If you’re a college football betting enthusiast that also likes delving into the historical aspect of collegiate gridiron football, then you’re in for a real treat as we look back – and ahead – at the longstanding SEC matchup that is known as the Palmetto Bowl. This fun-filled look at the longstanding series between the University of South Carolina and Clemson University will give college football bettors a bit of insight into this intriguing affair long before the 2015 Palmetto Bowl ever takes place. Okay, with that said, let’s rock and roll!
Let’s Take A Closer Look at the Clemson vs South Carolina Palmetto Bowl Odds Rivalry
If you didn’t know before, now you know, the “The Battle of the Palmetto State “or the better-known “Palmetto Bowl” (from the state’s nickname) is the longest uninterrupted series in the South and the second-longest uninterrupted NCAA D-IA/FBS series in the nation.
The series began in 1896 with South Carolina recording a narrow 12-6 win over Clemson. The Tigers bounced back with four straight wins from 1897-1900 and the 1901 affair was not played that year. In 1902, South Carolina recorded another 12-6 win over the Tigers and the series was suspended for several years.
However, in 1909, the series was resumed and has been played every single season since then.
Did You Know Moment 1!
Did You Know that, from 1896-1959, the Carolina-Clemson game was played in Columbia and referred to as “Big Thursday?”
Since 1960, the game has rotated between both schools’ home stadiums with South Carolina’s Williams-Brice Stadium and Clemson’s Memorial Stadium the alternating scene for each school’s regular season finale. When Clemson began its football program in 1896, coached by Walter Riggs, they scheduled the rival South Carolina College for a Thursday morning game in conjunction with the State Fair. “The Carolina fans that week were carrying around a poster with the image of a tiger with a gamecock standing on top of it, holding the tiger’s tail as if he was steering the tiger by the tail,” Jay McCormick said.
“Naturally, the Clemson guys didn’t take too kindly to that, and on Wednesday and again on Thursday, there were sporadic fistfights involving brass knuckles and other objects and so forth, some of which resulted, according to the newspapers, in blood being spilled and persons having to seek medical assistance. After the game on Thursday, the Clemson guys frankly told the Carolina students that if you bring this poster, which is insulting to us, to the big parade on Friday, you’re going to be in trouble. And naturally, of course, the Carolina students brought the poster to the parade. If you give someone an ultimatum and they’re your rival, they’re going to do exactly what you told them not to do.”
The immediate aftermath resulted in the stoppage of the rivalry until 1909.
Did You Know Moment 2!
Did You Know that the South Carolina Gamecock mascot made its first appearance in 1902?
1946: Counterfeit Tickets Cause Near Riot
The 1946 matchup is remembered by many as the most contentious matchup in series history. Two New York mobsters printed counterfeit tickets for the game and fans from both schools were denied entry when the duplicate tickets were discovered, which of course, led to a near riot.
To add to the chaos, a Clemson fan strangled a live chicken at midfield during halftime. Fans on both sides then stormed the fences and gates and spilled onto the field. It took U.S. Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, who attended the game along with Strom Thurmond, to settle down the hostile crowd.
1952: South Carolina Government Gets Involved
The Southern Conference almost brought the longstanding rivalry to an abrupt end when it ordered Clemson to play no other league team other than Maryland as punishment for both schools accepting bowl bids against conference rules. Upon request of both schools’ presidents, the South Carolina General Assembly passed a resolution on February 27, 1952, ordering the game to be played. The Gamecocks would go on to win the contest 6-0.
1959: Bye-Bye Big Thursday Showdown
For 64 years, Clemson traveled to Columbia to face the Gamecocks for the annual ‘Big Thursday’ rivalry. 1964 marked the end of the tradition as the rivalry progressed to a home-and-home series played on a Saturday. However, the two schools would not move the contest to the last regular season game until two years later. Clemson won the final Big Thursday matchup 27-0.
1981: Clemson Brings Home the Bacon!
In 1981, Clemson defeated South Carolina 29-13 en route to the National Championship.
1994: “The Return”
With both teams entering the game 5-5 and trying to become bowl-eligible, South Carolina led 14-7 at the half on the road against Clemson. Gamecock RB Brandon Bennett received the kick-off to start the third quarter. Bennett then took a few steps, turned and threw a backward pass to the other side of the field which was caught by defensive back Reggie Richardson who returned the ball 85 yards to the Tigers’ 6-yard line. Bennett scored on the next play to put South Carolina ahead 21-7 and the Gamecocks never looked back, going on to win 33-7.
2000: “The Catch II”/”The Push-off”
In 2000, Trailing late in the game 14-13, Clemson quarterback Woody Dantzler connected with wide-receiver Rod Gardner for a 50-yard reception to the Gamecocks’ 8-yard line with 10 seconds remaining. Carolina fans point to a replay that seems to show Gardner pushing off the Gamecock defender, but Clemson fans contend that the contact was mutual and incidental. No penalty flag was thrown on the play, leaving Clemson kicker Aaron Hunt to kick a 25-yard field goal that gave Clemson a 16-14 win. Clemson fans remember this game as “The Catch II” while Carolina fans call it “The Push-Off Game”.
2004: The Brawl SeeN By All!
The South Carolina-Clemson brawl during the 2004 football game is the most recent eruption of hostilities in this rivalry. It is also the last season that Lou Holtz coached, retiring shortly after his Clemson Tigers beat South Carolina 29-7. Each team had won a total of six games that year and season and were considered bowl-eligible, though they elected to forfeit their respective postseasons because of the unsportsmanlike nature of the huge brawl that occurred during this contest.
From 2009-2013, South Carolina won five straight over Clemson, but the Tigers snapped that skid in emphatic fashion by spanking South Carolina 35-17 to easily cash in as a 4.5-point home favorite. Athletically-gifted freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson, despite playing with a torn ACL, led the Tigers to the easy win Death Valley by throwing for 269 yards and two touchdowns while adding two rushing scores for good measure. Tigers’ freshman wide receiver Artavis Scott set a Memorial Stadium and Clemson freshman record for receiving yards with 185 and two touchdowns.
By the Betting Numbers
Clemson is 12-8 SU and 10-10 ATS in the last 20 meetings, The Tigers are 4-6 SU over the last 10 meetings but just 3-7ATS during the stretch. Clemson currently holds a 65-42-4 lead in the series, though Clemson holds a 37-29-2 advantage in the Modern post-WWII Era and the series is tied 7-7 in the 21st century.
The 2015 Palmetto Bowl meeting will take place on Nov. 28, at Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC.