Expectations for Clemson football can be summed up with one word: Greatness.
The days are long, but the years are short. Truer words have never been spoken. Am I the only one that’s going stir crazy waiting for our Orange clad brethren to spot the dang ball? I really do love this time of year though.
Everyone is undefeated.
There is hope and aspairations, dreams and expectations. Those that finished 2-10 are ready to right the ship. Those that finished 10-2 are trying to find that cetain equation that will produce perfection.
Expectations is my main focus today. To say that they are high at Clemson this season would be like saying Trump has a slight comb over. It’d be huge understatement. It’s a beast that Coach Swinney has fed, nurtured and watch grow year after year.
Expectations can be a good thing. It can also be a bad thing. When you expect greatness, achieving it is an everyday ordeal. It’s business as usual. When you don’t expect greatness, you’re surprised when you find it, and you kind of, shrug your shoulder and say ‘oh well’ when you don’t.
I hope this Clemson program never gets to the point that they are shrugging their shoulders again. We shrugged our shoulders at greatness and high expectations for way too long. Mediocrity is the devil. I think Bobby Boucher’s mama said that. If she didn’t, she should have.
My expectations on this football season may be a little unrealistic. The entire fan bases expectations may be unrealistic. The last 5 years have us spoiled. Under the leadership of Bowden, the Tigers won a few they shouldn’t have.
They also lost a great number of games they shouldn’t have. Those tides have turned. I tweeted Tim Bourret, Clemson’s Sports Information Director, and asked him how many games Clemson has currently won in a row versus unranked opponents. He promptly tweeted me back with a very simple reply. 37.
That stat alone shows how dominate this football team has become, how the culture has changed and why expectations are through the roof. You can count on one hand how many times the Tigers have even been the underdog going into a game over the last five years. I don’t expect that trend to stop any time soon.
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There are two major factors in all of this success and all of these expectations. Facilities, and recruiting. It’s not the X’s and O’s, it’s the Jimmy’s and Joe’s. Fortunately, they go hand in hand these days. I say fortunately because this Clemson administration, from the board of directors to the President, is All In for football. The new football operations complex is going to be state of the art. Actually, state of the art is a poor way to explain just how incredibly awesome this place is going to be.
The kids are going to love it, and it is going to be a major draw, nationally, for Clemson football. There is no drop off expected in the near future. The offensive and defensive lines are stacked with talent. Two of the most important position groups on the field, at any level. Even with the expected departure of Deshaun Watson next season, the expectations will be to win, and win big. As well they should be.
What are my exact expectations you ask? Honestly, Tampa or bust. I think anything other than a repeat trip to the College Football National Championship Game will be considered falling short.
It is a long season and an especially long grind for the players and coaches. To even make it back there, let’s be real, the odds are stacked against you. It’s going to take perfection. Every play, every game, all season.
Clemson may not get a look at the Playoff, with even one loss. That’s pressure, but there was pressure last season, and they did it. The expectations this season, are met with experience. And when you expect greatness. It becomes something that you just do. Greatness, that’s my motto for the 2016 season.