Given that the emphasis in the new College Football Playoff will probably be on strength of schedule, finding a quality out of conference game for every season was an obvious priority for Jay Jacobs and the Auburn Tigers. Clemson is a good choice. We have a history with them and have played a lot of exciting games with them. It makes a lot of sense given the close proximity of the two schools (on a good day around four hours drive) so it will be well attended by the opposing fans. Putting the game at on-campus stadiums rather than in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is fantastic, as well. I hate neutral site games, honestly. But that's just me.
All we know about 2016 right now is that we're slated to open with Clemson and then Arkansas State at home. So that's two of the four non-conference games already known. I say "four" because I do not expect the SEC to go to a nine game conference schedule by then. So that leaves two more to come. I can almost guarantee at least one of them will be a November FCS game in between UGA and Alabama. This is also assuming a good bit, though. Who knows what even the structure of college football will look like in 2016 at this point?
That being said... I'm underwhelmed by this move. Yes, it's a great series. Yes, it will be a good game. Yes, I relish any opportunity to beat Dabo. I just have a problem playing a team we've played so many times before and especially in recent years. I would love to see someone new come to Auburn. I really wish we could have snagged Notre Dame, but UGA beat us to that one. Give me Texas, Ohio State, etc. Actually, what I'd REALLY like to see is Oregon. After the 2010 BCS Championship Game, I would love to see Auburn and Oregon play a home-and-home at each other's house.
This game will get a lot of praise, but it's just so... meh... to me. About the only thing I look forward to in it is hopefully getting to meet up with Brian Goodison over at Shakin The Southland for some pregame activities if he's able to make the trip.