Clemson coach Dabo Swinney ‘absolutely’ wants Clemson and Georgia to play every year

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Nick Chubb made his Georgia debut in a game against Clemson at Sanford Stadium.

Count Clemson coach Dabo Swinney among those who want the Tigers and Georgia Bulldogs to resume playing each other every season.

The schools, which sit not much more than an hour or two apart, played every season except two from 1962-1987, but the meetings since then have been much more irregular.

Clemson and Georgia last played in a home-and-home series in 2013-14, with each team winning in its own stadium.

Swinney wants to get back into making this local rivalry a big thing again.

“Absolutely, I think it’d be great for both fan bases,” Swinney said, according to a report from Matt Connolly of The State. “I’ve said that for a long time. We’re going to play somebody like that every year. We go to Texas A&M this year, then they come to us. We played Auburn a bunch of times. So I think that would be great.”

After years of being good but not great programs and losing one or two games every season that left fans scratching their heads and/or ripping their hair out, both Georgia and Clemson have turned into elite programs that are at or near the top of college football.

Swinney and Deshaun Watson led the Tigers won the National Championship two seasons ago, defeating Alabama, and Georgia won the SEC last season and fell just short to the Crimson Tide in the title game.

The Tigers coach knows its a risk to play a nonconference power like Georgia early in the season, or at all, but he said games like that are how his team gets better.

“You don’t really look forward to playing Georgia,” he said. “There’s a good chance you can lose. But any time you step out of conference and play the Texas A&Ms, Auburns, whoever else we play, those are big challenges, but that’s how we built our program. I would have no problem with it.”

One former Georgia player who also would have no problem with the series renewing: Todd Gurley. The Bulldogs legend played in both games of the last series with Clemson. In the game at Clemson, he rushed 12 times for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns. In the return game in Athens, Gurley had 16 touches, 298 all-purpose yards, and 4 touchdowns, including sending Sanford Stadium into a frenzy with an untouched 100-yard kickoff return touchdown.

He does have one year of eligibility left. We can dream.

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