Long season?

by - Senior Writer -
If the Tigers make another ACC Championship Game this season and win, the team could wind up playing in six different months

College football fans are forever complaining about the brevity of the season, the length of which pales in comparison to the seasons of professional sports such as Major League Baseball, the NBA and NASCAR.

Those seasons run into several months, with baseball starting in February and running into November in some cases, while the NBA seems to run from October until June.

Clemson’s 2013 football schedule was released by the Atlantic Coast Conference Monday afternoon, and the reactions of Clemson fans ran the typical gamut of emotions, from those who love it and think it sets up nicely to those who think the ACC did Clemson a disservice by scheduling two Thursday night games.

However, a scheduling quirk may give Clemson fans a season which has the appearance for lasting longer than any other season in Clemson history, thanks to two bye weeks and a season that begins in late August.

However, the long season depends on Clemson winning the ACC Atlantic and performing well enough during the season to earn a January bowl berth.

The Tigers open the season on August 31st against Georgia at home, and because the season opens in August there are two bye weeks built into the schedule. As a result, the last game of the regular season will be on November 30th against South Carolina in Columbia.

Should the Tigers win the ACC Atlantic Division, however, they will then play the next week in the ACC Championship Game. Add in a January bowl berth, and the potential is there for something that has never occurred in Clemson history – playing a game in the same season in six different months. If the Tigers are to indeed win the division and earn a January bowl berth, games would be played in August, September, October, November, December and January.

I sent an email to Clemson SID Tim Bourret asking if I was right in assuming that this would be a first in Clemson history, and he said yes.

The closest Clemson has come?

In 2003, Clemson started the season in August and ended in January, but didn’t play in December (no ACCCG). The closest the Tigers have come to playing in six different months of the same season might have been in 2001 – Clemson played the opener on September 1st, played on December 1st because the schedule was delayed a week during the season because of 9-11, and played in the bowl game against Louisiana Tech on December 31st. As a result, the Tigers missed playing in six months that year by one day at the beginning of the season and one day at the end of the season.

Granted, it is a little bit of a mirage in that the first game is played on the last day of the month in August, and a bowl game will be played early in January, but I will take football games in six different months no matter how it comes about.

The easiest way to pull for it to happen is to pull for the Tigers to win the ACC Championship Game. If that happens, the six different months is a cinch.

Another interesting part of the schedule is the fact that four different Clemson opponents have open dates (not bye weeks) the week before playing Clemson. North Carolina St., Syracuse, Florida St. and Georgia Tech all have open dates the week before playing Clemson.

However, both the N.C. State and Georgia Tech games are on Thursday nights and Clemson also has the open week before those contests.

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