2011: ACC Champions, The Turning Point
Although some still argue Dabo Swinney’s coaching ability, none can argue his eye for talent and ability to hire quality assistants.
The 2010 season’s bitter taste was finally out of the mouths of Clemson fans as the Tigers boasted a top-10 recruiting class and had a fresh, promising offensive style led by new Offensive Coordinator Chad Morris.
Clemson ended Auburn’s win-streak in Death Valley and Dabo Swinney was pumped.
The very next week, wide receiver Sammy Watkins had his “coming-out party” and ran all over Atlantic Division-rival Florida State.
The Tigers won eight straight before finally showing their youth and dropping 3-of-their-last-four to end the season.
It was still good enough to get to an ACC Championship game and Clemson football downed the number-three ranked Virginia Tech Hokies on their way to the program’s first ACC Title since 1991.
2011 may very well be called “The Turning Point for Clemson football” because it finally solidified Dabo Swinney as the Head Coach of the Clemson Tigers and fans finally gave him the keys to the car.
After the ACC Championship, the Tigers got waxed, and I mean waxed, by West Virginia in the Orange Bowl and that led to Kevin Steele’s firing.
Dabo Swinney brought in Oklahoma assistant Brent Venables and that would prove to be another exceptional hire from the young coach.
Next: 2012: Tiger Slayers