Sunday, September 18, 2016
CLEMSON, South Carolina — Clemson played South Carolina State in college football on Saturday. Both universities field Division I teams, and that is pretty much where the similarities end in terms of athletics.
The No. 5 Tigers have an $83.5 million athletic budget, which includes six strength and conditioning coaches, and chartered jets for some road games. South Carolina State, a historically black school, has an athletic budget of a little more than $9 million and just one strength coach. It travels to games on a bus.
As part of the powerful Atlantic Coast Conference, Clemson is a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision, the top level of college football. The Bulldogs play in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, which is made up of small historically black colleges and universities (known as H.B.C.U. teams). Under N.C.A.A. rules, big-time schools like Clemson can hand out 85 football scholarships, while the lower-tier Football Championship Subdivision schools like South Carolina State can offer only 63. You get the picture.
Is there anyone who thought that the Bulldogs had a chance at an upset, like that time in 2007 when Appalachian State beat Michigan? Or like that time (Saturday) when North Dakota State knocked of No. 13 Iowa? No. The last time Clemson and South Carolina State played, the Tigers won, 73-7.
Buddy Pough, the Bulldogs’ coach, acknowledged last week that his team’s task was hopeless.