The skill of the Tigers varies greatly depending on which sport you are talking about. The basketball team is pretty awful, the baseball team is generally excellent, and the football team usually has the potential to be pretty good but usually only plays to the level of their opponents. For instance, in 2004 the Tigers defeated the Miami Hurricanes but lost to the Duke Blue Devils the next week. These only refer to the men's sports teams, because nobody cares about the women's teams.
At the start of every football game, the team rubs Howard's Rock and then runs down a hill. Brent Musberger deemed it "the most exciting 25 seconds in college football." It is actually pretty cool even though it sounds kind of dumb. Howard's Rock is a piece of white flint brought back from Death Valley in 1919. There are lots more traditions, but nobody cares about them unless you go to the school.
The basketball team hasn't done anything notable since 1999 when they were the NIT runners-up. Baseball won the ACC tournament in 2006 and made an appearance in the College World Series. The football team won a national championship in 1981 and was undefeated, which would have been a lot cooler if the Tigers could even get close some other time.
The main rivalry is the South Carolina Gamecocks. Their pathetic excuse for a football team has played the Tigers every year since 1909, making it the third-longest uninterrupted series in college football. The current record stands 63-36-4, Clemson leading.
A couple unofficial rivalries have sprung up over the last few years, including the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Miami Hurricanes. In addition, the meeting of current Clemson coach Tommy Bowden and Florida State Seminoles coach (also father to Tommy) Bobby Bowden has become an anticpated game, now dubbed the Bowden Bowl.
Could really use one.
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