TigerNet Talk #83: The 2009 ACC Championship


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It’s funny how quickly momentum can change in a season. Both Clemson and Georgia Tech came into last weekend’s rivalry games riding high. The two teams had a combined 14 game winning streak, both teams having not lost in over a month. But, rivalry games are never a given and both were upset last weekend by their in-state rival.

At this point, most Clemson fans probably still feel good about the direction of our football program. To represent the Atlantic Division for the first time is a huge accomplishment for Coach Dabo Swinney. Losing to South Carolina isn’t acceptable, but getting to the ACC Championship, something that Tommy Bowden failed to do in ten seasons, helps ease the pain.

Swinney’s 8-4 overall record in his first full season isn’t outstanding, but most fans are pacified with the opportunity to get to ten wins this year. However, if the Tigers close with three straight losses and an 8-6 record, the positive vibe around the program during this season’s six game winning streak will be long forgotten.


After being hit with their worst loss to South Carolina since 1994, losing to Georgia Tech could be a crushing defeat for this team. Somehow, I just don’t see a loss coming. They say teams take on the personality of their head coach and I tend to believe that to be true. I think Coach Swinney will have this team focused and prepared for the biggest Clemson football game in over twenty years.

In a little over one year, Dabo Swinney gets his third shot at Paul Johnson and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Something tells me the schooling Johnson put on Dabo Swinney in Atlanta early this season will fuel the Tigers’ preparation. Yes, Johnson is one of the top coaches in America. His record over thirteen years says it all. With one more win (127) he will tie Tom Osborne’s record for most wins to start to a career, but Dabo Swinney has something to prove.

It’s my belief that the loss in Atlanta was the moment Dabo Swinney grew up as a head coach. The valuable lessons he learned in the first quarter in Atlanta helped advance our program this season. Sure, there have been other bumps in the road this season and there will be more in the future, but I’m confident we have the right guy steering the ship.

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Season Predictions: El Swann: 10-2 , Xbox 360: 9-3


Follow the Tigers throughout the season on TigerNet Talk and Clemson Hotline. Each week, Lawton Swann will review the previous weekend's game and preview and predicts Clemson's next game. You can listen to both shows at http://www.clemsonpodcasts.com.

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