College football home cooking: 2013 provides an unprecedented schedule quirk for South Carolina, Clemson

  • Posted: Friday, August 23, 2013 3:02 p.m., Updated: Monday, August 26, 2013 7:53 a.m.
South Carolina fans will fill Williams-Brice Stadium on Thursday night when the Gamecocks play UNC. Clemson's Memorial Stadium will be packed next Saturday night when the Tigers host Georgia. AP Photo/File

Listen to the silence in and around Williams-Brice Stadium and Memorial Stadium this morning.

South Carolina

Date Opponent

Aug. 29 (Thu.) N. Carolina

Sept. 7 at Georgia

Sept. 14 Vanderbilt

Sept. 21 Open

Sept. 28 at Central Florida

Oct. 5 Kentucky

Oct. 12 at Arkansas

Oct. 19 at Tennessee

Oct. 26 at Missouri

Nov. 2 Mississippi State

Nov. 9 Open

Nov. 16 Florida

Nov. 23 Coastal Carolina

Nov. 30 Clemson

The calm before the storm, as they say.

Clemson

Date Opponent

Aug. 31 Georgia

Sept. 7 South Carolina State

Sept. 14 Open

Sept. 19 (Thu.) at N.C. State

Sept. 28 Wake Forest

Oct. 5 at Syracuse

Oct. 12 Boston College

Oct. 19 Florida State

Oct. 26 at Maryland

Nov. 2 at Virginia

Nov. 9 Open

Nov. 14 (Thu.) Georgia Tech

Nov. 23 The Citadel

Nov. 30 at South Carolina

Starting next week, South Carolina or Clemson will welcome 80,000-plus through the gates to celebrate a day of college football on 11 of the next 14 Saturdays.

And only once this season will they both play home games on the same day. On Nov. 23, Coastal Carolina plays at South Carolina and the Citadel heads to Clemson, tune-up games for the Gamecocks and Tigers before they clash the following week in Columbia.

Because both programs host a midweek game — South Carolina welcomes North Carolina on Thursday, and Clemson brings in Georgia Tech on Nov. 14 — the Palmetto State features an unprecedented 13 separate home dates for its largest two schools.

The SEC and ACC certainly do not collaborate on scheduling, so the lack of overlaps is a coincidental gift given to the college football fans in South Carolina, not to mention traffic patrol, hotel chains, tourist attractions and the overall state economy.

Consider a few more statistical anomalies the 2013 schedule provides:

It’s a stark contrast to last year. The rivals shared five different dates hosting a football game: Sept. 8 and 15, Oct. 6, and Nov. 10 and 17. The middle date in there, Oct. 6, called for Georgia to visit the Gamecocks and Georgia Tech in Clemson, a double dose of Peach State-Palmetto State bragging rights.

It was the fifth year in state history that Memorial and Williams-Brice Stadiums double-dipped on five different dates the same season.

Among them was in 1987, when in October, Clemson and South Carolina were each home four consecutive weekends — and combined for a 7-1 record. Both squads finished in the AP top 15.

Just for comparison, North Carolina-Duke and Virginia-Virginia Tech are each at home the same day four different times in 2013. Florida- Florida State and Mississippi- Mississippi State share the host spotlight three times, while Georgia-Georgia Tech and Auburn-Alabama overlap just twice.

A nugget involving the Iron Bowl and Egg Bowl participants: there are never two SEC-only games on the same day in the state of Alabama or Mississippi all season.

For all four ACC games in Death Valley and all four SEC games at Williams-Brice Stadium, the home team gets the state all to itself when the other is either idle or on the road.

The last time Clemson and South Carolina played every home conference game when the other school was not hosting that same day: 1955, when they combined to host just three ACC games.

There are a couple of breaks from the madness. Both the Tigers and Gamecocks are idle on Sept. 21 (Clemson at N.C. State on Thursday, and a USC bye week) as well as Nov. 9 (bye weeks for both.)

If you’re a college football fanatic in this state and you’ve been roped into a fall Saturday wedding, here’s hoping it’s on one of those two days.

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