Two weeks ago, we told you that the 2013-14 Georgia-Clemson home-and-home football series was in jeopardy due to conference expansion. Comments yesterday from both athletic directors indicate that the games may not happen.
Georgia is currently scheduled to travel to Clemson on Aug. 31, 2013 and then host the Tigers on August 30, 2014. The series was agreed to back in 2005.
That could be as early as 2013 if the Big East negotiates an early exit for Pittsburgh and Syracuse like they did with West Virginia. When that happens, Clemson will need to cancel one non-conference game in 2013 and 2014.
The Georgia games seems to be the most likely to be canceled. Clemson also plays South Carolina and that will likely stay. Their other games are all home “buy” games that are scheduled mainly for revenue.
Yesterday, Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips didn’t seem positive that the series will be played. Here is what he told ShakinTheSouthland.com:
“We would like to be able to work it out. They would like to be able to work it out with us. They understand the situation that we’re in. It’s a game that we were pleased to get back on the schedule, and we’d really hate to lose them. But I don’t know. I simply don’t know. Maybe there’s an alternative. It’s only fair to them to move with some urgency, and we need to know what direction we’re going in as well.”
Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity confirmed to DogBytesOnline.com that he has had discussions with Clemson:
“I don’t think Clemson knows exactly where things stand as far as expansion but we’re just trying to see the lay of the land because we know that they’re going to expand at nine games at some point in time,” McGarity said about Pittsburgh and Syracuse joining the ACC. “When that is, we’re just trying to stay ahead of it. We’ve had a few discussions on the phone about where things stand and we’re just waiting to hear back from Clemson on what their plans are in the future.”
Canceling the Georgia-Clemson series won’t be cheap either. According to the contract obtained by Sicemdawgs.com last year, Clemson will owe Georgia $500,000 if they cancel, unless it’s by mutual consent.
As Phillips mentioned, Clemson needs to move quickly to make a decision because Georgia will need time to line up replacement opponents.