The 2016 football schedule: An early look


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Will the ACC Atlantic title once again go through FSU?
Will the ACC Atlantic title once again go through FSU?

The ACC is doing what the ACC does, which means it’s waiting until the end of January or first part of February to release the ACC Football Schedule.

While we don’t know the dates of the ACC portion of the schedule, we do know the 12 opponents that Clemson will face this season and we do know the seven home games and five away games. Heck, we even know the dates of the out of conference schools that Clemson faces.

We will look again when the schedule comes out in a few weeks – or a month – but for now I wanted to see which games shapes up to be the biggest game on the schedule in 2016.

Before we get into that, however, let’s take a look at what we do know:

The dates we know

Sept 3 - at Auburn
Sept 10 – TROY
Sept 17 SC STATE
Nov 26 – SOUTH CAROLINA

HOME GAMES

TROY
SC STATE
PITTSBURGH
NC STATE
SYRACUSE
LOUISVILLE
SOUTH CAROLINA

AWAY GAMES

AUBURN
FSU
BOSTON COLLEGE
GEORGIA TECH
WAKE FOREST

The 2015 football team caught a bit of a break in that two of the toughest games on the schedule were at home – Florida St. and Notre Dame. The Tigers also hosted Georgia Tech, and despite the fact that the Yellow Jackets were not very good, Clemson hasn’t won at Tech since the 2003 season.

In 2016, the Tigers get Louisville (the Cardinals should be significantly better), Pittsburgh, North Carolina St. and South Carolina at home, but have tough road contests at Auburn, FSU and that always-tough Georgia Tech game.

So which opponent – as of right now – shapes up to be the toughest on the schedule?

1. Florida St. The Seminoles were beaten in their bowl game by Houston and the offense took a step back in 2015, but Florida St. is absolutely loaded on defense. Quarterback issues were a problem in 2015, and Sean Maguire will get a long look in the spring. But freshmen Deondre Francois and J.J. Cosentino backed up Maguire and Everett Golson last season and both are talented. Add in early enrollee Malik Henry and the competition will be fierce. The winner of this game always has the inside track to the ACC Championship, and considering Clemson hasn’t won in Tallahassee since 2006, the route to the title game goes through Doak Campbell. Again.

2. Louisville. The Cardinals might have found a quarterback in Lamar Jackson. Jackson ran for a career-high and Music City Bowl-record 226 yards and two touchdowns and threw for two more scores to help Louisville beat Texas A&M 27-21 in late December. The Cardinals also got good news on defense - each of the top underclassmen decided to return. Safety Josh Harvey-Clemons, defensive tackle DeAngelo Brown and linebackers Keith Kelsey and Devonte Fields all will be back in 2016. Todd Grantham’s group should be one of the league’s best in 2016.

3. Auburn. I get it, the Tigers from the plains struggled in 2015 and new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele doesn’t scare anyone. But this team has talent across the board and they might have found some answers at quarterback, too. Clemson will be breaking in some new starters on defense, and on the road at Jordan-Hare in the opener….that’s a tough task.

4. Georgia Tech. I have no idea what to expect from Georgia Tech in 2016. But playing in Atlanta is always tough and quarterback Justin Thomas is back to direct an offense that should be healthier – and better – in 2016. Until the Tigers get over the hump at Bobby Dodd, this one is always tough.

5. South Carolina. The Gamecocks were atrociously bad in 2015, but new head coach Will Muschamp has infused some life into the program. I’m not sure they will make significant strides in 2016, but it’s a rivalry game. Never overlook South Carolina.

6. Pitt. I like head coach Pat Narduzzi. His teams are tough and well-coached and the defense is always tough. Can they find an offense?

7. N.C. State. Gone is Jacoby Brissett, but Clemson’s offensive players told me that the Wolfpack’s defensive line was one of the best they faced. It’s a young defensive group that will only get better. And…could this be a make-or-break year for Dave Doeren?

8. Boston College. The Eagles are always good on defense, and they are another team that struggled with injuries and youth in 2015. Playing in Chestnut Hill is never easy. It’s always cold and no one shows up except the Eagles.

9. Syracuse. I’m a big fan of the Dino Babers hire, but he has to recruit to be successful in Cuse. They will make some strides this season, but will it be enough?

10. Wake Forest. Honestly – you could flip 6-10 or put them in any order and be right. Or wrong. Wake has issues, but they’ve recruited decent and they, too, are building a solid foundation on defense. They could be seventh or eighth on this list.

11. Troy. The Trojans were 4-8 last season.

12. S.C. State. Hey, it’s the Marching 101!!!

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Subject (Replies: 44) Author
spacer New Story: The 2016 football schedule: An early look
TigerNet News
spacer I think we can take Troy and SC State
Neal in NC®
spacer The article says,"we don't even know the dates of OOC teams"
longtallsam®
spacer Hope the ACC doesn't screw us on our Open Date like they
CM Shack
spacer Just to be clear, they were trying to help us
JSpears
spacer It wasn't good or bad, break was good..
TigerTown
spacer The ACC try to help us?***
CM Shack
spacer This year, we will probably have FSU on Thursday after
longtallsam®
spacer I said it was BS when I saw it announced...A bye 3 weeks in?
CM Shack
spacer Thanks for the tease...
charlestontiger1977®
spacer NC State should be in the top 5 and the Coots should be lower
jbrock11
spacer Coots should not even make the preseason top 5,
morris
spacer While I agree with this mostly
TennTiger1516
spacer Yeah
Tigerdug23®
spacer Looking forward to seeing them Tigers in Boston !
OhWiseOne®
spacer We Are Going To Be Heavily Targeted 5 Times ----
Xander5000
spacer Re: New Story: The 2016 football schedule: An early look
reformed
spacer Re: New Story: The 2016 football schedule: An early look
SeantheObscure
spacer Re: New Story: The 2016 football schedule: An early look
SeantheObscure
spacer Maguire will miss the Spring with Ankle surgery right?***
jtiger1®
spacer Can't wait to see SC State's band!
imacutiger12
spacer Re: Can't wait to see SC State's band!
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer SC St. is the only school I expect to see taken by the repo
Tigers Rule®
spacer Re: Can't wait to see SC State's band!
HORRY TIGER 2
spacer Thats a putrid home schedule. If Auburn would have been a
thetigerdaddy®
spacer Re: Thats a putrid home schedule. If Auburn would have been a
Tigers Rule®
spacer That's because they play us first...
RDWebb
spacer WISDOM ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
clemsonblood
spacer One thing is for sure...
RDWebb
spacer Re: New Story: The 2016 football schedule: An early look
CinTiger1
spacer Weakest home schedule ive seen in a while
Bleedorange09
spacer Re: Clemson hasn’t won at Tech since the 2003 season
Colavito®
spacer I foresee at most one loss to either FSU or
Tall_Tiger_Two
spacer U of L will not get us in the Valley. FSU is the most likely
David78®
spacer Any chance 7 of our last 9 games will be on the road?
tigerofaiken
spacer Why are we not scheduling the instate cupcake (SCState) the
grrowl
spacer Why have two cupcakes to end the season?***
Neal in NC®
spacer +1***
RDWebb
spacer TL:DR Thesaurus Edition
ClemsonTigers4
spacer Still don't see the Coots that high on the list. They lost
Tigers Rule®
spacer Most challenging? FSU and BC
cu1981fans
spacer I expect a pretty easy game vs BC. Already a W.*
Carlsbad®
spacer 12-0
andylayne®
spacer LOL coots at 5 - if true we have a truly pathetic schedule***
Neal in NC®
spacer Re: New Story: The 2016 football schedule: An early look
MaukaTiger®
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