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Clemson's Ideal 2012 Football Schedule

By Scott Rhymer

This blog has been modified from the original text from December. Last year, the ACC released football schedules on February 14th. And while the ACC will not say exactly when they will release next year's schedule, speculation is that is will be next week.

Scheduling can, an often does, play a huge role in the football season and in the BCS Rankings. While it can’t be used as an excuse for losing, it is hard to ignore the significant role scheduling can play in how a team’s season unfolds.

Clemson’s schedule in 2011 was a terrible draw that, fortunately, Clemson was able to overcome in route to the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte. Playing Auburn, FSU, and Virginia Tech in back to back to back weeks is about as absurd as any schedule can get. Finishing the season with two road games (@ NC State and @ South Carolina) was also an unfortunate draw, aiding in the wheels coming completely off the team prior to the ACC Title game.

So because Clemson got such a raw deal on scheduling this past year, I have taken the liberty of releasing what the ACC should do for Clemson with next year’s schedule. This schedule, in my opinion, would be in the best interest of Clemson and the run at a repeat ACC Championship in 2012. I obviously take no regard in how this impacts other teams, and quite frankly I don’t care! We got the raw deal in 2011; now pay us back with a favorable schedule in 2012.

Note that the first three weeks of the season are already set in place and not worth debating one way or another.

September 1st-Auburn in the Georgia Dome
Is it too much to ask that we exorcise the demons of Clemson football in Atlanta, GA?

September 8th-Ball State in Clemson, SC
Clemson will get the chance to rebound from the season opener and begin the process of seeing what some of the young players are capable of doing in what should be a lopsided win.

September 15th-Furman in Clemson, SC
Ditto with the Ball State game. Play a bunch of young players, write a big check to Furman, and move on.

September 22nd-Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA
This is extremely selfish, I know. The trip to Boston in 2006 was amplified by the fact that it was a September game and the Red Sox were in town. It was a wonderful weekend in Boston back in ’06 and all Clemson games in Boston since then have been later in the year without the Red Sox and with much colder temperatures. The weekend of the 22nd offers the chance to explore Boston in warmer temperatures and to catch the Red Sox hosting the Baltimore Orioles. The BC Eagles will also offer a smooth transition into ACC play.

September 29th-Florida State in Tallahassee, FL
I believe that FSU and Clemson will be the best two teams in the Atlantic Division next year. Assuming that is the case, having these two rivals play early (but not too early) in the season benefits both programs in terms of the BCS Standings that come out in October. The winner of this game will clearly emerge as a potential top 10 team in the BCS and the frontrunner for the ACC Atlantic Division. But the loser will have plenty of time to rebound and get themselves enough wins to help the BCS rankings once October rolls around as well as plenty of time to get back in the hunt for the Atlantic Division. By playing somewhat early in the season, the opportunity for rebounding is much greater.

October 6th-Maryland in Clemson, SC
The Terrapins offer a nice rebound from the emotion of the FSU game. Historically, this is the type of game that could be a letdown for Clemson, but the home town crowd will be seeing the Tigers in Death Valley for the first time since September 15th and that should help make the environment be raucous.

October 13th-Bye
At this point, the Tigers will be half way through the regular season and it will be a perfect time for a bye week to regroup. It will also offer the Tigers an extra week of preparation for the wackadoo Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, who will come to town on my schedule the next week.

October 20th-Georiga Tech in Clemson, SC
With two weeks to prepare, one could hope the Tigers will be prepared for the Yellow Jackets. This also gives Clemson University a perfect Homecoming Weekend atmosphere as the temperatures will start to cool and Clemson fans will be anxious to get back to Death Valley after the bye week.

October 27th-Wake Forest in Winston Salem, NC
It was once dubbed Clemson’s “House of Horrors”, but BB&T Field was much kinder to Clemson the last time the Tigers came to town. This game begins the home stretch for the Tigers and will offer an opportunity to push Wake Forest down in the standings if the Deacons are still hanging around the ACC Atlantic Division race.

November 3rd-Virginia Tech in Clemson, SC
The Tigers will look to win three in a row over the Hokies in what could shape up as a Game Day candidate if both the Hokies and the Tigers have two or fewer losses at this point in the season. This game will have a major impact on both teams in their quest for division titles, but it leaves wiggle room after this game for whichever team loses.

November 10th-Duke in Durham, NC
Clemson’s last road game of the season will be in Wallace Wade Stadium and the best concession stands in the conference. One day Duke will be a better football team, but I’m not sure if it will be next year or not. If not, playing the Blue Devils late in the season could allow Clemson to notch another win and move up in the BCS polls

November 17th-NC State in Clemson, SC
The ACC needs to take some notes from the SEC in terms of scheduling during this week. It would be nice if Clemson could play Ball State or Furman this week, but since that is not a possibility, it would be nice if the ACC gave Clemson a home game to minimize travel the week before the rivalry game with SEC foe South Carolina.

November 24th-South Carolina in Clemson, SC
Time to end the streak. Enough said.

December 1st-ACC Championship Game in Charlotte, NC
I will put it on the schedule because our goal should be to return.

As with any schedule, you have to beat the teams when you play them and there really is no excuse for losing based simply on the timing of playing an opponent. But Clemson deserves a break or two next year’s schedule based on the terrible early season draw the Tigers had last year.

You will also note that none of the games above are Thursday night games. It seems we are due a Thursday night game soon, although I hope it is not next year. If it is, I certainly would prefer the Thursday night game be a road game (September 20th @ Boston or October 25th @ Wake Forest would be my two choices).

So John Swofford, if you are taking notes, this is my request. A request from one of the biggest fans of YOUR ACC Champion Clemson Tigers. Now get to work meeting my demands.

Rhymer's Proposed 2012 Clemson Schedule Recap:
9/1-Auburn (Georgia Dome)

9/8-Ball State


9/22-@ Boston College

9/29-@ Florida State


10/20-Georgia Tech

10/27-@ Wake Forest

11/3-Virginia Tech

11/10-@ Duke

11/17-NC State

11/24-South Carolina

12/1-ACC Championship Game

Scott Rhymer can be reached at

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