|Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 10:09 AM- -|
Bruce Feldman is an excellent writer for Fox Sports and this week he called Clemson's out of conference schedule the nation's seventh toughest.
This year the Tigers' schedule includes a trip to Georgia and a home game against South Carolina. Clemson will host South Carolina State and Georgia State to round out the conference slate.
In 2015 the Tigers host Appalachian State, Notre Dame and Wofford and travel to Columbia to face South Carolina.
Clemson obvious plays South Carolina every year and in recent years the Tigers have played another national power or SEC opponent.
Often times Clemson will play an in-state FCS opponent as one of the non-conference foe while the fourth opponent is usually a mid-major.
This has been the scheduling strategy at Clemson and other similar schools for a few seasons. However this season brings the first national championship playoffs and with it we may see teams change their scheduling strategy.
At this point it is too early to tell if teams would benefit from easier non-conference schedules or if they went the aggressive route and toughened the schedule.
If it is determined that a tougher strength of schedule increases your chances at access to the four-team playoffs, Clemson has several options available in the region.
The Tigers have not played Tennessee since controversy played a part in the series ending but I think it would be nice to renew the series. Clemson and Knoxville are close enough for a good day trip for each fan base.
The three game series with Auburn provided each program with some memorable moments. Auburn won its national title after an overtime win over Clemson then Clemson enjoyed two exciting wins over Auburn to end the series. The two schools have so much in common and they are close enough to make a natural rivalry happen.
Clemson recruits the state of Florida heavily now and a matchup with the Gators would be another intriguing series.
On the national scene a Clemson-Oregon game would be exciting because of the pace of play.
Any traditional power like Ohio State, Michigan, Southern Cal or Texas would be a blast.
I really enjoyed the two games between Texas A&M and Clemson and would love to take another trip to College Station.
We do an unbelievable job with Military Appreciation Day at Clemson and who would be more appropriate for this day than Army, Navy or the Air Force? Clemson would welcome in our esteemed visitors and Death Valley would be electric in those hypothetical scenarios.
My dream games would include return trips to Colorado Springs, Annapolis and West Point. I have not visited any of the academies but can only imagine just how cool it would be to see Clemson play in those unique settings.
Finally, because we do have to have home games I am fine with one of our games being against an FCS opponent then I like playing the in-state teams. I see nothing wrong with playing The Citadel, SC State, Coastal, Wofford, Furman, Charleston Southern, etc. It helps them and I would rather play against them than I would against a team like Texas State.
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