Last year Dabo Swinney went 4-3 in the seven games he coached, but he beat South Carolina and got Clemson to the Gator Bowl. This year the Tigers lost to then #15 ranked Georgia Tech, but made a spirited comeback from down 24-7 to nearly win in a 30-27 loss. Top 20 TCU was an opportunity for Clemson to make a statement. They didn't; and lost 14-10, but the defense looked good and Clemson was still very much in the ACC race. You could sense Tiger fans getting a little nervous, but still they were still mostly "All In" with Dabo Swinney.
Then came an absolutely inexcusable 24-21 loss to Maryland. The Terps hadn't given up less than 32 points in any of their first four games. Suddenly the Tigers made the Terps look like they had an actual defense, scoring only 21 points, missing FG after FG, and failing time after time in the redzone. Ralph Friedgen even gift wrapped a possession for the Tigers by going for it on 4th down inside his 40 late in the game. The Tigers couldn't convert.
Mr. Swinney say hello to your first week answering tough questions, dealing with unabated criticism, and getting to face for the first time some really angry Clemson fans.
They are going show you know no mercy now. You have just lost to a team the LA Times called the worst in Division 1 football. Offensive coordinator Billy Napier you might as well get prepared for it too. It's your offense that is unable to score points with playmakers like Jacoby Ford and C.J. Spiller on your team.
With a BYE week coming up, before playing Wake Forest, the scrutiny you two are about feel is going unlike anything you've ever known. Those open practices, beating South Carolina, forget it, because the honeymoon is over.
Is Clemson out of the ACC race? Mathematically no. Guess what, though. You are staring up at the Maryland Terrapins now. You have to beat both NC State and Florida State and hope for some luck. A season that started with the promise of tougher football, a chance at contending in the ACC is now on the brink of spiraling out of control.
I think the question of the week is who is going to have a tougher week?
Will it be Butch Davis at UNC after losing to Virginia or Swinney. Davis and Swinney better get ready for what's about to ensue.