Dan Scott: Preseason Clemson Football Predictions


by - Correspondent -
    |


From the "Experience is the best teacher" department...


 


Growing up in West Virginia and living in a number of different states, I had
always heard about college football being a religion in the South. But it
wasn't until moving to the Upstate in early 1999 that I experienced first hand
how zealous the followers of the sport can be.


 


So I've learned to adjust, although I still find it difficult to discuss
nothing but college football in the middle of baseball season.


 


Anyway, one way I've compromised on my talk show is getting together with my
once a week ratings drag, Cobb Oxford, and providing late June predictions for
Clemson's football team. This past year was the third time we've done it
(along with picking South Carolina and Georgia), and so far we've lived to see
the scorn and ridicule.


 





With Tommy Bowden's annual media golf outing just six days away, now seems as
good a time as any to share those picks in writing - a mid-July follow-up, if
you will.


 


Please, hold your rotten egg and tomato tossing until the very end.


 


Game One


Wake Forest at Clemson


Staying home ill during last season's game at Winston-Salem, I was one of the
few people in the area who got sick due to something other than the Tigers'
45-17 loss to the Demon Deacons. It was so bad that one of my media buddies
called to check on me at halftime and informed me - with no small measure
of disdain - that Clemson might have a new coach before the game ended.


 


Of course we all know what happened after that. Bowden rallied the troops and
put together the best four-game stretch of his career. Best, at the very
least, because it was the most important.


 


I believe the ACC scheduling department did Clemson a favor by putting Wake
Forest first on the 2004 schedule. There's no chance the game will be lost in
the shuffle of other, higher-profile games surrounding it had it been a
midseason contest. No, Bowden and his team have had this one circled in red
since spring practice.


 


Clemson wins big, if for no other reason than because it must. Given the early
season buildup for this team, there can be no slow start.


Clemson 38, Wake Forest 13


 


Game Two


Georgia Tech at Clemson


Chan Gailey's team will be hoping to avenge last season's embarrassment in
Atlanta. Not this year.


Clemson 34, Georgia Tech 17


 


Game Three


Clemson at Texas A&M


Tiger fans have been looking forward to this one for a long time. The Aggies
play in one of the great atmosphere's in all of college football, and Dennis
Franchione is destined to turn around the struggling program.


 


Tough one, but Clemson sneaks by in a game in which both teams earn a measure
of respect.


Clemson 24, Texas A&M 21


 


Game Four


Clemson at Florida State


Still smarting from last season's first Bowden Bowl loss, the Seminoles will
also be trying to repair arrows broken by yet another loss to Miami, this one
in the 2004 season opener.


 


The Tigers stumble for the first time in 2004 to a suddenly inspired FSU team.
C'mon, you don't think scheduling the unveiling of Bobby Bowden's statue the
day before this game was an accident, do you?


FSU 27, Clemson 21


 


Game Five


Clemson at Virginia


I take one from Bowden's bunch in Tallahassee, so how about giving back one in
Charlottesville?


 


Clemson ends the 0-for-Thursday night skid as the conference, and the country,
begin to discover that Virginia is vastly overrated.


Clemson 28, Virginia 10


 


Game Six


Utah State at Clemson


It's Homecoming. No TV, which is probably a good thing for the visitors


 


Is there a doctor in the house?


Clemson 55, Utah State 13


 


Game Seven


Maryland at Clemson


I can't, in good conscience, pick Clemson to beat Ralph Friedgen until it has
already done so once before. The guy can coach, and he's had the Tigers'
number since he was the offensive coordinator at Georgia Tech.


 


Close, but not quite.


Maryland 27, Clemson 21


 


Game Eight


N.C. State at Clemson


How good will the Wolfpack offense be without Philip Rivers? How much better
will the defense be than a year ago?


 


Answers: Not good enough, not much better.


Clemson 24, N.C. State 14


 


Game Nine


Clemson at Miami


Here we go out on the industrial-strength limb again.


 


The Tigers punk the Hurricanes in Little Havana.


Clemson 31, Miami 21


 


Game 10


Clemson at Duke


Ted Roof is a good coach. Duke has a $22 million football facility. Visiting
teams sometimes have trouble playing at Wallace Wade because of the lack of
atmosphere.


 


None of that is enough for a Blue Devil upset. It ain't pretty, but it is a
win.


Clemson 34, Duke 13


 


Game 11


South Carolina at Clemson


Is this Lou Holtz's last game at USC? Or is it the game that puts a stamp on
the return to the postseason for the Gamecocks?


 


Holtz's crew might make a bowl game, but they'd better qualify before visiting
Death Valley.


Clemson 37, USC 20


 


Add it up and that's 9-2 overall, 6-2 in the ACC.


 


The floor is now open for rebuttal.

Rate this Story:
481 votes

Send Feedback to Dan Scott: Email | Comment
    |
Loading...

Sammy Watkins believes the Earth is flat

Pigskin Prophet: Basketball school and bandwagon edition

Clemson DL ranked in McShay's Top 32 prospects

Swinney responds to Kirk Herbstreit on Clemson's playoff chances

Former Clemson OL Hairston out for season

Steve Spurrier says Clemson should be ranked No. 1 ahead of Alabama

Rudolph out for the season, Swinney looks for freshmen to step up

Clemson offers 2018 Auburn WR commit

WATCH: Swinney talks injuries, more after Wednesday practice
Sign Up for E-Mail News Alerts
Features
Updates
Daily Digest