State of South Carolina's biggest game is 10 days out
Granted, Clemson plays Duke on Saturday to close out the regular season part of its ACC schedule, and South Carolina has a game against Chattanooga. And since the players and coaches on either side can’t talk about the Clemson-Carolina game this week, I figured I can write about it.
The big-game is 10 days away so why not get a little thought in your head about the upcoming game. I’m pretty confident Clemson fans are extremely excited about the possibilities of this year’s game, while South Carolina fans have already expressed on Twitter how they feel about the game. You can follow the thread below on Twitter to see what the Gamecock fans are thinking.
As for me, I’m curious about the historical ramifications the outcome could have on either side. If Clemson is to win, it will mark the first time since the 1934-’40 seasons that Tigers won five years in a row. It will also mark the first time since that same era Clemson has had back-to-back senior classes go 4-0 against the Gamecocks.
If USC were to do the unthinkable and pull off the upset (it can happen, see Syracuse 2017 for an example) then it would be the biggest David-beats-Goliath win in the series, trumping Clemson’s 27-6 victory over George Rogers and the No. 14 Gamecocks in 1980. Clemson was just 5-5 that year coming in.
Also, it will be interesting to see how Clemson fans react to South Carolina fans. Some South Carolina fans treated Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney on social media pretty bad during the Gamecocks’ five-game winning streak in the series from 2009-’13. There were all kinds of pictures of Swinney graciously taking a photo with a family, only to have the parents tell the kids to hold up a No. 5 sign in the picture. There are plenty of pictures where adults did it too.
During the Tigers’ current four-game win streak over the Gamecocks, several Clemson players have commented that those pictures have given them a little extra motivation because they did not like the way the South Carolina fans mistreated their head coach after he took the time from his day to take a picture with them.
And speaking of the Tigers’ four-game win streak in the series, never have the scores been this lopsided since Clemson won seven straight over USC from 1934-’40.
The current four-game winning streak is the fifth time since the 1934-’40 era that Clemson has won four consecutive games over the Gamecocks. During the present run, Clemson’s average margin of victory is 24.0 points per game, trumping the 1988-’91 seniors’ 22.5 average margin of victory.
Clemson also won four straight games over South Carolina from 1980-’83 (16.0 average margin of victory), 1997-2000 (11.8) and 2002-’05 (19.8).
This year is perhaps the Tigers’ best opportunity to finally win five straight over the Gamecocks than all the other opportunities from the past. In year’s past, Clemson went into those games with USC being fairly equal or USC was better than Clemson in some cases.
That is not the case this year at all. The Tigers are undefeated (10-0) and ranked No. 2 in the country and are once again playing for a national championship. The Gamecocks are 5-4 and are coming off a loss at Florida in which they gave up a 17-point second-half lead.
Granted, anything can happen in college football. That is why they play the game. However, from my perspective, looking at it 10 days out, Karma can be a ___ Gamecock fans. I will let you fill in the blank.