clemson’s struggles


I’m back from vacation but still trying to get back into the swing of things. Got lots of things to post about. Stay tuned as they start coming in…

But for now I wanted to write about Clemson. I got to go to two games on this trip. Going to homecoming was fun in and of itself. We routed Duke 49-20 and so that felt good. The final score was what Clemson should be doing against a team like Duke.

But I’ve got beef. Tommy Bowden is now Tommy Bowden 49-33 (0.598) in seven years. That means we’re just above mediocre…and at 5-4 now getting ready for FSU and South Carolina, we’re still on pace for just above mediocre. I’m tired of it.

Then I read a great article from The Sun News entitled Rout disguises Clemson’s problems. This article is spot on.

From the time the Tigers won their first Atlantic Coast Conference title 50 years ago until the last of their 13 league titles in 1991, they dominated the gridiron in the basketball-crazed conference more than any other member of the ACC.

Clemson is 2-14 against ACC newcomers, and the Tigers have an average league finish of middle of the pack (4.2 in the former nine-team conference) since FSU joined, partly because Virginia, Maryland, Georgia Tech and N.C. State have improved their programs from the added competition, while Clemson’s has been stuck in neutral.

Clemson’s ACC record since FSU joined the league is only 60-53

Promising to bring prosperity back to Clemson seven years ago, Tommy Bowden has merely extended the mediocrity of the post-expansion era. Since their late-season surge in 2003 that earned him a contract extension, the Tigers are just 11-9 overall and 7-8 in the ACC.

I agree 100%. In addition, Bowden’s best years were with a phenom QB in Woody Dantzler. I think Dantzler masked the mediocrity in the early days and Bowden has done just enough to win. I’m frustrated.

Jeremy has a good recap of the game as usual and Jeff liveblogged the game.

Tiger fans, what do you think? And don’t bring the “Fire Tommy” or “Bring back Danny” rhetoric.

Be Sociable, Share!
  • J A Greer

    Frustration is understandable. Question is what is there to do? I like Coach Bowden, and I have a suspicion he’ll retire from Clemson in another 10 years or so.

    Coach Bowden has won 60% of his games in Clemson, better than the school average, has some great highs and some great lows. Clemson will never have a bad football team with Coach Bowden. Question is will they ever have a GREAT football team? I dunno. Clemson is a good team, with a grade of a B I suppose.

    Due to his contract, barring some kind of scandal, Coach Bowden is going anywhere, minimum, until the end of the 2008 season. It’s too expensive for Clemson, Coach Bowden or any other program for him to go. At this point the only thing to do is to get behind him and the whole program and wish them well.

    Personally, I think the Tigers beat Florida State, probably 50/50 against USC and would probably play on December 31 in Charlotte in a bowl game, though there is an outside chance of a Gator Bowl if Virginia Tech goes to a BCS game. We’ll see, I haven’t given up on them yet.

  • rob

    Good thoughts, Jason. I like Bowden also and I’m supporting the team. I don’t know how we can do much better at this point…and I guess that’s part of my frustration. You bring up a point about all-time %. Here are the numbers: All-Time Clemson is 0.589, Bowden at Clemson is 0.598. About the same for sure.

    I agree with you that we won’t be bad under Bowden, but we won’t be great either. And we’ve had great teams in the recent (30 years) past.

    I just can’t get over the fact that we’ve won a lot of ACC games. But since expansion of FSU, we’ve only been fair. We win a few we shouldn’t, lose a few we shouldn’t, and the rest we just play okay.

    I’m fully behind the Tigers and hope we can finish out 3-0. That would be good. But even then, the road we took to get to that this year doesn’t seem great.

    I also think Bowden will be around a few more years to be sure. Hopefully his win % will get up into the 70s and 80s quickly.