Athletic director Dan Radakovich was hoping by now he was going to be able to officially announce Clemson’s pending football series with the University of Georgia.
Back in August, he told The Clemson Insider an announcement could come as early as this summer. However, that has not happened as the two schools are still working through some details. Radakovich also confirmed on Friday, Clemson’s discussions with LSU about an upcoming football series.
“We are still having conversations with those two you mentioned and others as well,” he said. “Football scheduling is like a cake that never bakes. It just kind of goes on and on and we are trying to get our schedule taken care of through the decade of the 20’s. We’re close, but we will get that news out as soon as it is done.
“Believe me, there is nothing more I would like to (do), and Kyle Young in our office who works on football scheduling, than to get that out. Football scheduling takes a lot of different twist and turns.”
TCI reported a few weeks back that Clemson will not have Georgia or LSU on the schedule until at the earliest in 2024. Georgia is likely to come first. The Tigers are looking into home-and-home series with both SEC schools, as well as a neutral site game with each one.
TCI has learned Clemson and Georgia are talking with the Chick-fil-A people in Atlanta about a possible matchup in one of their kickoff classic games.
Clemson and Georgia have met most recently in 2013 and 2014 with both schools winning at home. Overall, the two schools, who are just 70 miles apart, have met 64 times with the Bulldogs holding a 42-18-4 lead in the all-time series.
Clemson and LSU have just three times over the years, all in bowl games. LSU beat Clemson in the 1959 Sugar Bowl Classic and in the 1996 Peach Bowl, while Clemson won the most recent matchup in the 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl.
In recent years, besides playing rival South Carolina every year, Clemson prefers to play a school from the SEC. The Tigers have played Auburn five times since 2010, Georgia twice and will play Texas A&M on Sept. 8 in College Station, as well as in 2019 at Death Valley.
“You can look at our past history and that is kind of what we do,” Radakovich said. “We have our rival game with the University of South Carolina, but we also have looked into playing another Southeastern Conference opponent each and every year, Auburn, Georgia, Texas A&M obviously the next two years.
“The ACC is a little different because we are sprinkling in Notre Dame as an opponent as well so we have to be mindful of that.”
Radakovich admits he likes to schedule non-conference games with those he knows in the business. For instance he used to work at LSU where he was the senior associate athletic director there from 2001-’06. He said it is commonplace for athletic directors, who know each other, that when they see each other they ask if they have anything open.
“You always have to have that conversation, not knowing if something happened on their campus that maybe changed something on their schedule,” he said. “It is almost part of the standard.”
Radakovich said he likes the fact individual schools can control who they play in non-conference games and would not be in favor of a governing body scheduling such matchups.
“That is one of the things, through our ability with relationships, to create really good games in maybe games that make sense for us,” Clemson’s athletic director said. “Playing games like Auburn and teams like Georgia, and other Southeastern Conference schools, are geographically positive for us and we want to be able to do that.
“I would not want a computer to say they finished fourth in the country and they finished twelfth, so the four and twelve teams are going to play and they do not have any type of (history) or any kind of relationships between the fan bases and the teams. I think that would be antiseptic.”