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Does The Clemson Vs. Georgia Series Mean The ACC Isn't Expanding Soon?

Clemson A.D. Terry Don Phillips might have inadvertently let slip the ACC's timetable for expansion by simply confirming that the Tigers will play a two-game series with Georgia in 2013 and '14. How? Let's examine the clues, gang:

  • In February, the ACC announced that it would expand its regular season football schedule to nine games pending the addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh from the Big East. However, the big issue surrounding that move is the specific timetable, as both teams are obligated to play in the Big East through at least 2013-'14.
  • Clemson is one of a few ACC schools with a unique scheduling situation - by law, they have to play in-state rival and SEC member South Carolina annually.

So it's safe to conclude that Phillips feels very, very comfortable that the Tigers haven't entered into a potential season schedule that would feature nine ACC games plus two SEC games and only one potential "scrub" game against a FCS opponent.

Why is that schedule so unappealing, and thus highly unlikely?

  • The Tigers, like most schools, try to maintain seven home games annually. Given the particular rotation of ACC opponents in a nine-game season, they could potentially face having only four conference games one season, plus the "scrub" homecoming game, and then try and finagle both the USC and UGA series to both take place in Death Valley - except that would mean a lack of homes the following year.
  • It's a really, really hard schedule. Say what you want, SEC fans, but your school wouldn't play through such a grinding run unless it had to, which it does. For a program trying desperately to return to glory atop the conference and maintain a national profile, adding two SEC games on top of a nine-game conference model is a really tough way to get to 10 wins.

The Tigers should be commended for scheduling a quality BCS opponent in the regular season - something college football needs more of - and for renewing a great series between two Deep South programs. But they likely did so thinking the ACC would be a 12 team affair for a little while longer.

For more on the Georgia Bulldogs, head over to Dawg Sports. Clemson Tigers news and info can be found at Shakin The Southland, and find all your college football news and info over at SB Nation's college football page.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.