Ranking Clemson’s 2023 Games from 12 to 1

Clemson Football’s 2023 schedule was released Monday night.

The 12 teams the Tigers will compete against in 2023 combined to win 56.3 percent of their games in 2022, including a Florida State team that went 10-3 and ended the season with six straight victories.

Clemson, the defending ACC Champions, will play four teams that won at least nine games last season and three more that won at least eight. In all, eight of the Tigers’ 12 opponents finished the 2022 season with a winning record and all eight played in a postseason bowl game.

But that was last year. How will this season stack up?

All Clemson Tigers ranked the 2023 football schedule from No. 12 (the worst game) to No. 1 (the best).

12. vs. Charleston Southern, Sept. 9: Clemson had to scramble to find a replacement for Wofford, who was originally scheduled to play at Clemson on Sept. 2. But the Terriers dropped Clemson and scheduled a date with Pitt on the same day. That left the Tigers looking for a replacement. They got the Buccaneers instead. Charleston Southern went 2-8 last season in the FCS’s Big South Conference. This will be Clemson’s first ever matchup against the Buccaneers.

11. vs. Florida Atlantic, Sept. 16: The Owls are another tune up game for the Tigers, as they get set to host Florida State in Week 4. FAU went 5-7 overall, including 4-4 in Conference USA games. Clemson is 37-0 all-time against FCS opponents. The two teams’ only other meeting came in the 2006 season opener when the Tigers defeated Howard Schnellenberger’s Owls, 54-6. 

10. vs. Georgia Tech, Nov. 11: After taking over a program that was 1-3, Brent Key led the Yellow Jackets to a 4-4 record over the last eight games of the season after taking over as the interim head coach. Though Key did a magnificent job helping the Yellow Jackets become competitive, they still have a long way to go to catch up with Clemson. The Tigers have won eight straight in the series and are 6-2 since 1974 against first-year head coaches at Georgia Tech.

9. at Syracuse, Sept. 30: I can see an argument for this game being ranked a little better, especially considering the fact the Orange has hung with Clemson more times than not since Dino Babers became head coach. The Tigers are 6-1 against Babers and have won five straight in the series. However, besides the one win, Syracuse has battled Clemson closely in three other occasions and had a chance to win all three games.

8. vs. Wake Forest, Oct. 7: Sam Hartman is now at Notre Dame and 10 other players also transferred to other schools. Running back Christian Turner was among those that entered the transfer portal. Wide receiver A.T. Perry, one of the best in the ACC, entered his name into the NFL Draft pool, meaning three of Wake Forest’s best offensive players from 2022 are no longer there. Clemson has won 14 straight games in the series.

7. at Duke, Sept. 4: For a second straight year, Clemson will open a new season on Labor Day night and on the road. After opening in Atlanta against Georgia Tech last season, the Tigers will open 2023 at Duke, their first trip to Durham, N.C., since 2012. The Blue Devils went 9-4 last year under Mike Elko in his first season there. The Blue Devils also return one of the ACC’s top quarterbacks in Riley Leonard. The rising junior threw for 2,967 yards and 20 touchdowns, while completing 63 percent of his passes and just six interceptions in 2022. He also ran for 699 yards and scored 13 touchdowns.

6. at Miami, Oct. 21: Clemson has won four straight games in the series dating back to 2015, including a 58-0 win in the Tigers’ most recent road game at Miami in 2015. Clemson has outscored the Hurricanes by an aggregate score of 178-30 in that span. The Tigers beat Miami 40-10 at Death Valley last season.

5. at NC State, Oct. 28: Clemson will be on the road for a second straight week and this time are playing in the most hostile ACC environment they will play in 2023. The Wolfpack beat the Tigers in double overtime in 2021. NC State will have a new quarterback in this year’s meeting, as well as a bunch of new players on a defense that has been one of the ACC’s best the last few years.

4. vs. UNC, Nov. 18: In a rematch of last year’s ACC Championship Game, the Tigers will host Drake Maye and the North Carolina Tar Heels at Memorial Stadium. The Tar Heels look to be a contender in the ACC again this year and this matchup could go a long way in determining which teams earn a spot in the ACC Championship Game on Dec. 2. UNC has not played at Death Valley since 2014, when Deshaun Watson threw a Clemson record six touchdowns passes in his first career start.

3. at South Carolina, Nov. 25: The Gamecocks snapped Clemson’s seven-game win streak in the series last year at Death Valley. The Gamecocks return quarterback Spencer Rattler, but they lost their top running back and wide receiver from 2022 to the transfer portal. Clemson has won four straight games at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. The Tigers are 17-6 at Williams-Brice Stadium since 1977.

2. vs. Notre Dame, Nov. 4: There is a possibility this could be a top 10 matchup when the Irish return to Death Valley for the first time since the 2015 tropical storm thriller. Notre Dame manhandled Clemson last year at South Bend. The Irish should be even better this year with Sam Hartman at quarterback for Marcus Freeman in his second year.

1. vs. Florida State, Sept. 23: The winner becomes the likely front runner for an ACC Championship Game appearance. The ACC will no longer use divisions to decide its representatives in the title game and will instead have the two teams with the best conference records meet in the ACC Championship Game. Clemson and FSU will definitely be the preseason favorites to play in Charlotte, and there is a strong likely hood the two will play each other twice in 2023. It’s only fitting if they do considering the two have combined to win 36 of the league’s 70 championships. Clemson has won the last seven games in the series.

photo by Kevin Vandervort / All Clemson Tigers

Want to join in on the discussion? 100% FREE! Interact with fellow Tiger fans and hear directly from publisher Zach Lentz, deputy editor Brad Senkiw, recruiting analyst Jason Priester and staff writer Will Vandervort on any subject. Click here to become a member of the ALL CLEMSON message board community today!
Do us a HUGE favor and like, subscribe and follow us on social media:
►LIKE us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/allclemson
►SUBSCRIBE: https://www.youtube.com/c/AllClemson
►FOLLOW All Clemson on Twitter:https://twitter.com/All_Clemson

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Leave a Reply

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Zach Lentz
4 months ago

9-12 are all games that you can throw in a bag and pull out a name…they are all equally bad.

%d bloggers like this: