The SB Nation Conference Re-Draft keeps rolling along. After much debate, the Twelve Pack selected the Clemson Tigers to start the seventh round.
Clemson adds another program with a deep history on the gridiron. Clemson's Memorial Stadium was the largest football stadium left on the draft board (regularly ranking in the top 20 in attendance), and it won't be particularly hard to fill Death Valley's 80,000+ seat stadium with programs like Texas, Georgia, U.C.L.A., Washington and Wisconsin coming to town on Saturday.
Tigers hoops has been improving over recent years -- five straight 20+ win seasons and four straight NCAA Tournaments -- and Clemson also has strong soccer and baseball programs.
Clemson also adds a strong rival to the University of Georgia, with the two campuses less than 80 miles apart. Let Dawg Sports' T. Kyle King, one of our Twelve Pack Georgia reps, explain:
"Georgia and Clemson had one of the most nationally significant non-conference rivalries in the '70s and '80s. While passions have cooled somewhat, Dabo Swinney reignited interest last year when he suggested scheduling a spring scrimmage between Georgia and Clemson. Tony "Mr. College Football" Barnhart described the Georgia-Clemson rivalry as more intense than war, and wrote that the series deserved a chapter all its own in the history of college football. The teams are scheduled to renew their series in 2013 and 2014, and they continue to play a home-and-home baseball series every year."
The Tigers give the Twelve Pack an added presence in the south and along with Duke and Georgia, give us a foothold in both the Carolinas and Georgia, an area of the country that continues to see strong gains in population. The Greenville/Spartanburg/Asheville media market is no slouch either, ranking 36th nationally.
Clemson's campus featuring Lake Hartwell is one of the prettiest campuses in the country, and Clemson is as die-hard a college town as you will find. It's seriously one of the best game day experiences out there. If you haven't made it down to one of BC's three road trips to Clemson, I strongly recommend you make it down for the game this year.
Clemson adds to the growing monopoly of choice college football road trip destinations to go along with Austin, Athens, Westwood, Madison, Seattle and Durham (well, we'll end up partying in nearby Chapel Hill). The other conference commissioners have nicknamed the Twelve Pack "The Conference of Impossible Road Trips," but it's more like "The Conference of Awesome Road Trips," amiright?
Finally, again as T. Kyle King explains, "the university has improved its academics respectably in recent years, going from a provincial military/agricultural/textile school to USN&WR's No. 64 national university, including the top 25 among public universities." In fact, all of the schools in the Twelve Pack are ranked in the top 65 academically -- Duke 9, UCLA 25, Washington 41, Texas 45, Wisconsin 45, Georgia 56 and Clemson 64.
I've always felt like Clemson gets sold a bit short outside of the ACC / South -- you know, with those unrealistic preseason football expectations and all -- so the Twelve Pack was pumped to see the Tigers fall to us with pick no. 37.
Head on over to Shakin The Southland and welcome the newest member of the Twelve Pack.