7-6 seasons are not measured the same for each program. When you are Wake Forest it’s a special season, and I mean that with the highest praise for what Wake coach Dave Clawson has done this year. I think he did an amazing job in a season that finished with bowl win against #24 Temple.
When Jim Grobe won the the ACC in 2006, it was astonishing. That remains Wake Forest’s biggest football accomplishment in the last 25 years, but what Clawson did this year is astonishing in it’s own right. The ACC is a far better football conference than it was in Grobe’s years. The ACC Atlantic features Clemson and Florida State – two of the elite college football programs. Louisville had the Heisman trophy winner. Boston College and NC State won their bowl games already this year.
The ACC as whole has become a quality football conference with good depth. Wake Forest with one of the smallest alumni bases in the FBS and with limited football resources truly has an uphill battle to compete in the new and improved ACC. That’s exactly what Dave Clawson has managed to do though at Wake Forest. 3 years ago Wake Forest had one of the worst offensive lines you’ve ever seen. There were back to back 3-9 years with just 2 ACC wins. In year 3 though, Clawson fielded a team that started the season 5-1, with a win at bowl bound Indiana.
The Deacs got bowl eligible and finished the year with a bowl win for their best season since 2008. How meaningful was the bowl win for a Wake Forest? Look at the excitement below.
Wake Forest wins the Military Bowl!
The Demon Deacons upset No. 24 Temple for school’s first bowl victory and winning season since 2008. pic.twitter.com/9fzAoNjCXm
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) December 28, 2016
Wake Forest was betrayed by one of their own in the infamous #WakeyLeaks scandal, but Clawson refocused his team in their bowl preparation. Clawson can now enter a recruits and sell Wake Forest as a place where you can get to and win bowl games. We weren’t sure if Wake Forest was about to enter a period where that just wouldn’t be possible in today’s ACC. We know the answer now.