Clemson Rivals (All Listed And Explained!)

Last Updated on October 12, 2023 by Alex PT

Clemson’s biggest rival is the South Carolina Gamecocks. The two teams compete in the annual Palmetto Bowl, which is one of the most heated rivalries in college football. Clemson and South Carolina are also members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which adds to the intensity of the rivalry.

South Carolina 

The first on the list would be South Carolina as their feud goes back to 1896 during the biggest sporting event of each year. This year, the event was hosted by South Carolina. Starting from that particular day till 1959, these two teams were rivals for a long time and every game played by both teams while facing each other was always played in Columbia which is a neutral ground for both teams. Apparently, every time they played, the fans would always refer to that game as the big Thursday game. After the long feud, an idea came up in 1960 where both teams had to play each other in both teams’ home stadiums. Every year when they played since then, the game was called the Palmetto Bowl, and the last 8 contests were put on national TV. So far Clemson is taking the lead of wins. 

Florida State University(FSU)

From 1999 to 2007, the matches held between the ACC Atlantic and Clemson in the division fixture were called the Bowden Bowl. The name was chosen and it started to catch on because at the time both teams were coached by Bobby Bowden who is the father of the Bowden family and Tommy Bowden his son. They were rivals so they became the. Bowden Bowl rivals. This must have been fun, having both teams with the father and son going head to head. It was the first time in Division I- A for two teams coached by the father and the son on the opposite team. In 1999, they made history as the first people to do this. The father won the first four matches that they had gone on head to head. With I’m his win, he gave Florida State University the highest winning amongst both teams. 

Georgia Tech

The rivalry between Georgia Tech and Clemson has been there since 1898. Their first game going up against each other was played in Augusta, Georgia. The games where they went on head-to-head were played most times in Atlanta, they played 47 times, and they have been in about to 47 matches so far. Georgia later became merged with ACC in 1978 when the ACC was able to get 12 teams in their league and they had just become popular and huge. After getting the number of teams, they got to split their league in 2005. Clemson and Georgia Tech were put in different divisions but cross-divisional rivals were allocated to them. The rivalry was an interesting thing so they wanted to see it go on without stress. The two schools are not so far from each other and for the winning streak, Georgia has been the winner of the rivalry competition. 


The Bulldogs, this is the name of the football team at Georgia University. They have been rivals with the Clemson University football team since 1987. They have played 64 games since their rivalry began, their 64th game was played in 2014. During those years as rivals, Clemson had regular-season losses in the years 1978, 1982, and 1991. The losses came from the bulldogs. The two teams had their glory days back in the 80s. The rivalry in college football didn’t matter after they had graduated and joined their respected professional league. From the year 1973 to 1987, Clemson and the Bulldogs played one match each year. No rivalry at the college level had such competition in it back then. They are still rivals today and so far Georgia has been able to keep a lead in their winning streak when they play Clemson. 

NC State

Every year there is this conference and the divisional match played between Clemson and NC State University which was referred to as the Textile Bowl for the schools. The first time both schools met was in 1899 and ever since then, Clemson has been about to beat them to it 17 times in 21 games although this is since 2000. 

Boston College

The O’Rourke – McFadden trophy was first established in 2008 by the football team at Boston College. This was done because both schools wanted to honor the tradition and legacy of Charlie O’Rourke and Banks McFadden who was a player during the leather helmet era. The club planned on making the event an annual thing to honor the legacy of these two people. Clemson met Boston College and played for the first time against each other in 1940. It was the Cotton Bowl Classic, hosting the tigers and Eagles at the same time. Over time in 43 years, both teams were able to meet 14 times and then Boston College joined the ACC and Atlantic Division. Since this happened, the game has always been played every year and Clemson has been able to lead them by beating them 11 times. 


The rival between Clemson and Auburn is an old one, since 1899 they have been rivals keeping the voltage up. The rivalry ended in 2010, although they had not met in a regular offseason match since 1971. The Georgia Dome once hosted Auburn in 2012 to play Clemson and Clemson as champions was able to defeat them since March and the 2018 season, we can say that Clemson has been defeating them more than they have. 


All of these rivals and Clemson continue to be a notable football team. Their rivals hardly beat them in a winning streak, that is what stands them out. We’ve reached the closing chapter of this informative article. We hope you were able to find good resources in your quest to know Clemson’s rivals. If you have any questions or comments about the article topic, don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks


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