedule by opponent

The 2021 Clemson football schedule was released Thursday morning.

Clemson football unveiled their 2021 schedule this morning. Outside of the opening game against Georgia in Charlotte on September 4th, looking at the schedule on January 28 there is not a lot of meat on the docket.

Clemson football and the Atlantic Coast Conference will return to an eight-game conference schedule. The winners of the Atlantic and Coastal Divisions are scheduled to meet in Charlotte on December 4th.

Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, the conference stuck to their previously established schedule rotation.

A couple of things worth noting, the Tigers will make their first trip to Pittsburgh on October 23rd since the Panthers joined the conference in 2013. In a highly unusual move, Boston College will make their third consecutive trip to Clemson on October 2nd.

Another Friday night trip to Syracuse is on the books which will cause some Clemson football fans indigestion. This time Tigers will be coming off a bye instead of trying to get to the bye week. This program is in a much better place than it was in 2017.

October 30th Florida State comes to Clemson in a matchup that will have some drama after the cancellation of the 2020 game on the day of the game. Finally, the Tigers and Gamecocks will renew their annual matchup on November 27th to close out the regular season

1.Georgia

The Tigers and Bulldogs will meet up in a neutral site game in Charlotte for what should be a Top 5 primetime matchup. Both teams will have a lot of preseason hype that will make this a Week 1 marquee matchup.

2. Boston College

Phil Jurkovec returns in 2021 along with receiver Zay Flowers. The Eagles came to Death Valley last fall and hit the Tigers with an impressive aerial attack. Second-year head coach Jeff Hafley will have the Eagles trending to be a factor in the Atlantic Division.

3. NC State

The Wolfpack are coming off an 8-4 and there seems to be a bit of hope in Raleigh that they will be primed to be a factor in 2021. Quarterback Devin Leary returns from a season-ending injury. The Pack will be in year two in the 3-3-5 defense under Tony Gibson.

4. Pittsburgh

Clemson football played their best quarter of football against the Panthers in 2020. Kenny Pickett returns as a super senior quarterback. Pat Narduzzi will relish the opportunity to get Clemson at home. The Panthers are always solid and depending on the attendance situation could make for a fun atmosphere.

5. Florida State

The Seminoles trip to Clemson in 2021 will likely be the most anticipated game on the home slate. Both fanbases will ramp up the back and forth regarding the virus as it relates to 2020’s canceled game. Mike Norvell will learn firsthand how far way he is from being competitive. Former Central Florida Mackenzie Milton is expected to take over in Tallahassee.

6. Louisville

It is hard to get a pulse on what is happening within the Cardinals football program. After a promising first-year head coach Scott Satterfield followed it up with a 4-7 record in 2020. The Louisville offense was inconsistent, and the defense was consistently bad. Seems to always be a buzz in town when the Tigers come to play.

7. Georgia Tech

After back-to-back three-win seasons, Geoff Collins needs to show some progress in his overhaul. The Yellow Jackets have an unforgiving schedule in 2021 as they face Clemson, Notre Dame, and Georgia. It will be important Collins gets his team ready early in the season with two winnable games against Northern Illinois and Kennesaw State.

8. Wake Forest

The Demon Deacons played some really good football, especially during the middle of the schedule. Dave Clawson does more with less than anyone else in the country. The Demon Deacons have made some additions via the transfer portal that should mitigate their own roster turnover.

9. South Carolina

Shane Beamer will welcome Clemson football to Columbia on November 27th. I know it is a rivalry game but there is nothing the Gamecocks will bring to the table to keep the Tigers from Lucky #7. Though a solid showing from South Carolina would give them hope as they miss a bowl game for a third consecutive season.

10. Syracuse

We all remember 2017 like it was yesterday. Heck I know the Orange played their best game of the year against the Tigers in 2020.

However, the Orange are 7-17 since going to 10-3 and Tommy DeVito has yet to be anywhere close to as good as Eric Dungey. The current financial challenges facing athletic departments could be the thing that keeps Dino Babers employed longer than he deserves.

11. South Carolina State

I do not have the issue of playing FCS teams that many in college football do. The Tigers are able to help the Bulldog football program financially. It means a lot to kids who play at lower levels to see how they measure up against the elite competition.

It is always a treat to see the Marching 101 in person.

12. UCONN

To be honest, did anyone realize that UCONN still had a football program?

The Huskies are a long way from their Fiesta Bowl appearance in January 2011. UCONN is trying to find its way as an independent program. Clemson, SC is not where the Huskies will find their identity.