They don't have any big-time professional sports franchises in South Carolina, so let's just say they take their college athletics a little more seriously than most in the Palmetto State.

A South Carolina state lawmaker, concerned that the longstanding Clemson-South Carolina football rivalry might become a casualty of realignment in college football, proposed a law that would mandate the game be played.

Rep. Nathan Ballentine put together the bill, which would have required the college football rivalry game be played by state law. The Charleston Post and Courier reports the legislation, which was opposed by officials from both universities, was presented on Wednesday and quickly defeated in subcommittee.

Representatives from Clemson and South Carolina both said they didn't foresee any danger to the annual battle. "Clemson would prefer to not have to legislate this issue as I cannot conceive of a realistic scenario that would prohibit Clemson and South Carolina from continuing our football series," Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips told the Charleston Post and Courier.

The campuses are separated by only 132 miles and have been hated rivals since the 1880s. Clemson is in the ACC and South Carolina is in the SEC.

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"I'm wondering what other conferences and universities didn't think things would happen down the road, and they ended up being reactive," Ballentine told The Post and Courier after his bill was rejected. "I just believe elected officials need to try to be proactive and look down the road. You never know what tomorrow is going to bring. But, I think we can all agree that conferences are going to continue to grow and expand and I think they are going to try to call the shots."

Clemson leads the all-time series 60-40-4, but the Gamecocks have won the last three meetings.

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