Way Too Early Outlook
|Thursday, September 4, 2014, 9:09 AM- -|
Way Too Early Outlook
I’ve watched ESPN the last few days and they have their Heisman candidates and bowl projections after one week of the season. This sounds extremely premature but as long as it is what people want to see, I have an outlook for the rest of the Clemson season based upon one week of college football.
This week Clemson should clearly take care of business against South Carolina State. This game will be more about how the Tigers win instead of if they will win.
After an open date Clemson will travel to Florida State to play the nation's number one team. The Seminoles are the defending national champions and will have the nation's longest winning streak heading into this one. Florida State did not dominate Oklahoma State in its season opener but came away with a win that revealed some concerns. However, I can't see Clemson going into Doak Campbell Stadium and beating the nation's top ranked team.
In my opinion the season really starts September 27 when Clemson hosts North Carolina. The Tigers should be 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the ACC heading into the contest, but with losses to two teams ranked in the top 10. Unless the Tar Heels stub their toe against East Carolina, they will come in ranked and undefeated. I still think Clemson will be a slight favorite in this one and winning in Death Valley will be tough on UNC.
NC State needed a touchdown in the final two minutes last week to beat Georgia Southern. State should be improved this season but I don't think Dave Doeren's squad is ready to win at Clemson.
A key swing game follows when Louisville comes to Clemson for the first time as an ACC member. Bobby Petrino's club is the third best team in the ACC and could enter Death Valley with a 6-0 record and ranked. They are very good on defense through the first week but Clemson could be a slight favorite here as well.
An October 18 trip to Boston College follows and after one week we don't know a lot about the Eagles. Their schedule gets tougher with games at home against Pittsburgh and Southern Cal. My guess is that BC is not talented enough to beat Clemson despite the game being in Chestnut Hill.
Syracuse looked bad last week against Villanova. An overtime win was the result but Syracuse was outgained in its opener. Clemson should be a significant favorite in this homecoming affair.
Thursday night games at Wake Forest bring up bad memories but the Demon Deacons are a bad football team. They had five first downs in a loss at Louisiana Monroe. This is the worst team in the ACC and should present little resistance.
A pivotal game in the schedule comes when the Tigers travel to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech. Paul Johnson's crew struggled to beat Wofford in the opener but threw for more than 280 yards. It is too early to tell what the Yellow Jackets have at this point.
Georgia State should not be much of a contest and the Tigers should have another week to get prepared for South Carolina. Week one was a disaster for the Gamecocks with the blowout loss to Texas A&M. We will find out over the next few weeks if the Aggies were that good or if South Carolina has major issues.
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