Thursday, January 5, 2012

what it means to 'Clemson' yourself

But this one – this one was a monumental fail, even by Clemson’s standards. ~ Heather Dinich, ESPN
Everyone wants to love Clemson.  Everyone wants them to do well. If you've ever been to Clemson, if you've ever  been to a game in Death Valley, you want each team to be as special as the place itself.  There is always so much potential....and there are always so many disappointing, stupid, mistakes.  Great wins, followed by seemingly inexcusable losses.  (I say seemingly inexcusable, bc inevitably I will make excuses by the end of this post.) Clemson is well known for beating the odds, but also loosing the games they are supposed to win.

Last night was no exception.  Clemson was a 3.5 point favorite in it's very first Orange Bowl.  Well, you know what happened.

The most points allowed in a bowl game. Ever. Since the beginning of time.

Roller coaster seasons.  Ups and downs.  I have said it before, being a Clemson fan will take years off your life.  This was so hard to watch because the team gave up.  They stood dumbfounded asking 'how could this happen to me' rather than making a tackle and stopping abuse.  Like most Clemson fans, I blame the coaches.  I blame Defensive Coordinator Kevin Steele for not being able to to do his job in an "x and o" basic sort of way. I also blame him for developing a defensive that was soft on fundamentals, and weak mentally.  I blame Dabo Swinney for not recognizing the problem before the game, and not taking over and rallying his players during the game.  The Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year couldn't get his team to focus and execute. Epic fail does not begin to describe how this game went.

The silver lining, if there is one, is that this Clemson team - even with this horrible, horrible loss - exceeded expectations.  This was a team that most predicted to be 7-5 at best.  This is a young team (both players and coaches).  This is a brand new offensive scheme that only 65% installed, worked wonders.  This is a team that won the ACC for the first time that I can remember.  This is a team that took down the defending SEC & BCS National Champs, as well as the defending Sun Belt, SoCon, & ACC champs.

I have 2 wishes coming out of this game.
  1. Dabo Swinney takes a lesson from Chad Morris and becomes a hard ass.  This means firing a few people, enacting a no twitter/cell phones on gameday rule, and putting his team through the toughest spring training known to man.
  2. Derek Dooley does NOT hire Kevin Steele.
 It would rock my world for these wishes to come true.

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