Clemson-South Carolina is one of the underrated rivalries in college football. In terms of pure hatred, it states a strong case but doesn't get the same level of national recognition as, say, Michigan-Ohio State or the Iron Bowl. But people from South Carolina will tell you the Palmetto Bowl is as fierce as it comes.
For goodness sakes, it gave us this brawl ...
The 2016 edition of the game, a 56-7 win by Clemson, will likely have some lore of its own moving forward. It wasn't just that the Tigers handed the Gamecocks their most lopsided loss of the season -- it's how it happened, from pre-game to the final whistle.
Here are the highlights and low-lights.
1. It started before the game with the usual handshake between coaches -- except this time there wasn't a handshake between Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and South Carolina coach Will Muschamp. At least not at first. In the video below, Muschamp is seen approaching Swinney near midfield to shake hands, but gives up when it's clear Swinney wasn't going to come over. Tigernet.com reported the two ended up having a "very quick two-second handshake during the pregame," and a photo of Swinney seems to corroborate that, but this was awkward. (And it was in addition to pre-game pushing and shoving among the players.)
2. Clemson called back-to-back timeouts on its final offensive drive of the game to give its upperclassmen a curtain call. That by itself isn't uncommon on Senior Day, but with the Tigers already up big, some South Carolina players were upset that the game was being delayed even more. Clemson would go tack on another touchdown during that drive.
"That last couple minutes was pretty disrespectful," tight end Hayden Hurst said, via The State. "We've got a year to think about that and let it sink in."
"I feel like they kind of disrespected us at the end," safety D.J. Smith added. "Holding the ball and doing all that showboating. I feel like it wasn't really classy, but it is a rivalry game. It's going to stick with all of us and we're going to remember."
3. Multiple South Carolina players accused their Clemson counterparts of using racial slurs towards them during the game. "They called one of our defensive linemen, they used the N-word," linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams said, according to the Post and Courier. "An offensive lineman, I don't know his number. ... We're going to get our get-back. Next year we play them in Williams-Brice Stadium, and we're definitely going to have that game circled."
Wide receiver Terry Googer tweeted a similar complaint. Swinney has not yet commented publicly on the accusations.
Never thought I would hear so many racial slurs in my life!! Classless is not a strong enough word to describe the actions!— Terry Googer (@D1MANOS) November 27, 2016
4. After the game, quarterback Deshaun Watson, who threw six touchdowns, said the victory was "like daddy beating his son" in reference to South Carolina players saying previous victories against the Tigers was like beating "little brother." Suffice it to say, there's plenty of bad blood between the two sides.