College football is full of great traditions. Many of these traditions are familiar to even the most casual of fans. Notre Dame's "Play Like a Champion Today" sign and Ohio State's dotting of the "I" are among the most commonly known traditions. Others tend to fly under the radar a bit. While we may all be pretty familiar with Howard's Rock at Clemson (if you are not here is a quick piece by the always enjoyable Tim Hyland about it), you may be unaware of another cool tradition the Tigers maintain.
The Graveyard is a cemetery in which tombstones for fallen ranked opponents are placed near the football practice facility. While it seems strange to know that Clemson is singling out road victories against ranked opponents as opposed to home victories against ranked opponents (after all, Clemson plays in Death Valley), the tradition is still a cool reminder to great moments in Clemson's football history.
The newest addition to The Graveyard was recently added. Following Clemson's dramatic 25-24 victory against SEC power LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, the Tigers added the LSU Tigers to their collection of victims.
LSU becomes the third SEC school to be added to the graveyard. The most recent SEC tally before LSU was rival South Carolina in 2005. South Carolina's tombstone stands out from the mix because it is a black tombstone with orange lettering. It is given special treatment because of the rivalry between the two South Carolina schools. Georgia is actually in the graveyard twice (1977 and 1986).
Here is the complete listing of schools appearing in Clemson's graveyard, according to Clemson Athletics.
|November 13, 1948||Wake Forest||21-14||19|
|October 28, 1950||Wake Forest||13-12||17|
|January 1, 1951||Miami||15-14||15|
|September 19, 1959||North Carolina||20-18||12|
|September 17, 1977||Georgia||7-6||17|
|November 18. 1978||Maryland||28-24||11|
|November 8, 1981||North Carolina||10-8||8|
|November 13, 1982||Maryland||24-22||18|
|November 5, 1983||North Carolina||16-3||10|
|September 20, 1986||Georgia||31-28||14|
|September 9, 1989||Florida State||34-23||16|
|October 10, 1992||Virginia||29-28||10|
|November 5, 1994||North Carolina||28-17||19|
|November 9, 1996||Virginia||24-16||15|
|September 13, 1997||N.C. State||19-17||25|
|September 29, 2001||Georgia Tech||47-44||9|
|November 6, 2004||Miami||24-17||10|
|November 19, 2005||South Carolina||13-9||19|
|September 16, 2006||Florida State||27-20||9|
|December 31, 2012||LSU||25-24||7|
Will Clemson be able to add any more tombstones to the graveyard in 2013? That remains to be seen. Clemson's road schedule is not the most difficult in conference play (Maryland, Syracuse, Virginia and NC State) but South Carolina at the end of the regular season could be a good one once again. The Gamecocks have dominated the series recently but if Clemson is rolling maybe this could be the year for another black tombstone.