The Clemson Tigers have had a fairly consistent scheduling formula during the past decade. Along with the allotted eight conference games, the Tigers have scheduled an in-state FCS game, a Group of 5 opponent, a major Power 5 clash, and the traditional season-ender with South Carolina.
Well, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The formula has led to 11 consecutive double-digit win seasons, seven ACC championships since 2011, and two national titles. The Tigers will start this year with an ACC game and since it's an even-numbered year, they'll end the regular season by hosting the Gamecocks. It's what comes in between that will determine where the Tigers will be competing in the postseason.
Bye: Week 9
Week 1 - Sept. 5 vs. Georgia Tech (Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta)
Clemson will begin their 2022 season in the prime time, stand-alone game on Labor Day evening. In a sign that 2021 was going to be different for Clemson, three-win Georgia Tech fought the Tigers tooth and nail before succumbing 14-8 in their third game.
Week 2 - Sept. 10 vs. Furman (Clemson, S.C.)
Since 2007, an FCS team from the Palmetto State has been on Clemson's schedule each season. This year, it's Furman's turn. The Paladins, who went 6-5 in 2021, last came to Death Valley in 2018, when they fell 48-7.
Week 3 - Sept. 17 vs. Louisiana Tech (Clemson, S.C.)
Skip Holtz took the Bulldogs to seven straight bowl games but after a 3-9 2021, he was out as Louisiana Tech's head coach. Sonny Cumbie comes over from Texas Tech, where he was the offensive coordinator before serving as interim head coach at the end of last season.
Week 4 - Sept. 24 at Wake Forest (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
The Tigers' first major test of the year could be this road game against the defending Atlantic Division champs. Quarterback Sam Hartman is back to guide Dave Clawson's high-powered offense and edge rusher Rondell Bothroyd will once again spearhead the defense.
Week 5 - Oct. 1 vs. NC State (Clemson, S.C.)
Following their trip to Winston-Salem, Clemson will battle the Wolfpack in another key division contest. Devin Leary will still be throwing passes for Dave Doeren's crew, but NC State should be paced by a defense that returns most of its key components and will have a healthy Payton Wilson at linebacker this fall.
Week 6 - Oct. 8 at Boston College (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
After a 4-0 start last fall, the Eagles stumbled in six of their last eight games to finish 6-6. Jeff Hafley has transformed a stale culture at Boston College, but victories are needed in 2022. There is talent at the offensive skill positions and if the offensive line and defense develop, BC could see marked improvement this fall.
Week 7 - Oct. 15 at Florida State (Tallahassee, Fla.)
The Seminoles lost to Clemson by 49 points in 2019 and 31 in '20. But last Oct. 30, FSU held a three-point lead late in the fourth quarter before losing 30-20. Since Florida State still did not qualify for a bowl in 2021, that result may have said more about where Clemson was at that time. Still, the Noles feel that they should take a step forward in 2022 and will look for their first victory over Clemson since 2014.
Week 8 - Oct. 22 vs. Syracuse (Clemson, S.C.)
Dino Babers is entering his seventh year as Syracuse head coach and has taken the Orange to just one bowl game. His squad did increase their win total by four last fall and were just one win away from qualifying for the postseason, but this sets up to be an important season for the Cuse head coach.
Week 10 - Nov. 5 at Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Ind.)
Clemson has slammed the Irish in two postseason games, but the last two regular-season clashes have been classics. In 2015, the Tigers edged ND 24-22 in a hurricane at Memorial Stadium and two years ago the Irish upset top-ranked Clemson in double overtime at Notre Dame Stadium.
Week 11 - Nov. 12 vs. Louisville (Clemson, S.C.)
A stretch of three straight home games to end the regular season begins with a game against the Cardinals. With Malik Cunningham at quarterback and a veteran offensive line, Louisville will have a lot of experience on offense and opponents will have to focus on Yasir Abdullah, a linebacker that had 16.5 tackles for lost yardage and 10 sacks last season.
Week 12 - Nov. 19 vs. Miami (Clemson, S.C.)
What Miami's final record is in Mario Cristobal's initial season is less important than how the team progresses during the season. By the time the Hurricanes come to Clemson in mid-November they should have a pretty good grasp of the new system. Having Tyler Van Dyke at quarterback will certainly help the team's development.
Week 13 - Nov. 26 vs. South Carolina (Clemson, S.C.)
Shane Beamer brought a lot of excitement to Columbia, guiding the Gamecocks to a Duke's Mayo Bowl win over North Carolina and the program's first winning season in three years. But South Carolina made no strides in beating Clemson, losing at home 30-0 in what many considered a down year for the Tigers.
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– Written by Jon Kinne, who has been part of the Athlon Contributor Network for three years, focusing on the ACC and Notre Dame. Follow him on Twitter @JonRKinne.