College Football Playoff schedule creates massive opportunity for Dabo Swinney and Clemson

Dabo Swinney and the Clemson football program have been on the outside of the College Football Playoff looking in over the past few seasons, with the 2024 schedule giving the Tigers a massive opportunity to return to the top tier of the game. 

The opening round of playoff games will be held on campus on December 20 and 21. TNT Sports will broadcast two of these games under a new agreement that also includes airing two first-round games in the 2025-26 season. ESPN will handle the broadcast of the other nine playoff games.

The quarterfinal matchups will occur on December 31 and January 1 at the Fiesta Bowl, Peach Bowl, Rose Bowl, and Sugar Bowl. The semifinals are scheduled for January 9 and 10 at the Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl. The national championship will be played on January 20 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

The 12-team expansion along helps Clemson, but it goes way beyond that. It’s really about the opportunity the Tigers get if they win the ACC. If Clemson wins another ACC Championship, something we’ve seen Clemson do eight times since Dabo Swinney took over, they get a first round bye. That is massive. 

From what I’m seeing, the first-round bye is going to be make or break for the playoff, as the benefits you get from that time off are astounding. That, and it’s one less game to play in the pursuit of a National Championship. 

There’s no denying the path in the ACC is easier than that of the Big Ten and SEC. These changes and the schedule itself, benefit Clemson drastically if they can do what they’ve done many times before and just take home the conference championship.

Story originally appeared on Clemson Wire