The Georgia-Clemson wars are coming on both the field and recruiting trail
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Clemson wants a bigger rivalry with Georgia. Should the Bulldogs feel the same?
The state of college football right now between Georgia, Alabama and Clemson is like Game of Thrones in season 5. Georgia is Daenerys Targaryen, the up-and-coming ruler challenging for the throne. Nick Saban and Alabama are Cersei Lannister, the long-standing image of power, desperately trying to hold onto the throne. But Dabo Swinney and Clemson represent The Night King and The Army of the Dead .
They’re only going to get more and more powerful. In a few years, as Clemson continues to assert its dominance, the Tigers might be the preeminent power in college football.
Unlike the show, Georgia doesn’t have to wait for the wall to come down in 2024 to face on Clemson. It can take them in future College Football Playoff matchups. But if Swinney had his way, the two would meet in every regular season.
DawgNation’s Mike Griffith reported on Monday that Swinney has once again stated his intentions to see Clemson and Georgia play each other every season. The schools are separated by 79 miles, and have a history of playing each other, as they’ve met 64 times. That’s more than Tennessee and Georgia have played.
“We should play Georgia every year if it was up to me,”Swinney said. “We’re 80 miles, and they need a game, we need a game. We had to travel to Texas A&M last year, when we could have gone 80 miles.”
Georgia is scheduled to play Clemson five times from 2024 to 2033.
Georgia’s future scheduling has been a constant topic of conversation this spring. Georgia recently added future games against Florida State and Clemson. And Georgia head coach Kirby Smart has talked about the possibility of having three marquee non-conference opponents in a season. The Bulldogs are currently set to face that daunting task in 2028 (Florida State, Texas and Georgia Tech) and 2029 (Clemson, Texas and Georgia Tech).
And Smart isn’t running from the possibility of three Power Five opponents in the same season.
“We thought three Power Five opponents, non-conference opponents would be, not ground-breaking, but we thought it would be a new thing. We’re not afraid of that,” Smart said. “I’m not afraid to go out and play.”
It’s a bold scheduling strategy for sure. But if Smart and Swinney both agree to it, there’s no reason why Georgia couldn’t play Clemson every year. Both teams already have a major non-conference game they play on an annual basis. Georgia takes on Georgia Tech and Clemson faces South Carolina.
Some on Twitter have suggested that Georgia drop Georgia Tech to face Clemson every year. This is likely due to the fact that Clemson has been to the College Football Playoff in each of the last four seasons, while the Yellow Jackets represent a no-upside opponent. An annual series against Clemson likely represents a win-win scenario, provided that both teams remain among the college football elite. But unless Clemson fans are clamoring to get South Carolina off the schedule, it seems unlikely for Georgia to drop Georgia Tech.
Even if Georgia and Clemson don’t find a way to put each other on the schedule every year, these two will certainly still a lot of each other in another arena. The two teams are among the best recruiting teams in the country, and frequently match-up for some of the nation’s top recruits. Just in the 2020 cycle alone, the two look to battle for the services of 5-star DT Bryan Bresee, 5-star DE Myles Murphy and 5-star WR Julian Flemming.
Clemson hasn’t had a problem recruiting in the state of Georgia, as Swinney and the Tigers have pulled the likes of Trevor Lawrence, DeShaun Watson and Mitch Hyatt from the state. The Tigers have picked up two top-50 prospects in the last week, and now have the No. 2 recruiting class in the 2020 cycle.
It’s not at all a stretch to say that Georgia’s biggest rival on the recruiting trail in the coming years will be the Clemson Tigers, especially after the backlash to Saban’s comments on players leaving early for the NFL draft.
To go back to Game of Thrones, the national championship game in January represents the Hardhome episode. We’ve seen what Clemson can do, and how it can dominate. It’s clear that Clemson is going to be a major problem for Georgia in the years to come. And potentially even a bigger problem than the Crimson Tide.
Georgia baseball gets revenge on Georgia Tech
When Georgia and Georgia Tech met in March, it was the Yellow Jackets who came away with a decisive 11-2 victory. On Tuesday night, the No. 2 Bulldogs one-upped No. 17 Georgia Tech by winning 12-2.
The No. 2 Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead thanks to a leadoff home run from Tucker Maxwell. Georgia pushed the lead to 5-0 before Georgia Tech could even get a run off of Tim Elliot. The Georgia starter had another strong mid-week effort, as he struck out 6 in 7.0 innings pitched. Elliot gave up just two runs, both of which came via solo home runs.
“We were the aggressors tonight, and we definitely played with a chip on our shoulder which we need to do,” Georgia baseball coach Scott Stricklin said. Especially in this series, it’s a huge rivalry. They came at us last game and they got us, but we were ready to play tonight. This may have been our best game that we’ve played all season.”
That’s high praise from Stricklin, given Georgia has picked up wins over the likes of Vanderbilt and LSU. It’s the second week in a row Georgia has beaten a ranked ACC team, as the Bulldogs took down Clemson.
The Bulldogs return to SEC play this weekend, as they travel to Tennessee. Georgia is in first place in the SEC with a 9-3 record in league games.
Best Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
- Georgia football defensive back Deandre Baker to attend 2019 NFL Draft
- WATCH: Georgia LB Nate McBride said he’s doing just fine, thanks, just ‘working, having fun’
- WATCH: Georgia football RB D’Andre Swift ready for ‘exotic looks’
- Practice Report: Georgia’s Robert Beal back at practice, but Brenton Cox still not with OLBs
- Georgia football podcast: Kirby Smart offers candid assessment of spring practice position battles
- UGA’s curious experiment of moving Walter Grant to offense makes sense to high school coach
- ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit: Georgia football ‘starts with Jake Fromm’
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