|Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 9:20 AM- -|
It's also interesting to see where Swinney stands in terms of the head coaches in the league.
Frank Beamer is as good as any coach in the country but we witnessed Swinney's teams outscore Beamer's squads 99-30 over the last two seasons. It's safe to say that Swinney's program has passed Beamer's.
Jim Grobe has been at Wake Forest 12 seasons. Grobe had Clemson's number before Swinney took over but Swinney is 4-0 against Wake Forest and has outscored the Deacs 141-54.
Paul Johnson has been at Georgia Tech five full seasons. Swinney's first game as the interim coach was a loss against Tech and he actually lost the first three games against the Yellow Jackets. But Swinney has won two of the last three against Georgia Tech and it appears to these eyes that Clemson has passed Tech.
David Cutcliffe has also been at Duke five full seasons. Swinney is 2-0 against Duke and no one would think that the Blue Devils are in the same class at Clemson.
Of the four guys that were at their school before Swinney took over at Clemson, all four are behind Clemson's program in my opinion.
The rest of the league has hired new coaches since Swinney was hired at Clemson.
Boston College had the best of Clemson before Swinney took over but he is now 4-1 against the Eagles.
Swinney is 2-3 against Florida State.
He is 2-0 against Virginia.
Swinney is 3-1 against Maryland including the last three.
He is 1-1 against Miami and North Carolina.
NC State had a nice run against Clemson but Swinney is 3-1 against the Wolfpack.
He is very disappointed in his 1-4 record against South Carolina and the game this year will once again be a focal point to all of the naysayers.
Swinney is just 2-3 in bowl games but I found it interesting to see how those programs have responded since playing Clemson.
In the 2008 Gator Bowl, Nebraska looked dominant in the second half. I came away from that game thinking the Huskers had their man in Bo Pelini. Nebraska has won 39 games in the four years since beating Clemson but I think most Husker fans expected more from Pelini and their program.
Kentucky lost to Clemson in the 2009 Music City Bowl. The Wildcats are 13-24 since that bowl game and will enter this season with their third coach in the last five years.
South Florida beat a bad Clemson team in the 2010 Meineke Car Care Bowl. Since that game the Bulls are 8-16 and will have a new coach this fall.
The biggest mystery is West Virginia. The Mountaineers hammered Clemson in the Orange Bowl of 2011. In the fourth quarter of that game, what if I would have told you that one of the two teams on the field would go 11-2 the next year and the other would go 7-6. Which would you have guessed? What if I told you one team would be a pre-season top 10 pick this season and the other would be projected by many to have a losing season, which one would you have picked?
It's too early to tell how LSU will respond from last year's bowl loss but the point is that several of those teams looked like they were set to take momentum into the next season but none of the first four bowl opponents were able to take that next step.
The other point is that Clemson's hire at the end of the 2008 season looked like a big risk. I thought it was a big risk. But compared to 14 ACC schools and the bowl opponents, Swinney looks like a very good hire and has his program in better shape than many programs he has had to compete against.
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