Something to read every year before this game:
The War Between The Schools
It's Rivalry Week and the War Between the Schools has officially commenced. The following is pure speculation about some of the many reasons Clemson and Carolina people have such a fierce competition with one another. It's about many things including: Us vs. Them, Good vs. Evil, Men of the Soil vs. the Urbane, a Hobbesian worldview vs. John Locke's Constitution, Upcountry and Lowcountry, The Pee Dee vs. The Piedmont, Engineers versus Lawyers, Soldiers against Politicians, Calvinist vs. Armenian, Baptists vs. Baptists. Dare I say who is in the co-operative camp? Whigs vs. Tories, Regulators rising up on the Oligarchy, even Backcountry John C Calhoun and his Charlestonite bride Floride are parts of the never-ending feud of the Palmettoland told in shades of Orange or that awful Garnet stain. Each side claims Bravehearts, Patriots and Rebels; though of course in all matters of heroism, loyalty or patriotism Clemson folk, surely dominate the count.
(No I did not write this, but I can no longer find the source or the author in my links.)
The State divided evenly in two by a curious physical feature known as the Fall Line. It stretches from the Savannah River to the Sand Hills and while this defining difference is geographical, it's also political, social and economic. It can be a difference of philosophy, a matter of dialect, the way you eat your bar-b-que, or the way you tell someone "Good Morning." The Fall Line divides South Carolina between Piedmont Clayaggie and Lowcountry Sandlapper, and more importantly between Clemson and Carolina . On the Western Side people look to the Hills, on the other they feel wind from the Sea. We are the Country Gentlemen, the heirs of Pickens & Morgan; they are the Midlandic Overseers who claim Sumter and Marion as their own. They are institutionally older but we are more truly representative of South Carolina . If you want to, you can even take it back farther than America, Clemson is the Cherokee, the Suzerains of the High Country who took Chicora from the Catawbas and the various Lowcountry tribes in ages past. This is why the Upper State 's ground is red, for so much blood was shed in the fighting, or so they say. USC feeds our states worst element - Government. Clemson feeds the people. USC will try every new and bad idea that comes down the road, almost as much as they change their football uniforms. While Clemson is steadfast, unashamed of who we've been, who we are, almost a Roman stoic to Carolina 's Greek Epicurean.
We both like Strom, and when asked, we put on Red Shirts with Hampton. We both were Anti-Federalists before the Constitution, because Rights are inalienable and aren't gifts of some beneficent state. We liked Jefferson's vision of America more than any Jacobin Yankee idea. We were suspicious of Secession in the High Country, but when the Charlestonians decided to start the Civil War we were in it to the death. Typically when "The War" began most of the folks in this corner of the state were sent in the opposite direction to fight the federals. I guess someone knew that South Carolinians have always had a tendency to quarrel amongst ourselves if given the chance.
In recent years USC's professorial class is increasingly engaging in Big City style Liberal democracy, surely a dangerous trend, so I will add to the list of Us and Them Conservative & Yellow dog vs. Conservative & Tree Huggin' Birkenstockers. USC is located in the midst of urban blight and is overshadowed by our Statehouse. Clemson, on the other hand rests upon our greatest Son's old Farm, Calhoun's Fort Hill, nestled in the valley of the Keowee, nurtured by the Waters of Hartwell, colored by the Mountains of the Blue Ridge, seasoned by the winds of Appalachia . Clemson is Arcadia . USC is "lock the doors when riding in the car at night" country. For after all villainous Sherman never burned Clemson, maybe that's why Columbia seems like the hottest place on earth.
Clemson is a historic land-grant school that has evolved into one of America's best Public Universities; USC has had more 5-year plans than the Soviet Union. Clemson has the qualities and character of the Little Engine that Could, for most of our history we have been a tiny A&M, located in the Dark Corner, no bigger than PC or The Citadel. Yet, despite our obscurity we overcome, we triumph, and we dominate this state. We beat Carolina like a drum, and then we represent this state to the nation. This is why long ago people began saying that Clemson IS The University of South Carolina because who wants losers to carry the Bonnie Blue Flag. USC, on the other hand is a bloated bureaucracy, who's only cultural legacies have long ago been made into parking lots. USC people think that they're cutting edge, that they're solving problems of the modern age, that long ago they surpassed their Upcountry betters. Like the failed oldest son of a great family, they treasure their heirlooms, because they've lost their land and they now work for their Clemson siblings.
USC has long ago become decadent, their Spirit is temporal. Clemson people believe in eternal truths, not the passing spirit of the age. Carolina folk love to poke fun at the notion of the Clemson family, they love to jest at how old fashioned we are, what simple notions we cling to, and how out of step with them we seem to be. USC people never get it about Clemson, too bad. For we privately laugh at ourselves, and even their jokes (about us) harder than they do. USC is so tragic; It's sort of like bullying the village idiot, what do you prove by pointing out the obvious, by reasserting that the world is indeed flat and that USC Football is indeed more dangerous than a chemical dependency.
Clemson is Small Town South Carolina, personal, individual and memorable. Clemson is the kind of place people want to live, raise a family and live out their dreams. There are more Congressional of Honor winners per capita in Pickens County then any other county in the United States. Clemson is full of patriotic people who have done their duty. Against a backdrop of rural beauty the adjoining Upcountry Counties of Greenville & Spartanburg boast more multi-national business Corporations per capita than any County in the United States. Clemson is part of this transformation; Clemson's got no problem with free enterprise.
As long as they flip cheeseburgers at Mac's Drive In, as long as people stop their cars along Highway 11 and gaze in wonder at God's creation, as long as Orange Sunsets burn the night sky above Hartwell's dark waters, there will always be a Clemson.
Never in the long history of Man, has a particular group of people (USC) done so little - with so much and accomplished less. Why these people are as arrogant as they are is a mystery worth looking into. What's not unknown is how bad Clemson owns them in this football series. We are South Carolina 's team, and they are a human-interest story in a carnival. Their program is a graveyard for football, give them time and they will ruin anything. USC is the unwanted gift that keeps on giving, a disease on the face of sport, and a blight on the state's good name. USC's nickname is profane; their abbreviation is often misunderstood for a University in Southern California, when you say "Carolina " most often people think of Chapel Hill 's goat herders.
All of this points to Carolina 's (USC) obscurity within their own regional identity. Poor old Carolina, on top of all of that they bear the weight of the most burdensome thing in all of College Athletics...The Chicken Curse, long may she own effect your collective mind. Never had misery so much work to do as when she first visited the Banks of the Congaree. From the bottom of my heart and with 4 generations of Clemson men behind me I would like to say to all fans, students and tax supported employees of USC-Columbia, "its time for you to go... Its time to put you down again for the winter."
Cock a doodle doo,
Cock a doodle doo,
To HELL with you!