Clemson Tigers Football: What are realistic expectations?


What are realistic expectations for Clemson Tigers football this season? Can the Tigers actually go all the way, or are we just having unreachable hopes?

What are the expectations for Clemson Tigers football this season? If you ask most national pundits, you get a broad array of answers. Some believe the Tigers will finish second, or even third, in the ACC Atlantic this season and go to a mid-tier bowl. Others believe Clemson is the favorite to win the ACC and we could see the Tigers in the College Football Playoffs this season. There are so many differing opinions out there on Clemson Tigers football, it’s almost impossible to know which ones will be right this season. So, with football season just two and a half weeks away, I want to give you my perspective, as a Clemson fan and analyst, as to what we can realistically expect this season.

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If someone asked if this was the year Clemson went “all the way,” what would your response to them be? What would your argument be backing that up? If you ask me, most Tiger fans really want to believe that Clemson can compete for a National Championship this season, so are they realistically expecting this, or are they just filling themselves up with hopes and dreams that come with dawning the orange-colored glasses?

Let’s take a look at your question marks for this season. Firstly, who steps up on the offensive line? How do you replace all of your starters on a front-seven that was number one a year ago? Can your Heisman Candidate stay healthy? Will you be able to establish a run game? Will the secondary really be as good as it is being hyped up to be? With the offensive line, how are you expecting to start a freshman at left tackle and not get burned? Who will take care of the kicking game now that your kicker is suspended? After camp, your linebacker depth (which was already skinny) has depleted even more, how will you keep fresh bodies on the field?

The questions go on and on. And- guess what- from the outside looking in, many people would consider this program to be in a “rebuilding” or “stagnant” year. Rebuilding meaning it drops off immensely or “stagnant” meaning it stays right around what it has been- a 10 win program. Most Clemson analysts predict the Tigers to go 10-2 this season. That is the common pick and, without a doubt, the safe one. Many see scenarios where they go above that mark, but that paragraph of questions causes them to take a step back.

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Here is my take on it: If the Clemson football program is going to compete for a College Football Playoff berth, it has to be in these next few seasons. I’m not saying the Tigers are going to drop off after 3 or 4 seasons, but I believe this is their time. If you want to continue to bring in high-end recruits, you have to win on the national scale. This is the year the Tigers can do that.

Next season (2016) will be the most talented team Clemson will have had in a very long time, but that schedule is BRUTAL. The Tigers will have to travel to Auburn, Florida State, and Georgia Tech. It would be astounding to win two of those three. That is also Deshaun Watson’s last season assuming health before he leaves to the NFL. This year, however, the Tigers get the benefit of all their hard games, aside from Louisville, at home. Clemson hosts Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, and Florida State. They may have a few tough road tests, but every top-25 team has to come to Death Valley.

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  • So, to answer the question in short.. YES. Clemson fans should expect big things from the Tigers this season. Is it realistic to expect national champions? Probably not with that paragraph full of questions, but you better believe come November that the 2015 Clemson Tigers football team will be in the hunt for the College Football Playoff.

    So, what are realistic expectations for the 2015 football season?

    ACC Champions. This is something the Tigers have not done since 2011 and now they will have the chance to do it after being left out the past 3 seasons.

    Beat your rival. Clemson will have a chance to beat South Carolina in Williams-Brice Stadium for the first time in what seems to be a light year. This would be huge for gaining more respect back in the rivalry and would put Deshaun Watson one step closer to keeping his promise to never lose to the Gamecocks.

    Top-10 Finish. The Tigers have a chance to finish in the top-10 of the country and set themselves up nicely for the 2016 season. With a top-10 finish, Clemson could start out as high as in the top-5 to begin the 2015 season.

    College Football Playoffs? It would take some luck and a play or two to go your way, but this is not out of the reach for the Tigers this season. Clemson has an opportunity to contend and this season looks to be one of just a few that everything could bounce your way and you found yourself in the big dance.

    What’s your thoughts, Clemson fans? Do you think it is reasonable to think Clemson could make the College Football Playoffs? What’s your expectations for the 2015 season? Comment below!

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