Why Clemson Won't Win the ACC Anytime Soon

JB McCandlesCorrespondent ISeptember 2, 2008

To play for Clemson is an honor.  Only the best of the best play for Clemson.  The creme de la creme of high school football players attend Clemson.

Something we've learned about Clemson and many big football programs that attract blue chip athletes is that a lot of these players don't play well together.

Teams like South Florida, Rutgers, BC, Louisville, Boise State, Utah, and Tulsa that don't attract the big recruits win because they recruit intelligent football players.  A lot of the players recruited may not have even been studs on their high school teams, but they are players with a high football IQ.

Clemson has the athletes to win an ACC championship, but they can't play as a team.  We saw that last Saturday against Alabama.

Over the past couple of years we have learned a lot about Clemson.  The Tigers have either been a team that starts hot or cold.  When they start hot, they get overconfident, and when they start cold, they procrastinate and then do what they are supposed to do.

It looks like Clemson is off to a slow start this year.  The reason: The media already crowned them ACC champs.

Clemson traditionally has played very well in Death Valley.  Being the home team there is one of the biggest advantages in college football.

Unfortunately, the team gets very easily distracted.  When they come out for a home game, they get the crowd going, and they go out on defense and force a three and out.  This will last for the first couple of drives, and then the Clemson crowd loses its edge—and so does the team.

Clemson will never win an ACC championship under Tommy Bowden.  He can't finish the job.

If Clemson wants to succeed they will have to stop spoiling their players.  Take things back to the basics and play hard-nosed football.  Don't listen to the media.

Clemson relies on too many things to win the ACC.  They rely on the media for motivation and praise.  They rely on each player to do a job.  Clemson can't assume that someone else will do the job.  Everyone needs to do the job.

If I was Bowden, I would cut out all the media from the team, and I would move the locker rooms into an old crummy bathroom.  I would take everything beneficial away from them.  Anything that motivates them—gone.

The Tigers need to learn to work as a team to complete a common goal.  They need synergy.  They need to start taking responsibility for each other and themselves.

If Clemson is going to win an ACC championship anytime soon, they will need to concentrate on a common goal and take it one step at a time—and then finish the job.