Clemson Football: Why October Will Make or Break Tigers' 2012 Season
Clemson will face tougher competition in a stronger and more talented ACC in 2012.
Despite winning the ACC and earning a BCS bowl bid in 2011, a couple of key losses prevented them from reaching even farther.
This year, there are key stretches that could determine the direction the Tigers take. But the month of October could play the biggest role in how successful Clemson can be in 2012.
Here's a look at how October will make or break the Tigers in 2012.
Georgia Tech, October 6
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
After playing at a high level through October, the Tigers went into Georgia Tech ranked sixth in the nation.
They left with their first loss—despite a comeback effort in the second half—and followed that with two more losses in the month of November.
This time they get the Yellow Jackets at home, after two tough conference opponents Boston College and Florida State. Getting a win would rid them of the bad taste left in their mouths from last season.
Virginia Tech, October 20
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
After a bye, the Tigers get Virginia Tech at home.
Clemson took care of the Hokies twice last season, in October and in the ACC Championship game.
Those strong showings are encouraging, but Virginia Tech is always a major player in the ACC, and Clemson will need another big effort if they want to stay atop the ACC.
Wake Forest, October 25
Grant Halverson/Getty Images
While Wake Forest might not be as scary as other competition in the conference, having another game just five days after can be.
They take on the Demon Deacons in a night game on the road.
It's true that at this level, talent will ultimately prevail most of the time, but it's always more difficult on a short week.