Clemson-South Carolina could be a top-25 matchup in November
Clemson-South Carolina is shaping up to be a potential top-25 showdown in Week 13.
The Tigers have already defeated three ranked teams so far in 2022, and they could end up with another top 25 opponent at the end of the year if the Gamecocks can stay ranked.
South Carolina is No. 25 in this weeks AP Poll and seemingly has a good chance of being ranked in the first College Football Playoff rankings next week. Entering Week 9, the Gamecocks have a 5-2 record with wins over Kentucky and Texas A&M.
Next up for Shane Beamer’s team? Lowly Missouri and Vanderbilt over the next two weeks before a tough stretch of games to end the season. The Gamecocks will finish the year at Florida, vs. Tennessee and at Clemson.
It’s possible South Carolina will fall out of the top-25 by the time that Nov. 26 matchup vs. Clemson comes around. But the next three games are winnable, and a loss to Tennessee shouldn’t knock the Gamecocks too far down the poll.
If — and it’s still a big if, at this stage — it does become a top-25 matchup, it would be a huge potential boost for Clemson’s strength of schedule. The Tigers already have three ranked wins on their résumé, but the potential to add a fourth is exciting for a Tigers team that is still trying to earn its place in the College Football Playoff.
Four ranked wins would likely be too much for the committee to overlook, especially if Clemson defeats North Carolina (who could also be ranked) in the ACC Championship Game in early December.
For context, Ohio State doesn’t currently have a win over any ranked opponents. Michigan’s only top-25 win came against Penn State. Georgia has blowout wins over Oregon and South Carolina. Tennessee has ranked victories over LSU and Alabama.
Clemson-South Carolina is rarely a top-25 matchup. The last time it happened was 2013, which was also the Gamecocks’ last win in this series. Matchups from 2011-13 were all top-25 showdowns and all South Carolina wins. Before that, you’d have to go back to 2000 to find a ranked matchup in this series. It’s only happened six times in series history.
Clemson is off in Week 9 but will face Notre Dame on the road in Week 10. South Carolina will look to continue its winning streak this weekend against Missouri.