ACC Football 2011: 10 Ways Clemson Can Win The Conference Championship

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ACC Football 2011: 10 Ways Clemson Can Win The Conference Championship
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

There are several words that could describe the Clemson Tigers' first losing season since 1998.

Disappointing. Frustrated.

The story for the Clemson Tigers has long been the fact that they have the talent and potential to be a top tier ACC team. But, as always, they can never seem to put the right pieces in place to get over the hump. After their dismal 6-7 season, which saw several devastating losses to teams like Boston College and being thrashed by in-state rival South Carolina, head coach Dabo Swinney has said that while under his watch, Clemson will not have another losing season.

Going into his third season with only a 19-15 record, Swinney doesn't have the ten years that Tommy Bowden was given and was never able to produce. But, in the 2010 off-season, Swinney has begun to put his words into action, which started with the terminations of offensive coordinator Billy Napier and running backs/special teams coach Andre Powell.

What did Swinney do next? He hired Tulsa's offensive coordinator Chad Morris, who produced a top ten offense in his first and only year at the collegiate level. Tony Elliot was added to be the new running backs coach, and Robbie Caldwell was added as new offensive line coach after the retirement of Brad Scott to an administrative position. Only receivers/recruiting coordinator Jeff Scott and OT/TE coach Danny Pearman were retained on the offensive coaching staff. 

But Swinney's work didn't stop at assembling a new offensive coaching staff. What he and the rest of the staff would do is assemble a top ten class loaded with weapons at wide receiver and linebacker, bringing in some of the best receivers and linebackers in the nation, which were critical positions of need for Clemson.

Now, as Clemson prepares for the spring and the fall, questions will be sure to arise as the 2011 season nears, and what will be needed to make the trip to Charlotte for the ACC Championship.

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