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Two months from arguably the most anticipated game of the college football regular season, one popular talking head sees Clemson as having a built-in advantage over Georgia. Despite the game being played in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium, which is home to the Carolina Panthers, SEC Network host Paul Finebaum feels as though the neutral site will be decidedly pro-Clemson.
On a recent appearance of the DawgNation podcast, Finebaum questioned the game’s location and the number of Tiger fans in close proximity: “First of all, this game shouldn’t be in Charlotte. I live in Charlotte. I can walk up and down my street and run into Clemson fans. Maybe there was a time this was a North Carolina town, maybe there was a time with South Carolina people, but lately it’s Clemson.”
To prevent any type of home crowd advantage, tickets are being split evenly amongst the schools. Each program will receive 27,500 tickets for fans and donors and another 500 tickets for their bands. An additional 5,000 tickets will be distributed to suite owners.
Though ticket distribution is aimed at preventing a one-sided crowd from playing a factor, Finebaum views the location as a Clemson advantage. “This is a Clemson town. Should that be a factor in the game? No,” said Finebaum. “But it’s clearly an advantage for Clemson to play the game in Charlotte North/South Carolina.”
The September 4th meeting in Charlotte marks the first time since 2014 when Georgia tamed the Tigers 45 – 21 in Athens that these two storied programs will square off. They’ll continue the out-of-conference rivalry again in 2024 at a yet to be determined neutral site. Five years later, the schools will resume a home-and-home series.
Regardless of the setting, Finebaum’s looking forward to the September showdown: “I’m glad they are playing it. This is the defining game of the college football season, at least going in.”