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Sep
23
2016

If You Say #Clemsoning, You Probably Use a Black and White TV, Part Two

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Good evening, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) fans.

On October 1, 2016 (One week from Saturday), Louisville (#3) and Clemson (#5) play the national game of the week – there is no question about this – a matchup of top five teams.

At @AllSportsDACC, we saw Louisville and Clemson as a big game prior to the start of the season, but not this big.

Louisville has hit a new level as @TalkinACCSports said.  Louisville, right now, looks like the best team in the ACC.  Louisville is the #1 team in the nation in total offense.  Hello!!!

Clemson, on the other hand, as @TalkinACCSports said, needs some major improvement on offense.

Contrary to popular belief in some parts of South Carolina, Clemson is not holding their entire offense back – I am honestly surprised that there are many people in the Tigers fanbase who think that is a possibility (it’s not).  The Tigers offensive line, in particular, needs a boatload of improvement.  Let’s get real here.  Clemson’s rushing game is #80 in the country.  This is pedestrian at best (a team would not deliberately try to hold it’s rushing game back).  Clemson’s passing offense is much better at #26 in the country.  If Clemson doesn’t get improvement in the rushing game – woof.

 

 

Clemsoning is a thought from ten years almost.  If you say Clemsoning, you probably use a black and white television.

So, let’s put out the possibility that Clemson loses this game vs. Louisville – because I’m leaning in that direction right now.  Clemson, to be sure, has a tough as nails defense. Brent Venables is one of the best defensive coordinators in the nation – and his defense will give Louisville some big challenges.  But let’s say Clemson loses the game vs. Louisville (because Clemson’s offense is not great – and Deshaun Watson and Clemson’s offense need to be great to get to the College Football Playoff).  This is not Clemsoning.

Lauren Brownlow (@LEBrownlow) of @RaleighCompany wrote this terrific article on Clemsoning – she debunked the myth along with long-time Clemson beat writer, Greg Wallace (@GC_Wallace), far better that I ever could.  Here’s what Greg Wallace had to say:

Greg Wallace: How would I define Clemsoning? I think it’s pretty simple: it’s the act of losing a game to a lesser team that you have no business losing to. Tommy Bowden made these kind of losses an art. It’s beating a No.11 Miami team in double OT in the Orange Bowl (as Clemson did in 2005) and following it up with a 16-13 loss to a bad, 2-9 Duke team. It’s losing to a very average Maryland team at home in 2008, blowing a halftime lead by going totally conservative on offense (a game that was ultimately Bowden’s final Clemson home game). It’s Dabo Swinney going to Maryland a year later and dropping a 24-21 decision that saw Clemson get inside Maryland’s 30 three times and come up completely empty, becoming a 2-10 Terrapin team’s only FBS victim of 2009. It’s going to N.C. State in 2011 and getting crunched 37-13 while looking really awful.

I wrote about Clemsoning last year at All Sports Discussion – and I see it needs to be addressed again.  Last year, I said:

So Clemsoning is not losing to a rival like Georgia or losing in overtime to last year’s Florida State team who made the college football playoff.  And it sure as hell wouldn’t be losing to a higher ranked Notre Dame team (and I think Clemson has a chance to pull an upset tonight).  That’s just lazy analysis.  Let’s talk about Clemson’s success under Dabo Swinney:

  1. In 2010, I really think Dabo and Clemson were at a crossroads.  Clemson ended up 6-6 this year (there were Clemson fans that wanted him out the door) – and Dabo really couldn’t continue his “offensive coaching.”  He had to bring in someone who know what that the hell they were doing on offense – because Dabo wasn’t that guy.  It takes a substantial amount of humility to back away from something you like to do, but quite frankly aren’t good at.

  1. In 2011, Dabo Swinney hired hot shot Chad Morris as his offensive coordinator and the Tigers ended up with 10 wins.

  1. In 2012, Clemson not only opened the season by defeating Auburn – but closed the season by defeating LSU – and ended with 11 wins. Not a Clemsoning moment to defeat two SEC teams in the same year.  Swinney also picked up his 2nd of two wins in a row vs. Virginia Tech.

  1. In 2013, Clemson did lose to Florida State (but there’s a lot of teams that lost to the eventual national champion – that is not a Clemsoning moment).  It’s also not a Clemsoning moment to defeat Georgia and Auburn in the same year, either.  Dabo – once again the Chief Executive Officer coach – knew he had to improve his defense and hired Oklahoma defensive coordinator, Brent Venables, this year

  2. In 2014, Clemson once again closed the season with ten wins – including a win vs. their rival, South Carolina, and a season ending bashing of Oklahoma.

Let’s move up to 2015 – Clemson run through the ACC undefeated (it’s not Clemsoning to do this) and also defeats Notre Dame and South Carolina.  Clemson then defeats North Carolina in the ACC Championship game – and made to the College Football Playoff smashing Oklahoma – and losing on a special teams play to Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide (he had that much respect for Clemson’s offense – didn’t want it on the field).

Losing to Louisville – if it happens – is not Clemsoning.  That is complete disrespect for what Louisville has done this year and what Clemson have over the last several years – and the programs that both teams have built.   Both teams are in the top 5 in the country.

Enough said ;-)

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