Clemson will play the 10th most challenging non-conference schedule in the nation according to the Sporting News. Three of Clemson’s four non-conference games will be against teams that played in bowl games last year and all four of the non-conference foes won at least eight games in 2010.
Ten of Clemson’s 11 FBS opponents went to bowl games last year, including six who won at least nine games in 2010. Additionally, Wofford, Clemson’s FBS opponent, was 10-3 and reached the second round of the NCAA playoffs.
Clemson’s three FBS non-conference opponents had a combined 31-10 record last year, a .756 winning percentage. That list includes defending National Champion Auburn, who comes to Clemson on September 17. Troy (8-5) and South Carolina (9-5) also had outstanding seasons in 2010.
Miami (FL) (fourth), Florida State (6th) and Clemson (10th) were the three ACC teams in Sporting News top 10 for toughest non-conference schedules in the nation.
Overall, Clemson’s 12 opponents in 2011 had a 104-55 record last year, a .654 winning percentage. Each of Clemson’s first five opponents won at least eight games, including four in a row who won at least 10 games.
Clemson has a stretch of consecutive games against Auburn (14-0), Florida State (10-4) and Virginia Tech (11-3) between September 24 and October 1 that will be one of the most challenging stretches in school history. All three of those teams played for their respective conference championships last year. Clemson plays all four schools that played for the ACC and SEC championships last year.
Sporting News Top 10 Non Conference Schedules for 2011
- LSU: vs. Oregon (Dallas), Northwestern State, at West Virginia, Western Kentucky
- Pittsburgh: Buffalo, Maine, at Iowa, Notre Dame, Utah
- Colorado: at Hawaii, California, Colorado State (Denver), at Ohio State
- Miami (FL): Ohio State, Kansas State, Bethune-Cookman, at South Florida
- Ohio State: Akron, Toledo, at Miami, Colorado
- Florida State: Louisiana-Monroe, Charleston Southern, Oklahoma, at Florida
- Georgia: vs. Boise State (Atlanta), Coastal Carolina, New Mexico State, at Georgia Tech
- UCLA: at Houston, San Jose State, Texas
- Southern Cal: Minnesota, Syracuse, at Notre Dame
- Clemson: Troy, Wofford, Auburn, at South Carolina
FROM CLEMSON SID