As Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury conducts his search for coach Paul Johnson’s successor, he’s got quite a perk to offer to candidates. The new hire’s first game as Yellow Jackets head coach will not be an FCS walkover, but instead at Clemson on a Thursday night, Aug. 29, 2019.
It will be the first game in the launch of the ACC Network, which will go on air a week earlier than the opener, on Aug. 22. The Tech-Clemson series is one of the oldest in the ACC, one that well predates the conference’s founding in 1953. It is evidently a matchup that the conference believes can drive interest and viewership.
“With just under nine months until launch, we are all systems go with ACC Network preparations,” ESPN president and co-chairman James Pitaro said Friday in a statement. “The strength of the season-opening game between Georgia Tech and Clemson is indicative of the robust schedule and programming we have planned for ACC fans.”
Tech previously had that date open. The second game of the season will come Sept. 7 against South Florida at home.
The Tech-Clemson series has been heavily one-sided of late. Clemson has overpowered the Yellow Jackets as it has much of the rest of the ACC. The Tigers have won the past four games by an average of 20 points.
“We continue to look ahead to the launch of the ACC Network with great anticipation, and this is another step in the process,” ACC commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “Showcasing all of our outstanding programs remains a top priority, and our partnership with ESPN allows fans to have greater access than ever before. I also commend our schools who have done an outstanding job in their preparations for a successful launch.”