For the past couple years Clemson has been projected to contend for the ACC crown but they have yet to see one since 1991. When last years’ title hopes were erased by Virginia Tech at the end of the season, many Clemson fans wondered when Tommy Bowden will win one for them.
This upcoming season is a little different though. Not only is Clemson projected and picked to win the ACC, there are talks that Clemson could run the table and end up in the BCS national title game.
My first initial reaction was no way, and then when I checked their schedule, I quickly changed my mind.
The Tigers open up against Alabama in the Georgia Dome, which should prove to be a viable test but should be overcame. Next they face division I-AA team Citadel, which should be at least a 50-point win margin.
Their first ACC game is against NC State at home, who should be much improved but no test for the Tigers. The fourth game is against another division I-AA team SC State, which will be another lopsided victory.
In Week 5 Clemson hosts Friedgen’s Terps at home, which is a decent game but Clemson will be highly favored. The first road ACC game is against Wake Forest, which is the only preseason ranked team Clemson faces this season. This could be their toughest game of the season; I see Wake giving them a run for their money but the Tigers will prevail.
In Week 7 they are back at home to face a depleted Georgia Tech team, and this will result in Yellow Jacket beat down. Their road to perfection continues at Boston College, minus a Matt Ryan equals another Clemson win.
The Bowden bowl takes us into Week 8 and anything can happen. Clemson without question has the more talented team, but playing at FSU is never an easy task and playing against your dad is even harder.
Week 9 brings another uneven match up versus Duke. Warning: this game will get ugly and career numbers will be put up.
The last road game is against Virginia; the Cavs have a solid team and won’t be an easy target for the Tigers to conquer.
The final game of the season is against their in-state rival and foe, the South Carolina Gamecocks. Last season the Tigers’ took the bragging rights, but two seasons ago they were unable to defeat the underdog Gamecocks at home.
The Clemson Tigers bring a lot to the table whether it is their dynamic duo at the running back position, consistent quarterback, a senior star receiver, a speedy secondary, or a scary pass rush tandem.
Clemson, which returns seven starters on defense and offense, has what is takes to beat its opponents on both sides of the ball.
Look for Davis or Spiller to add their name to Heisman talks, as both have the ability to put up huge numbers.
On the defensive side, Hamlin, Chancellor, and Sapp look to show everyone their just as good if not better than the offense.
Everything on paper looks good for Clemson to win the ACC and make a run to their first national title game since 1981. Out of all the preseason top-20 teams, Clemson has the easiest schedule other than BYU, whose shots of making a BCS title game are slim to none.
Clemson also needs to take advantage of not having to play Virginia Tech, which has beaten them the last five tries.
With a newly signed contract all eyes will be on Tommy Bowden to lead this experienced team past an ACC title and into the coveted BCS. With respect to the ACC, the conference is weaker than it has been in years, and not capitalizing on the fortunate situation will have Clemson fans wondering, "What happened?" once again.