When your team is at the top for long enough, you gain some new rivals from across the country.
Ahead of No. 2 Clemson’s College Football Playoff matchup with No. 3 Ohio State, Dabo Swinney was asked if he viewed the Buckeyes as a rival. His answer was simple: “Absolutely.”
The Tigers have faced Ohio State in three bowl games since 2013. The only other meeting before these was a Gator Bowl matchup in 1978. Clemson holds an undefeated 4-0 record in the series.
All but one of the matchups between these two have been decided by one possession. In last year’s CFP semi-final matchup, the Tigers edged out the Buckeyes in a closely-contested 29-23 victory. Clemson also topped OSU 40-35 in a 2014 Orange Bowl meeting.
Dabo Swinney asked if he views Ohio State as a rival: “Absolutely.”
— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) December 20, 2020
The only blowout of the series came in the 2016 CFP semifinals when Dabo Swinney and his Tigers routed the Buckeyes 31-0 en route to a national championship victory.
With both teams looking dominant in 2020, this year’s matchup is shaping up to be another closely-contested game. Despite a late Big Ten start and multiple COVID-19 cancelations, Ohio State has notched blowout victories in nearly all of it’s six wins this season.
At 10-1, Dabo Swinney and Clemson have looked equally if not more impressive. The Tigers’ only loss of the year to No. 4 Notre Dame came in overtime and without their star quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
The battle of the conference champions and new-declared rivals will take place on Jan. 1.
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