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Topic: Dabo in big games (very long)
Replies: 29   Last Post: Dec 3, 2013, 10:31 AM by: CharlestonTom®
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Dabo in big games (very long)

emoji_events [39]
Posted: Dec 1, 2013, 5:58 AM
 

OK, I'm ticked. I couldn't sleep after going over 1800 days since our last win over SC and knowing there will be over 360 more before the possibility of ending this junk. I have enjoyed some of the changes over the last few years under Dabo, but it's not good enough. The talent is better and beating the lower level teams on our schedule is better, but it's not good enough. I tried to have some "perspective" after FSU, but that is out the window at this point. We may still need better players in certain spots or staff changes, but in the end, the results aren't OK to me, and how can we claim consistency in performance this year? I don't care about how long it's been since we won 10 games 3 years in a row. I bought the turnover excuse partially against WVU and fully against FSU but not anymore. We may have improved in the games we are supposed to win, but we need to improve in the "big games" immediately.

I took some time to look at our performance in big games since Dabo took over, which I defined as any games against top 15 teams (any poll) and all bowls and SC games. For Dabo, this includes 22 games since late 2008. Our record is 8-14 (36%) in these games with a total margin of victory (loss) of -110. Looking more recently, we are 2-4 over the past two years (33%) with a margin of victory (loss) of -69. We have a losing record every year in big games, with the exception of 2008 (1-1 interim year) and 2011 (3-2 ACC Champ). We have a positive or neutral turnover margin in every win in big games with the exception of LSU last year. However, we have a negative turnover margin in only a little over 50% of the losses. So, losing the turnover battle usually means a loss, but winning turnovers doesn't necessarily mean a win.

Comparing Dabo's record to TB in big games, there's good news and bad news. The bad news is that TB was 10-8 in big games over his final 6 seasons (56%) with a margin of victory of 43. He had only 1 losing season in this period in big games versus Dabo having only 1 winning season in big games in his 5.5 years. The bottom line is that we have regressed in big games under Dabo versus the end of TB's career. The good news is that TB's record over his first 6 years (some overlap) was only 10-16 (38%) with a margin of victory (loss) of -150, and TB improved in the last half of his tenure at CU in big games. So, Dabo could see improvement in this area, like TB. However, we must remember that TB was fired, and Dabo was hired to improve on where TB was, not maintain or regress.

Comparing to DF, there's no comparison for either of our last 2 coaches. DF won 70% of his big games (excluding 2 ties) across his entire tenure and had great consistency in both the beginning 6 years and last 6 years with 71% (12-5, 132 point margin of victory) and 69% (9-4, 115 point margin of victory) in big games respectively. This is what endeared Danny to many of us. He only lost to SC 3 times out of 11 games and was 6-2 in bowl games. He also won 60% of the games in the regular season against top 15 opponents. This is where we need to be, which is about a third better than where Dabo is now. We need to be winning 2 out of 3 of our big games and occasionally winning 100% during a season. Danny had 4 full seasons with no losses in big games (2 of these seasons had a tie). 4 freaking seasons (81, 83, 86, and 89) out of 11 full seasons with no losses in big games! How the heck do we get close to this?

Back to Dabo, with two straight years of 1-2 records in big games, we aren't getting it done when it matters. Sometimes, turnovers are a problem, and sometimes, they're not. I am beginning to believe that the turnovers are a convenient scapegoat and more indicative of a mindset and toughness/aggressiveness issue. We are not forcing turnovers against high quality opponents and are getting manhandled in losing some of our TO's. In the end, I'm glad we shored up some of the inexplicable losses against bad teams, but we still have inexplicable performances against good teams. We still don't know who is showing up on the big stages. We don't seem to have a winner's mentality when the pressure is on. We are a lot like Phil Mickelson, particularly before he won a major: talented, but always finding a way to lose the big ones but often demolishing the field in the lesser tournaments. IMO, this is a mental thing more than anything else. Until the CU staff and players overcome some of this mental block, which appeared solved after LSU and UGA, we will continue to struggle. Something has to change in our preparation and mindset for these games immediately. We also need to see consistent performances because it isn't there right now, and winning a couple of big games isn't indicative of a cure but rather the exception. As a good friend of mine says about winning, it's not what you do but when you do it. Ask the Braves, Pirates, Browns, and Bills if winning a large number of games is good enough or if getting it done when it matters is more important.

I'm not calling for Dabo's head; it's not my place or responsibility. I want him to do well. He has made some adjustments before and needs to now, but I'm concerned with the turnover excuse. I also get concerned with the constant propaganda of meaningless stats. Why did our team make 10 turnovers and force only 1 in 2 of the 3 biggest games? It looks like more than coincidence and misfortune to me. Own the performance and make changes; we need to perform well in all 12 games, not just 8-10 against lower level teams.

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Re: Dabo in big games (very long)

[1]
Posted: Dec 1, 2013, 6:30 AM
 

Great post and I am impressed with your effort/time and research. Boiled down, I agree it is a toughness/physicality issue. No team yet to date with a spread-up tempo offense has paired it with a solid ,dominant defense. It is my opinion that if you do not face a physical offense in practice, it is difficult to develop a tough physical defense.

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BOY! Is that a good post. Everyone should read it. ******


Posted: Dec 1, 2013, 6:32 AM
 



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Re: Dabo in big games (very long)

[1]
Posted: Dec 1, 2013, 7:08 AM
 

Great post - I wish the coaches would "own" the losses. I feel that this team was not ready for FSU or Carolina? Where is the team that beat LSU and Ga? I am a Dabo fan but this kind of play is getting old

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Re: Dabo in big games (very long)

[3]
Posted: Dec 1, 2013, 9:16 AM
 

Excellent Post. It starts in the trenches. That is something Ford understood, the OBC understands, and Dabo and staff seem to not quite grasp. Ford would much rather have top linemen over skill players and recruited that way because he knew the one simple truth of football. Dominate the LOS and you will win, lose the LOS and you will lose. This was the first time in the last 4 years that the Tiger's O or D lines were anywhere close to the lines they faced on the SCar side of the ball and they held their own - nothing more.

This was the first time in the 0-5 streak against SCar that I actually felt like the Tigers would win and they should have. The turnovers gave the game to the Coots. I agree that they are not mentally prepared for the big games and that is on the coaches.

It is time for Dabo to stop being their best friend and become their coach. You want to be physical on the field during the game, then be physical on the field during practice. You don't become a physical team playing on Saturday, you become a physically and mentally tough team by practicing that way. Practice where you aren't worried about how hard the other team will hit you because it won't be as hard as you got hit all week.

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Re: Dabo in big games (very long)

[1]
Posted: Dec 1, 2013, 9:28 AM
 

I couldn't sleep over this mess either. Especially when it seems to be preventable. Hard for me to choke that 3 yrs in a row we let a qb beat us with his feet. ever heard of adjustments and setting up a play. first drive of game, show coots that look and let sammy run it there a couple times and then third time let him pass. that's what other coaches do so well - set up plays. aka Danny Ford.

I'm not a coach but dang I agree that something has to change whether it's mental toughness or physical.

I agree with all the posts here - nothing wrong with 3 yrds and a cloud of dust.

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Re: Dabo in big games (very long)

[3]
Posted: Dec 1, 2013, 10:36 AM
 

Good post. Great research. Dabo needs to improve in those games that fall in the "big game" category like you mentioned.

BUT, Dabo has proven that he is constantly going to tweak things and stay at the grind stone until we get where we need to be. I still am very confident he'll continue to get better and better as a coach. If Deshaun Watson comes in and turns out to be as good of a college player as he is a high school player, then amazing things will happen here.

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#### straight! Thank you.***


Posted: Dec 1, 2013, 10:40 AM
 



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Post of the year

[1]
Posted: Dec 1, 2013, 10:45 AM
 

Hard to read the plain truth. We need to start being mentally tough. We do have a flaky mindset in big games that takes tons of respect from what we're trying to build here.

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Get it done


Posted: Dec 1, 2013, 10:46 AM
 

Excuses are lame at this point.

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Re: Best Post I've Seen this season

[1]
Posted: Dec 1, 2013, 6:31 PM
 

Thanks for taking the time to do the research and back up the frustration with data to support the areas this team needs to improve.

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Interesting, well documented post..and Yes, I support Dabo..


Posted: Dec 1, 2013, 9:46 PM
 

But, he needs to address this mistake or negative turn-over margin that's killing his Clemson Teams.

GoTiGERS!

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Re: Dabo in big games (very long)

[1]
Posted: Dec 1, 2013, 10:07 PM
 

Good post.

One fault in your comparisons is that Dabo is going against a much more talented SC team in the last 5 years than Bowden or Ford ever matched up against for a single game. So the statistics for Bowden and Ford will be skewed because you are counting a SC win (when in all actuality we werent a top 40 team) the same as a top 15 win.

I do not think dabo is a good football coach at all and I don't think he truly thinks he is a great coach. He is an excellent recruiter and an excellent motivator. He has surrounded himself with 2 great coordinators and let's them run the show, which is very smart. It will be interesting to see who he gets to replace morris when he leaves (which inevitably will happen). The last 2 games versus SC have been fairly evenly matched. In the end, SC made the plays when CU didnt...

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Re: Dabo in big games (very long)

[2]
Posted: Dec 1, 2013, 10:33 PM
 

dabo playing a much better gamecock team

...also a MUCH worse ACC

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Re: Dabo in big games (very long)

[1]
Posted: Dec 1, 2013, 10:45 PM
 

I think Clemson's issues are recruiting related. Although Clemson has recruited some top skill players, they didn't have the talent across the board that FSU had this year. (or the combination of size/speed)

I also think South Carolina has won the last 5 against Clemson, because South Carolina has gained in recruiting. I attribute this to the coaching transition in Clemson created by Bowden's resignation, South Carolina having a head coach that brings them credibility, the perception that the SEC is THE elite football conference, (true or not) and South Carolina's willingness to do whatever it takes to win. (within or outside of NCAA regulations)

I also think the thin recruiting class (due to Bowden's resignation) hurt Clemson for four years. (which explains the 5 consecutive losses) Hopefully, Clemson will not only continue to recruit at a high level, but improve so that they sign the Gurleys, Clowneys, etc. that have chosen to play for another University. I suggest finding ways (within NCAA regulations) to continue to improve recruiting if Clemson fans/alumni want the football program to take the next step.

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Re: Dabo in big games (very long)


Posted: Dec 2, 2013, 10:35 AM
 

Perhaps renovating Littlejohn into an even better indoor facility and relocating the basketball/baseball arena/fields would allow all the football operations to be more localized (and have a lot more space) as well as improve the facilities for basketball/baseball at the same time…

It would create some sustainable jobs too.

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Re: Dabo in big games (very long)


Posted: Dec 2, 2013, 10:43 AM
 

This could help recruiting in all of Clemson's athletic programs if done correctly IMO.

It could also improve energy efficiency and logistics for the various athletes/fans/alumni too.

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Re: Dabo in big games (very long)


Posted: Dec 2, 2013, 8:43 PM
 

You're correct that there is a difference in the strength of the SC teams each coach faced. Looking at SC's record, TB faced the weakest of the three and Dabo the strongest, but 5 losses in a row and 1-5 are still not OK to me. Auburn has even more of a reason to fail, but they are 2-2 in the last 4 against Bama (2-4 in the last 6).

Here is some data on the 3 coaches vs SC. Remember that all teams have a 12th game now that is a gimme; so, the loss column is the most important to compare apples to apples on records. As a result, in terms of their record, DF faced a similarly strong gamecock team in his last 6 years to that Dabo has faced and was 3-2-1 against them vs Dabo's 1-5. The SC records shown are the cumulative results for SC's record heading into the CU game...

Dabo
SC's record 48-18 (73%) 1-5 vs sc

TB overall
SC's record 64-51 (56%) 7-2 vs sc

TB last 6 yrs (2 yrs of overlap in 6 yr breakouts)
SC's record 35-29 (55%) 5-1 vs sc

TB 1st 6 yrs (includes 0-11 year)
SC's record 30-32 (48%) 5-1 vs sc

DF overall
SC's record 68-39 (64%) 6-3-1 vs sc

DF last 6 years (1 yr overlap in 6 yr breakouts)
SC's record 38-19 (67%) 3-2-1 vs sc

DF first 6 years
SC's record 39-21 (65%) 4-2 vs sc

Regardless of all this, I'm just stating that we need to perform better overall on the biggest stages. We have done better against those we should beat, but have not performed at a consistently high level against the tougher teams. I thought LSU and UGA were the new CU. If we beat bama or another top 15 team in our bowl, we will at least be at .500 this year in big games, which will be an improvement. I just want to see us play solid football against solid competition. We haven't done that this year. IMO, turnovers are a symptom of our mental state in these games. We need that confidence and swagger to perform well and let the pressure of the situation melt the other team instead of letting it melt us.

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Wonder what you'll post after Bama in Orange***


Posted: Dec 1, 2013, 10:30 PM
 



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Hopefully something positive. I'd like to see us do well...


Posted: Dec 2, 2013, 8:52 PM
 

but also consistently. If we win our bowl, we will at least be .500 in big games this year and be better that last year from that standpoint. Deep down, I'm also more interested in us beating the coots at this point.

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Can you show the "big game" data for all the coaches


Posted: Dec 1, 2013, 10:31 PM
 

you mentioned there?

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Re: Can you show the "big game" data for all the coaches


Posted: Dec 2, 2013, 9:24 PM
 

This link will give you all of the data, except the turnovers, which I looked up in the box scores on clemsontigers.com.

http://www.collegefootball.bz/clemson

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Re: Dabo in big games (very long)

[1]
Posted: Dec 1, 2013, 11:41 PM
 

Excellent post!! Factual and very interesting

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Re: Dabo in big games (very long)


Posted: Dec 2, 2013, 9:22 AM
 

wow

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Re: Dabo in big games (very long)


Posted: Dec 2, 2013, 9:40 AM
 

Excellent analysis and glad you did the research to support. I can't help but think we are a lot like Oregon Ducks. We dominate less talented teams, sneak up on the occassional overrated (UGA) or wornout don't cares (LSU), but the style of offense that Morris (aka Ducks South) employus just wears our defense out. Quick scores or three and out gets it done in HighSchool and against lesser opponents but when you face talented programs that operate a ball control and time of possession offense we get dominated. Chad is constantly looking for a Home Run, thus he is a .250 hitter with 45 HR's. He gets paid alot but, he chokes when needed the most and people think of him as a loser. Hmm, that brings ARod to mind (absent the steroids part of course). Dabo is a motivator and perhaps one of the best, but he is not and possibly will never be regarded as a football man. DF was a superior football man and perhaps one of the best in his era and maybe among the best ever. He understood the game and what it meant to control the game. Dabo and CM and BV all look and act like they should be on the sidelines at the 4A state championship game. There is no short answer and the long of it doesn't look good either. Perhaps if we are lucky, CM will take a Head Coach job elsewhere, but Dabo is here for the long haul.

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Awesome post!***


Posted: Dec 2, 2013, 10:43 AM
 



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Don't expect the mental factor to change unfortunately


Posted: Dec 2, 2013, 9:01 PM
 

It takes a coach with a mean edge to instill the nasty attitude needed to take on powerful teams and pound them with confidence. This coach has a big heart for sure but I think, like most teams do, this one has adopted his personality.

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BV should be at a 4A school?


Posted: Dec 2, 2013, 9:25 PM
 

Wow!

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Re: Dabo in big games (very long)


Posted: Dec 3, 2013, 10:04 AM
 

>Danny had 4 full seasons with no losses in big games (2 of these seasons had a tie). 4 freaking seasons (81, 83, 86, and 89) out of 11 full seasons with no losses in big games! How the heck do we get close to this?

Maybe Dabo should spend more time coaching and less time playing graba$$ dance party usa in the locker rooms....

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Good analysis. We play awful competition and rack up


Posted: Dec 3, 2013, 10:31 AM
 

meaningless wins, then we choke and fold like a cheap tent when it matters.

I wish we had moved to the SEC. We wouldn't have the benefit of such horrible competition, and Dabo (or any coach) would have to put up or shut up.

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