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Clemson/Georgia on analyst’s list of 2024’s best non-conference games

The 2024 season may feel light years away for fans who dread the snail’s pace of college football’s offseason, but it’s never too early to think about “next year.”

With that in mind, at least one analyst has Clemson’s season-opening contest against Georgia in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic on his list of 2024’s 10 most-anticipated non-conference games.

Noting that the two border state schools annually battle one another on the recruiting trail, 247 Sports’ Brad Crawford points out that the winner of this game would be given instant national championship aspirations.

Not that Georgia doesn’t already have them; the Bulldogs are projected by many to be ranked as the preseason No. 1 team in the country months from now. But an upset by Clemson would instantly propel the Tigers back into the Top 10 (or higher) and put Dabo Swinney’s team in the early national championship conversation.

Early betting odds has Clemson as a double-digit underdog to a Georgia team that will be seeking its third national title in four years under Coach Kirby Smart. The Bulldogs closed out a 13-1 season with a 63-3 rout of No. 6 Florida State in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 30.

This year’s contest between the Tigers and Bulldogs, scheduled for Labor Day Weekend at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, will mark the fourth meeting between the schools in the past 11 years.

Clemson and Georgia split a pair of home-and-home contests in 2013 and ’14. The Tigers won a 38-35 thriller behind quarterback Tajh Boyd in Death Valley before Georgia won in a 45-21 romp behind running back Todd Gurley the following year in Athens.

The two schools most recently met in the 2021 season opener, a 10-3 defensive struggle won by Georgia at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

Other than in-state rival South Carolina, no team has faced Clemson in non-conference play more than Georgia. The two schools have met 65 times all told, including nine times since 1990. Between 1962 and 1987, they met almost annually.

Georgia leads the all-time series, 43-18-4.

Story originally appeared on Clemson Wire