ACC Football: Clemson Looks for Rival Revenge Against Georgia Tech - Top 12 Must See ACC Football Games of 2012

By M. Shannon Smallwood

As the calendar turns over to October and the weather cools, the importance of every game heats up in ACC Football action.

And this about the time some of the biggest rivalry games in the south start to catch on fire as well.

This is especially true for two long-time rivals in the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Clemson Tigers.

When these two tangle every October, anything and everything goes and that is why the Jackets and the Tigers are No. 6 in the Top 12 Must See ACC Football Games of 2012.

The first meeting in this storied rivalry was way back in 1898. Clemson was the victor that day, 23-0, and went on to win the first 4 meetings by a combined score of 169-10.

That’s when you can say things changed and the bitterness began.

In 1904, Tech lured the Tigers head coach away from the hills of Clemson for a mere pay raise of $450. That coach was a man by the name of John Heisman

Yes, that John Heisman.

Almost in Boston Red Sox and Babe Ruthian fashion, the Yellow Jackets would go on to own the Tigers over the next 68 years winning 33 out of 38 games played.

Since Tech became a full-time member of the ACC back in 1983, things have leveled out quite a bit in the battle of the short drive on I-85 as the Yellow Jackets hold a slim 15-14 edge over the Tigers. The games have been even closer than that as 16 have been decided by five points or fewer; including the 2009 ACC Championship that Tech won 39-35.

Add to the fuel an undefeated Clemson squad getting embarrassed at Bobby Dodd Stadium right in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Georgia, 31-17, and the table is set for some legendary action in 2012.

It is speculated that the Yellow Jackets will enter Death Valley on October 6 at a perfect 5-0, 3-0 in the ACC after a huge win to start the season on the road against the Virginia Tech Hokies followed by 4 straight home wins against the Presbyterian Blue Hose, conference rivals the Virginia Cavaliers and the Miami Hurricanes and the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders.

Clemson arrives holding a 4-1, 1-1 mark in the ACC following victories over the Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Furman Paladins and the Boston College Eagles. The lone blemish was a last second lost to the hands of the Florida State Seminoles in Tallahassee, Florida.

So, here we stand.

A great rivalry. In fact a rivalry so great it should be on your must watch football list every season.

The Tigers… at home bitter from the lost last season that ended their perfect mark and looking to get back in the good graces of the fickle nation that is college football.

The Jackets… first road test after 4 cruise control wins at home and a team hitting on all cylanders.

Clemson with the home crowd and behind a huge game by senior RB Andre Ellington takes the game, 28-23.


Something the Tigers will cherish for at least a year over its rival Jackets.

NEXT: No. 7 in the Top 12 Must See ACC Football Games of 2012 – Virginia Tech at Clemson.


M. Shannon Smallwood has over 10 years experience in sports broadcasting, journalism and college athletics and currently covers ACC Football for Rant Sports.

Follow him @woodysmalls



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