COLUMBIA (WACH, AP) -- South Carolina and Clemson have played each other in football for each of the last 103 years, and a Lexington County lawmaker wants to make sure they keep playing each other.
Rep. Nathan Ballentine will introduce legislation mandating the game be played every season.
Atlantic Coast Conference
belongs to and the
plays are adding two new schools. Both leagues could require teams to play nine conference games each year, rather than the current eight.
Ballentine is worried the schools might drop the rivalry because of the reduced number of non-conference games they could play. He says the state had a similar law on the books for one year in the 1950's.
"Back in 1952 the Southern Conference was apparently dictating that Clemson was not going to be able to play South Carolina, if not for the General Assembly getting involved," said Ballentine.
Officials at both schools say they would prefer that lawmakers stay out of the scheduling process.
Owner of Eat More Tees in Columbia, Kevin Schumacher supports Ballentine's bill.
"The rivalry shirt is one of the biggest selling shirts of the year," said Schumacher. "If we're (USC) not playing Clemson, I lose the possibility of doing that business."
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While Clemson leads the all time standings, 65-40-4, USC has won the last 3 games. The Gamecocks longest winning streak is 4 games in the early 1950's, while the Tigers won 7 in a row in the late 1930's.
The rivalry has lead to tense exchanges between coaches. After USC's win this season it started with a tweet from the official Gamecock football twitter account that read. ""We aren't LSU, we aren't Alabama, but we sure ain't Clemson." ---Steve Spurrier."
As it turns out, the Gamecock football twitter account got that line from the radio broadcast of Saturday's game, where it was used by play-by-play man Todd Ellis.
However, the part referring to Clemson was apparently ad-libbed by Ellis.
"Todd Ellis referred to that and added his own snippet at the end saying something about Clemson," said USC Sports Information Director Steve Fink. "Coach (Spurrier) has never said anything about Clemson in that regard."
When asked about the tweet Clemson coach Dabo Swinney told reporters: "This is more of a domination (than rivalry). My kidâ??s grandkids wonâ??t live long enough to see this become a rivalry."
"That's why Carolina is in Chapel Hill, USC is in California and the university in this state always has been, always will be in Clemson. You can print that. Tweet that.â??
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(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)