Georgia football doesn’t face Clemson every single year, but the two Southeastern powers are pretty regular foes on the gridiron. The two sides have faced off 64 times, dating back to the turn of the 20th century.
Georgia won the first meeting over Clemson, a school just over 70 miles away from Athens, in 1897. The two sides would play every year through 1916, picking things back up in 1919. It hasn’t been an annual game since, but they’ve played regularly, with games in every decade since the first meeting. They’ll get things going again in Week 1 of the 2021 season, with a neutral site game in Charlotte on Sept. 4.
As Clemson was about to become a national power, the two sides split the 2013-14 home-and-home, the last scheduled games between the two. They’ll play again in Atlanta in 2024, and then share a four-game home-and-home series in 2029-30 and 2032-33.
Both teams share in-state rivals across the ACC/SEC conference divide, as Clemson faces South Carolina and Georgia plays Georgia Tech annually. Georgia also has hated SEC rivals in Florida and Auburn. Even so, Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart sees this game as a rivalry as well, even if it isn’t as frequent.
“It’s a rivalry game…this is a game our fans grew up watching and they want that game…and I think Dabo would tell you the same thing.”
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) April 28, 2021
“You go poll your fan base, which is really the most important thing, and you look at your alumni base, and you look at your financial supporters, you’re saying, ‘What do you guys want?’ And to a tee, they want to see these kinds of games,” Smart said on The Paul Finebaum Show.
He intimated that Clemson is the type of game that the fans, who were a bit spoiled by last year’s All-SEC schedule, want to see more often in non-conference play. Via Saturday Down South:
“The one benefit we found last year was playing the conference games only, that was so important to the fans – they love those games,” Smart continued. “And to go out and get a Clemson which, you know, most of our financial supporters and our alumni base, that’s the game they grew up watching, they want that game.
“They want that game, year in and you’re out. That’s probably the same way for Clemson. I think Dabo would tell you the same thing. It’s a great opportunity to go out and play a really good program and open your season that way.”
Both teams have plenty on their plates moving forward, but we’d certainly sign for more Tigers-Dawgs games in the near future.
The post Kirby Smart Reveals If He Thinks Georgia-Clemson Is A Rivalry appeared first on The Spun.