The Daily Gamecock

Carolina-Clemson deserves the national spotlight

Last Saturday marked one of the greatest days of the year: rivalry Saturday. Teams across the country took to the field to battle their biggest rivals in football, some upsetting their competition and others rightfully claiming their dominance. College football in and of itself is a game driven by passion, but rival Saturday brings additional incentive to win: pride.

The Carolina vs. Clemson rivalry is alive and well in the state of South Carolina. With half the state painted beautifully in garnet and the other covered in orange, no one lives here without claiming a side. But even with the over-the-top fans, close games and neck-and-neck competition; the in-state rivalry fades from the national spotlight. Overshadowed by Alabama vs. Auburn, Florida vs. Florida State, Michigan vs. Ohio State, the University of South Carolina and Clemson University football programs never make primetime.

This year’s game came with even more hype than usual because both teams were ranked in the top 10. With Carolina hungry for its fifth win in a row and Clemson eager to end Connor Shaw’s home winning streak, the game had all the intrigue necessary for a major matchup. Still, ESPN squeezed the garnet and orange game between two other rivalries, becoming an afterthought of rivalry Saturday.

In fact, even the Florida vs. Florida State game got a lot of attention. The matchup, featuring the unranked Gators vs. the No. 2 Seminoles, with a 27-point spread, played at high noon on ESPN. While neither Clemson nor USC has won a national championship in recent years, at least the matchup isn’t a mismatch.

The argument claiming that the Carolina rivalry isn’t that important due to differing conferences is squashed by the giddiness that surrounded the slaughtering of the Gators.

Personally growing up as a Gator, brainwashed to despise any Seminoles fan, coming to Carolina showed me a real rivalry. And maybe that’s because for most of my life, I never worried about the week Florida played that team from Tallahassee because UF always won. Nonetheless, my hatred for Clemson runs deep, deeper than anything I ever felt against FSU. While I’m always sure that our Gamecocks will pull out the victory, Clemson is a fierce competitor that consistently gives us a good game. Thankfully, for both Gamecocks and Tigers fans, South Carolina teams always put on a good show.

It gets better,though. Columbia on rival Saturday is the best place in the country to be, with or without the recognition. The seas of people moving around trying to stay warm, the runway-inspired outfits and the home cooking are the things that remind everyone what South Carolina is really about.

Columbia and our Gamecocks have plenty of big TV opportunities, but we continue to get the cold shoulder from the likes of ESPN. No matter, maybe a national championship trophy will change that one day.


Trending Now

Send a Tip Get Our Email Editions