Topic: A little personal vent.. And then some perspective (long)
Replies: 7   Last Post: Oct 21, 2013 10:34 PM by: CU2013®
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A little personal vent.. And then some perspective (long)

Posted: Oct 21, 2013 2:24 PM

Okay, it’s actually more like an article. But hey, I don’t post much and I needed some therapeutic relief.


I’m not going to rehash everything that went wrong Saturday night when most of it has been discussed ad nauseam. However, one byproduct that I’ve seen thrown around, and even attributed to some players (granted via message boards) is that this was a humbling loss. I disagree with that statement. It should not have taken a beat down of this magnitude for this team to become humble – especially from the offensive side of the ball. We all know the issues with the secondary so I’m more attributing this loss to the offense; quite frankly, the defense kept us in the game in the first half even without pressuring Winston. However, Venables zone scheme which did nothing but kill us in the second half but I understand why he did stay with the scheme. Back to offense – NC State and Boston College created match up issues at the point of attack and disrupted the flow of our rhythm. Granted, we mainly hurt ourselves in the BC game with turnovers; however, this offense should have known it was far from perfect. I think this is mostly attributed to a drop-off in productivity. I say productivity because we constantly hear the potential upside due to the personal talent with the likes of Martavis Bryant, Mike Williams, Sam Cooper, Jordan Leggett, etc. However, the production from route running, separation from defenders, down-field blocking and tight-end blocking is not at the same level as it was with Nuk Hopkins, Jaron Brown, Dwayne Allen, and Brandon Ford. And as much as I love Hot-Rod’s vision and quick burst and Zac Brooks' versatility, the loss of Tyshon Dye (strictly based on size and potential) for this year hurts us in the backfield – especially with blocking where there has been somewhat of a drop-off with Andre Ellington moving on (in my opinion). So, it seems the team should have been aware the offense is not as consistent as previous years and it should have been humble long before Saturday night.

My only concern about this loss with Dabo is that he allows this team to feel as it should feel humble and not humiliated. This was a humiliating loss – not a humbling loss. Dabo does a very good job and making these players believe in themselves. I can’t pretend to know how operations are behind the scenes, but I assume that Dabo adheres to the old adage of praising in public and criticizing in private; whereas Morris and Venables seem to balance that by rarely allowing themselves or their units to be satisfied. But this team should not find any comfort over the next few weeks except in winning and I think this is gained by focusing on how embarrassing this loss was to the program. In my opinion, you gut check everyone on this team. No one on this team should be feeling down or like they gave something away when it’s midseason and it’s too early to earn anything. There should be a distinct fire in every individual that drives this team to perfection. In my opinion, Dabo may need to shred his motivator role for a day or two and break this team down before building them up again. He comes down extremely hard on those who do not represent Clemson off the field and I think he needs to make sure that his team understands that Saturday’s performance should never represent Clemson on the field either.


I think many of us feel Clemson let a trip to Pasadena pass us by this year. And with Florida State’s Number 2 ranking is the opening BCS poll, that feeling is probably justified to an extent. However, at this point in time, I think Florida State has an edge on us. As much as it pains me to say it, it’s more than just talent from a skill standpoint, the athlete match-ups on either side of the ball favored Florida State. Even if we operate efficiently and effectively on Offense Saturday night, it would have been a tough win. I think this is why Dabo places such a great deal on motivation and believing in one’s self because quite frankly we do have mismatches with good teams on the field right now. He gets them to believe they can win and they buy into it. However, all of our losses since 2010 have been by double digits; so, it appears that if they don’t believe they can win any longer, then the game goes awry – which comes back to an accountability issue, as well as a preparation issue from the coaching side, that Dabo should address.

The fire Dabo crowd if he doesn’t do [insert blank] is just unreasonable. Other than a character issue (obviously unlikely), Dabo is not going anywhere. Yes, each and every one of us is absolutely sick of the SCAR streak. We must win that game this year – but truthfully, in terms of the program, that win is only to keep the program progressing and realizing the possibility of playing in a second BCS game (other than our pride of course). To fire Dabo would only set this program back to 2009/2010 levels in terms of a program and in terms of recruiting – we all remember the 2009 class and the depth impact it had. Since 2011, we’ve won over 50 percent of the games in which the team was ranked when played (Wins: Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, and Virginia Tech x 2; Losses: FSU x 2, SCAR x2, WVU). Further, out of those 11 ranked games, 9 of those games the team was ranked 12 of higher (Exception: Auburn at 21 and WVU at 23). Some say, well, that cancels out then and we’ve only beaten the ACC teams. Okay, well now we are beating the teams we used to not beat which held us back from post season play. Now, we are in a yearly competition with Florida State for the division. Do we need to continue to win the ranked games and improve our percentage? Do we need to get better to close the gap Florida State is creating? Absolutely to both, but we are also progressing.

For a little perspective on the national stage as far as progressing is concerned, I considered two of the most consistent teams outside of the SEC because of the media love for SEC and the free passes for losses within the SEC – all you have to do is look at the ESPN FrontPage stating the SEC depth is hurting the league with a picture of the Tennessee/SCAR game (how is this any different than what the ACC used to do 5 years ago?). For my analysis, I looked at Oregon and Stanford, two of the most consistent teams over the past five years and compared them to Clemson. The table shows the Final BCS Ranking before Bowl Games and the recruiting class which followed the next spring (recruiting in parenthesis from Rivals).

2012 (2013) 2011 (2012) 2010 (2011) 2009 (2010) 2008 (2009)
Clemson 14 (14) 15 (14) - (8) - (19) - (37)
Oregon 4 (22) 5 (16) 2 (9) 7 (13) 17 (32)
Stanford 6 (63) 4 (5) 4 (22) 21 (26) - (20)

What I noted was that as consistent as Oregon and Stanford have been the last few years, combined, they have only played in 1 national championship game. This goes back to Dabo’s statement that it is hard to win games. While I agree, I do think this conversation is for he and D-Rad (I don’t care how hard it is – just do it). The other thing I noted is that while Stanford made a significant jump and Oregon made one as well, they are consistent – something that we are just now building. It does seem Oregon and Stanford get more out of less in terms of recruiting, but I think that may relate to amount of talent which ends up on the East Coast. The ACC, SEC, and BIGs consistently out-recruited the PAC-12. Another nugget that I found interesting is that Clemson averaged a 15.25 recruiting ranking from Rivals in the 2005 through 2008 classes. Even with that talent, we only finished in the final BCS poll once (15th in 2007). Further, rebuilding the program took us 2.5 years to crack the Final BCS poll from the time Dabo took over. Finally, Oregon and Stanford had coaching changes but were moving to the next level/retiring type changes – not firing changes (like Florida State but on better grounds as far as the program is concerned). Each of the successors was within the program previously. This helped keep the program stable during unstable times.

So, in summary, this was a very bad loss for the program. And since Clemson is pinpointed for its losses, we must nullify losses which occur in this manner. Dabo states as long as we compete, he is happy (which I don’t necessarily agree with even if I get his point). Unfortunately, we have monumental losses in which we have not competed. However, the overall program is progressing under Dabo’s leadership. There is still much to be accomplished this year. Closing out the regular season 11-1 and thereby ending the ugly SCAR streak is within grasp. A BCS bowl bid and a Top-5 finish that comes with a BCS bowl win and a one loss season is within grasp. But for now, it’s time for our boys to understand the difference in being humble and being embarrassed. Then they can pick themselves up and continue to represent the great Clemson University.

Go Tigers! Beat Maryland!

We'll know more about the character of this team after Sat.

Posted: Oct 21, 2013 2:33 PM

If they go up to College Park and struggle with or (God forbid) lose to Maryland, we'll know the hangover and the lingering effects of the FSU game are in fill force and effect.

On the other hand, stomping Maryland into the turf similar to last years 45 - 10 beatdown, would go a long way in exercising some demons.

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Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.

Whoa!! That is long.

Posted: Oct 21, 2013 2:41 PM

That's what SHE said.


We're friends. You laugh, I laugh. You cry, I cry. You jump off a bridge, I get in my boat and save your retarded a$$.

Re: A little personal vent.. And then some perspective (long)

Posted: Oct 21, 2013 2:47 PM

I enjoyed reading your thoughts and agree on most of them. There is one area, however, that is of the greatest concern to me and that is mental preparation prior to a game. We were in no way prepared to play FSU and I could see it on the ride over on the bus. Due to cameras being there, I feel the players were restricted in doing some/many of the things that they might normally do. For the life of me, I can't understand who could make the decision to let ABC cameras on THE CLEMSON bus leading to the run down the hill. I was castigated for implying that cameras caused our problems. Not exactly, but a deviation from our normal routine sure did.
The bus ride was like a "ride to the morgue" as my wife noted. If the readers here do not understand this preparation point, I really can't help them! NO ONE but the PLAYERS, COACHES AND THE bus drivers should have been allowed on that bus.
Having coached for many years I can safely say that athletes have many and varied ways to mentally prepare for an impending game with significant repercussions on the line. In my sport, I would close the doors, speak with the team regarding what I expected and knew that they could do and then would quietly walk out. After few moments the sounds coming from that LOCKER ROOM WERE DEAFENING! It's called psychological preparation and athletes understand what that means.
I will always be a Tiger Fan and stand behind our team but I really believe our coaching staff let us down on this one.

Re: A little personal vent.. And then some perspective (long)

Posted: Oct 21, 2013 3:24 PM

Careful ...you could be stood up in front of a firing squad for those remarks ...by the PBBC..Peanuts Butt Boy Club

Re: A little personal vent.. And then some perspective (long)

Posted: Oct 21, 2013 5:07 PM

I agree with the pre-game intensity in the locker room observation. I haven't seen anyone else point this out - why was Tahj on the sideline before the busses came around? I would have thought he would have run down the hill. If you look at the Jameis Winston post game interview he seems to already be in the humble place.

Excellent opinion!***

Posted: Oct 21, 2013 3:15 PM

This was well written...definitely worth the read. Go Tigers***

Posted: Oct 21, 2013 10:34 PM

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