While the Big Ten and Pac-12 have moved to conference-only schedules for the 2020 season, the ACC, Big 12, and SEC are reportedly working together to figure out a solution for this fall. For the ACC and SEC, that involves protecting major rivalry games, like Clemson football’s against South Carolina.
The Tigers and Gamecocks traditionally end the season with the Palmetto Bowl game. The teams have played 117 times dating back to 1896, and the series has gone uninterrupted since 1909. The series is college football’s longest uninterrupted non-conference rivalry, though the two sides were both members of the ACC from when the league was founded in 1953 until South Carolina’s departure in 1971.
The ACC is reportedly considering a “plus-one” model for scheduling this fall. That would allow for each team to play one non-conference game, likely in an effort to protect major rivalries like this. In a recent video conference with media, Clemson president Jim Clements said that his school and its rival in Columbia are working to try and preserve the game for this year.
“We all are going to say yes to that one,” Clements said last week, via The Clemson Insider. “We all want to preserve it. We all want to play it. It is important and we are going to do our best to make sure that happens.”
— TheClemsonInsider (@ClemsonInsider) July 23, 2020
This year’s game is currently scheduled for Nov. 28 at Clemson football’s Memorial Stadium. The Tigers are riding a six-game winning streak in the series, and are one win off matching the all-time streak in the rivalry series.
A “plus-one” schedule would also allow for games like Florida-Florida State, Georgia-Georgia Tech, and Kentucky-Louisville. Major non-conference games like LSU-Texas may also be salvaged, assuming the Big 12 is involved as well.
While the SEC is trying to hold out as long as possible, we may find out more about plans from the ACC, Pac-12, and other leagues sometime this week.