Remember this past spring when Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity told the Athens Banner-Herald that Clemson and Georgia were attempting to work out a deal where the two schools could meet on the football field once again? Then later that same day Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich told The Clemson Insider the two schools could have something worked out shortly and it could come as early as this summer.
Officially, summer is two weeks old and TCI has learned the summer announcement on the renewal of the Clemson-Georgia rivalry is getting pretty close. Sources have told TCI the two schools “hope” to make an announcement soon.
Once source said they are currently waiting on “them,” though they did specify who “them” is. TCI was told an agreement has been made and it is just paperwork at this point.
A source also confirmed TCI’s May 2 story that Clemson and Georgia will play more than two games when the series does start back up.
Radakovich said back in May that a series with Georgia could be similar with the three-games they played against Auburn from 2010-’12. In those three games, Clemson had a home-and-home series with Auburn, plus a neutral site game in Atlanta in the Chick-fil-A Football Kickoff Classic.
“We are trying to combine everything together so that is probably why it is going to take a little longer to do,” Radakovich said at the time. “It is all kind of wrapped together, but we still have a ways to go before we can line up all the dates and things like that. But we are working on it.”
Clemson has been trying to find a big-name home opponent for its 2021 season for a long time. The Tigers are having an issue with getting a team locked down because of its upcoming matchups with Notre Dame.
Clemson routinely likes to play one Power 5 opponent, along with South Carolina, an FCS state school and then a non-Power 5 opponent as part of its non-conference schedule each year. The Tigers play South Carolina at home on even years and in Columbia on odd years, which means if they play a home-and-home with a Power 5 opponent, Clemson wants to play that opponent at home on those years they play at South Carolina so it does not lose a seventh home game.
Because of Notre Dame’s agreement to play five ACC opponents a year, the Tigers and Irish are scheduled to play each other in 2020, 2022 and 2023. Because the 2022 game is at Notre Dame, the Tigers are having a hard time filling that final non-conference home game spot in 2021 with a Power 5 opponent because they cannot return the favor until 2024.
The good news for Clemson and Georgia is the 2024 season is open for both schools. Clemson hosts South Carolina that year and has two other home games against App State and The Citadel. Georgia has just one opponent on its 2024 non-conference schedule right now and that is a home game against Georgia Tech.
Clemson playing at Georgia in 2024 is a likely possibility. However, Georgia more than likely will not be able to return the favor and come to Clemson until 2027.
There is a possibility for Clemson and Georgia to meet in 2021. However, the question is does Georgia want to lose a seventh home game and come to Clemson? The Bulldogs already have home non-SEC games scheduled against San Jose State and UAB with their annual matchup against Georgia Tech in Atlanta.
The two could agree to play a neutral site game in 2021, where they both can receive at least something for losing a home game.
“When you look at programs like Auburn, Georgia and Tennessee, really all of those great historical programs, which are close to us, it makes sense to play them,” Radakovich said. “As long as we can make it work from a schedule perspective it is a good thing for everybody.”
Clemson and Georgia have not met on the football field since 2014, a 45-21 victory for the Bulldogs in Athens. The Tigers last won, 38-35, in 2013 at Death Valley. Clemson’s 2013 win snapped a five-game losing streak to Georgia at the time.
Overall, Georgia leads the all-time series 42-18-4. The two teams first met in Athens in 1897, Clemson’s second year with a football program. The Bulldogs won the game, 24-0.
From 1973-’87, Clemson played Georgia every year. In the 1980s it was one of the best rivalries in the country, as the two teams split an 11-year stretch 5-5-1.
In those 11 games from 1977-’87, the average margin of victory was 4.7 points. Nine of the 11 games were decided by seven points or less.
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