The Thanksgiving holiday means rivalry games. Clemson Football hosts their archrivals, the South Carolina Gamecocks, with an opportunity for an eighth win in a row in the series and a chance to finish the regular season at 11-1.
There are several more games that will impact the Tigers, the playoff chase, and/or the New Year’s Six bowl games.
Friday starts at noon with Cincinnati hosting Tulane. The winner is most likely going to be the Group of Five’s entrant into the New Year’s Six.
Two games on Friday impact Clemson’s strength of record. UNC hosts NC State at 3:30 PM. The Wolfpack have been sliding backward recently. UNC will be the Tigers’ opponent in the ACC Championship game. It is probably best for Clemson if the Tar Heels recover from their whoopsy against Georgia Tech. Tiger fans should root for: North Carolina
Florida State hosts Florida at 7:30 PM. A Seminole win gives the ACC a win over the SEC and continues to boost FSU’s resume. This helps Clemson because their best win is a road victory in Tallahassee. Tiger fans should root for: Florida State
The biggest game nationally kicks off at noon on Saturday. Michigan travels to Columbus to take on Ohio State. My take: if the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines, I think Michigan falls out of the Top 4. If the Wolverines win, it will take a big margin of victory to knock Ohio State out of the Top 4. It is probably best for Clemson if Ohio State wins this game convincingly. Tiger fans should root for: Ohio State
Clemson Football needs Iowa State and Notre Dame to pull off upsets to help the Tigers’ playoff hopes.
TCU hosts Iowa State late Saturday afternoon. The Cyclones are down this season, but they also tend to pull off surprises. I wouldn’t hold your breath, but a win by ISU would be a big help to Clemson’s playoff chances. Tiger fans should root for: Iowa State
The ACC has a big cross-division rivalry game Saturday afternoon when Duke hosts Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons stopped a three-game slide with a win over Syracuse. A victory over the Blue Devils gets Wake Forest to 8-4 and helps Clemson’s resume. Tiger fans should root for: Wake Forest
Saturday evening features a classic rivalry as Notre Dame visits USC. If the Trojans win against the Irish and follow it with a PAC-12 championship, they stand a good chance to grab a playoff berth. The loss to Notre Dame might still be a sore spot for Tiger Nation, but Clemson Football needs the Irish to pull off the upset in Los Angeles. Tiger fans should root for: Notre Dame