Why is the State-Clemson game called the Textile Bowl?

Brett Friedlander

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney made reference to the Textile Bowl earlier this week to take a little backhanded swipe at NC State and his team’s dominance of the Wolfpack.

"It's the Textile Bowl,” Swinney said of Saturday’s game at Carter-Finley Stadium. “It goes way back. There's a trophy getting handed out after this game. I guess we'll load it up and take it up there. I assume (Tigers equipment manager) Abe Reed or someone will get it and take it up there with us.”

There actually is a revolving trophy that goes to the winner of the annual ACC Atlantic Division matchup between the Wolfpack and Tigers.

And it has taken up semi-permanent residence in the Upstate of South Carolina, since Clemson has won six straight and 13 of its last 14 meetings with State.

But what exactly is the Textile Bowl and how did that trophy come about?

It’s a designation that dates back to 1981 as a joint effort by North and South Carolina to promote the importance of the textile industry to the economic development of their states.

Textile Bowl Trophy

The schools shared a natural bond because of the similarities in their missions and the fact that at the time, they boasted two of the largest, most respected textile schools in the world.

In addition to their football matchup, State and Clemson would also sponsor special events for students of their respective textile programs in the days leading up to the game.

The rivalry has lost much of its luster in recent years because of the Tigers’ dominance on the field and the decline of the U.S. textile industry, especially in the South. While State still has a textile program, Clemson no longer offers it as a major.

But as Swinney pointed out, there is still a trophy that goes to the winner of the game.

And as long as Abe Reed doesn’t forget, it will be at Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday.

Just in case.

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