UPDATE (August 6, 2020): The coronavirus pandemic may ultimately win the college football season. The ACC created an updated, 10-game-plus-one conference schedule for Clemson’s 2020 NCAA season. Each team will be able to choose one non-conference opponent for their “plus one,” according to ESPN, which means more scheduling is coming.
Clemson University’s updated schedule scrapped teams like Louisville, Akron, NC State, The Citadel and in-state SEC rival South Carolina. Miami, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech — the first two of which are home games — were added. Dates for the regular season have not been released yet.
The plan is for the ACC Championship game to played in Charlotte, North Carolina, on the weekend of December 12 or December 19. The top two teams according to winning percentage will play in it. All signs point to Clemson once again playing in (and winning) it after their final game against Wake Forest in Winston Salem, North Carolina.
Revised Clemson Football Schedule 2020
Sept. 12: at Wake Forest* (Winston Salem, NC)
Sept. 19: NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENT TBA (Clemson, SC)
Oct. 3: VIRGINIA* (Clemson, SC)
Oct. 10: MIAMI* (Clemson, SC)
Oct. 17: at Georgia Tech* (Atlanta, Ga.)
Oct. 24: SYRACUSE* (Clemson, SC)
Oct. 31: BOSTON COLLEGE* (Clemson, SC)
Nov. 7: at Notre Dame* (Notre Dame, Ind.)
Nov. 21: at Florida State* (Tallahassee, Fla.)
Nov. 28: PITTSBURGH* (Clemson, SC)
Dec. 5: at Virginia Tech* (Blacksburg, Va.)
The following article was originally published on January 22, 2020 before schedule changes took effect. It has been tweaked to reflect the new schedule.
I’m sick of Dabo Swinney pretending his team is actually an underdog. I guarantee if you’re even slightly involved in the college football conversation, you’ve heard the Clemson Tigers head coach go on about “little ol’ Clemson” and how his program is undersold time and time again.
Clemson is 69-4 over the last five seasons. Clemson won the ACC Championship Game five years in a row, the last three of which had a combined score of 142-30. Clemson reached the College Football Playoff National Championship Game four times in five years, winning two of them against Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Clemson is hardly the underdog their charismatic leader continues to push, but the program certainly isn’t doing much to prove itself with scheduling.
Playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference is a joke. I get it. The only program in Clemson’s Atlantic Division with a championship foundation is Florida State, and the ‘Noles are on their third coach in four years. And the Coastal Division? All seven teams in that blackhole won division titles the last seven years, and none are close to being a legitimate, national title threat.
How did Clemson plan on rebounding from a title game loss to LSU and proving itself in Death Valley? By hosting powerhouse matchups against the likes of Akron and The Citadel, both of which they won’t play now thanks to COVID-19.
Fans ripped Clemson on social media after the 2020 schedule release back on January 22, and not much has changed given the latest updated schedule release. The only game worth noting is a road contest following the Syracuse Orange in South Bend against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, a program the Tigers spanked in the 2018 Cotton Bowl. That CFP semifinal game ended with a 30-3 blowout in which Clemson never trailed.
A road game in Tallahassee against the Seminoles isn’t a true threat. Playing the team’s annual rivalry game against the SEC’s Gamecocks wouldn’t have been an issue for the likely NFL-bound Trevor Lawrence and the rest of the football team, either, but at least that game has some rivalry juice. The only saving grace here is that Clemson gets some better ACC football competition in Miami, Pitt and Virginia Tech than The freaking Citadel would’ve been.
Hey, at least we’ll have football (hopefully). The Tigers’ 125th football season basically guarantees a spot in the program’s sixth-straight College Football Playoff.
Clemson’s Original 2020 Schedule
Sept. 3: (Thursday): at Georgia Tech
Sept. 12: LOUISVILLE*
Sept. 19: AKRON
Sept. 26: VIRGINIA*
Oct. 2 (Friday): at Boston College*
Oct. 10: at Florida State*
Oct. 17: NC STATE*
Oct. 24: SYRACUSE*
Nov. 7: at Notre Dame
Nov. 14: THE CITADEL
Nov. 21: at Wake Forest*
Nov. 28: SOUTH CAROLINA
* — Denotes conference games
ALL CAPS — Denotes home game at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, SC