The Clemson football program has high expectations every year, but heading into 2014, few objective observers would say that the Tigers are the favorites in the ACC Atlantic division. With the losses of Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins, and others, there is a chance that this could be a major rebuilding season for Clemson football. Of course, Dabo Swinney and his staff have recruited well enough in recent years to offer some hope that the Tigers may simply reload, but that remains to be seen.
Regardless of how well the Tigers bounce back from their personnel losses, the biggest obstacle in Clemson’s way is the Florida State Seminoles. The Seminoles will have to replace a few players as well, but the core of the team that thrashed the Tigers on its way to a national championship is largely intact.
And yet, hope springs eternal. Nothing is decided until the games are played, so there is no harm in dreaming a little now. It will be tough, but here is what will need to happen for Clemson to knock off the reigning Atlantic division champs.