Clemson coach Dabo Swinney 'absolutely' wants the Tigers to play Georgia annually

Clemson and Georgia are separated by 78.5 miles, and Tiger coach Dabo Swinney wants one team to make that trek every single season.

According to The State, Swinney wants to restart a dormant rivalry that once defined southern football.

"Absolutely," Swinney said according to the report. "I think it'd be great for both fan bases. I've said that for a long time. We're going to play somebody like that every year. We go to Texas A&M this year, then they come to us. We played Auburn a bunch of times. So I think that would be great."

The two programs have met on the football field 64 times, with the Bulldogs holding a 42-18-4 all-time record. The two programs met annually from 1962-87. During that time span, Georgia won the 1980 national title in a year in which it topped Clemson 20-16 at home. The Tigers returned the favor in 1981, topping the fourth-ranked Bulldogs 13-3 in Clemson en route to a national title of their own. 

The two rivals last met in Athens on Aug. 30, 2014 as the second game of a home-and-home series in 2013-14. 

"To me, it'd be great for the fan bases. You don't really look forward to playing Georgia. There's a good chance you can lose," Swinney said, according to the report. "But any time you step out of conference and play the Texas A&M's, Auburn's, whoever else we play, those are big challenges, but that's how we built our program. I would have no problem with it."

The problem could be in the details though. Clemson and Georgia both play yearly nonconference games against in-state rivals -- South Carolina and Georgia Tech, respectively. While the ACC and SEC both have eight game conference schedules and a mandate to play at least one nonconference game with a Power Five program, a renewed rivalry between the two powers would add a 10th required game to a 12-game schedule.

Clemson has made the College Football Playoff in each of the last three seasons, and won the national title following the 2016 season. Georgia won the SEC in 2017, topped Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl national semifinal and fell to Alabama 26-23 in overtime in the College Football Playoff National Championship in January.

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, analyst for CBS Sports HQ and host for the SiriusXM college... Full Bio

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