|Wednesday, October 31, 2012, 9:48 AM- -|
Lately I have been getting a few emails about Clemson's 2013 season. There has been some banter among Clemson fans about next season and just how special it could be. My responses is guarded for three reasons.
First, this season is not over yet. The Tigers are ranked in the top ten in the country in the AP, Coaches and Harris polls. A BCS game in either the Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl or Fiesta Bowl is still a possibility. This is the fun part.
Sometimes I think we worry about the future so much that we forget to enjoy the present. We are in the middle of the re-birth of the Clemson football program. I was around in 1977 and 1978 and remember what this felt like. Clemson is 17-5 over the past two seasons and could be 20-5 heading into this year's battle with South Carolina.
This team could still win the Atlantic Division of the ACC and go on to win the conference for the second season in a row. This program could win ten games for the second season in a row. This could be the beginning of something really special but I am going to just sit back and enjoy the beginning too.
There is a story about a man that climbed a mountain that took several weeks to climb. When he got to the top he said, "That's it? I thought the view would be so much better than this!"
The point is to enjoy the journey, not just the destination. I am thoroughly enjoying watching this program being rebuilt. I am excited about the future, but am really enjoying the present.
The last four regular season games of 2012, a possible ACC title game and a bowl game will have a lot to say about where the Tigers start in 2013. This time last year Clemson was 8-0 and ranked in the top five in the country. This time last year I thought Clemson would have been a pre-season top five or top ten pick. But the Tigers lost four of their last six games including an embarrassing bowl game. I am convinced that if the Tigers would have finished stronger last season then they would have been ranked much higher heading into this season. A strong finish this year would help improve the pre-season ranking in 2013.
The second difficult part of predicting the 2013 campaign is that there are so many questions to be answered before then.
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Will Robert Nkemdiche be a part of this team next season? Will Montravius Adams sign with Clemson in February? Will Clemson get Mackenzie Alexander to help immediately in the secondary?
Clemson looks strong at quarterback, wide receiver and on the offensive line but who will be the main threat at tailback in 2013?
On defense the front seven looks like it has improved and newcomers will certainly shore up both units but who will help the secondary improve?
The staff is always a question mark. Will
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At this point there are too many questions to be answered in terms of who will be around in 2013.
The final bit of uncertainty comes in the 2013 schedule. We know the Tigers will open the regular season at home against Georgia and finish in Columbia against South Carolina. Before expansion the Tigers were set with home conference games against Boston College, Duke, Florida State and Wake Forest and road conference games at Georgia Tech, Maryland, NC State and Virginia.
However, Pittsburgh and Syracuse enter the league next season and rumor has it that Clemson is headed to Syracuse next season. Those same rumors also say that Clemson will not being to Virginia but both have not been confirmed at this point.
The other part of the schedule that is unknown is the sequence. When will the FSU game fall into the schedule? A trip to Maryland in September might be different than one in November.
Like many of you, I think 2013 could be a special year for the Tigers, but at this point there are way too many question marks to be positive that will happen. In the meantime, I am going to sit back and enjoy the process of watching this football program climb back into being a national power once again.
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