Commentary: More Chapters Remain In 2007's Book


by - Correspondent -
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So here are your Clemson Tigers, sitting at 3-0 for the first time since 2000 and ranked No. 15 in the country.

Optimism is reasonably high in the shadow of Death Valley. Winning, after all, is more fun than the alternative. Last season's finish is proof of that.

But most fans seem to be taking the perfect start in stride. There's been very little trash talk, not as many views through Orange-colored glasses. Wins over Louisiana Monroe and Furman are nice, but let's face it. It's Monroe and Furman.

Not exactly Southern Cal and LSU.

And that's not a swipe at either school, especially Furman. The Paladins are ultra-successful in Division I-AA. But Clemson was heavily favored to win both games, and that they did isn't much of a surprise.

But those wins are part of the reason I believe the No. 15 ranking is a little too high, a little too soon.

See me after the next three games - the ones at N.C. State and Georgia Tech, then home for Virginia Tech. If the Tigers come back at least 2-1, then a top 15 ranking will be more legitimate. Less than that, and perhaps they shouldn't be ranked at all.

The bottom line is we really don't know much more about this team than we did after the Florida State game.

Sure, Cullen Harper has been outstanding. He has deserved much better than all the Willy Korn talk aimed in his direction. Harper has shown good decision-making skills, solid command of the offense and the ability to throw the ball downfield.

However, again, after FSU he's done it against two lesser opponents. True, the schedule isn't his fault. All he can do is perform against who he's up against.

But a year ago Will Proctor was being lauded by media and fans for his play after three games, too - a home win over Florida Atlantic, an overtime road loss at Boston College and the school's first win at Tallahassee in nearly 20 years.

In all three games Proctor made good decisions, had command of the offense and even threw the ball downfield reasonably well. Sound familiar?

There are defensive questions. Offensive line questions, as well.

The point is it's too early to go ga-ga over the 3-0 start. With nine games left, too much of the book remains to be written.

Fans can only hope the final chapter of this year's book has a happier ending.

As always, keep reading. We'll find out together.

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