It's been a fast moving sports news day the past 24 hours. Yesterday the Ivy League announced the cancellation of all sports this year. This afternoon the Big 10 announced that they are cancelling all out of conference football games this season. In a press release the conference said “We are facing uncertain and unprecedented times, and the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, game officials, and others associated with our sports programs and campuses remain our number one priority.”
Of course COVID 19 isn't going to recognize if the teams are in or out of conference but the Big 10 is apparently thinking the fewer games the better. “While many uncertainties still exist, today’s decision will provide the greatest amount of flexibility as we move forward.”
Moments ago College Football Insider Brett McMurphy tweeted that he had spoken with the ACC officials who are leaning towards following the Big 10's lead. That would mean if Clemson didn't go against the ACC's order then they would have to cancel the Palmetto Bowl or State Championship or whatever name you call the Carolina/Clemson game.
They have been playing each other since 1896. They have played every year since 1909. They almost didn't play in 1952 but the state legislature passed a bill that forced the teams to play. In 1951 Clemson had ignored a ban on going to a bowl game by its then-conference — the Southern Conference — and played the University of Miami in the Orange Bowl. The penalty was for the 1952 season Clemson was barred from playing any other Southern Conference teams including South Carolina. The conference waived the ban after the legislature passed the bill. Clemson came to Columbia only to lose to the Gamecocks 6-0. It was a tough season for Clemson only winning 2 games. Presbyterian and their annual drubbing of Boston College.
In 2012 there was a proposal that if passed would have forced the teams to play every year in order to receive state funding. However it didn't get out of committee. However I believe there would be a much bigger push from our politicians this year if the ACC prohibits Clemson from playing out of conference games. It will be interesting to see how this develops!
In another interesting twist Sports Illustrated reports that ACC commissioner John Swofford has contacted Notre Dame to let them know that if other conferences cancel out of conference games that the ACC would like to help them fill their schedule. Notre Dame which isn't in a conference for football already has several ACC teams on the schedule including a home game vs Clemson on November 7th. So there is a possibility that Clemson cancels their home game against South Carolina over COVID 19 concerns and yet travels 700 miles to South Bend to help Notre Dame!