Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Reassessing Clemson's remaining ACC schedule

Last week, I went through Clemson's remaining schedule and based on their level of play at the time, I concluded Clemson was looking at a 6-6 or 5-7 overall finish. But, to essentially give myself some wiggle room to back out of that prediction, I ended the post with this:
Now, if somehow the coaching staff manages to straighten out some of the play-calling hijinks and we come out and with a strong performance driven by an improved offense to beat Wake, then the [schedule prediction] will need readjustment.
While I'm not naive enough to think we've fixed all the problems on offense, I'm happy to admit I was overly pessimistic in the last assessment. By my reckoning, we have now played 11 competitive quarters against average to below average defenses, and we've played competent offense in 6 of those (2 for GT, 1 for Maryland, and 3 for Wake). I'm sure that's not the level of consistency Napier and Swinney are looking for and while the 3 ridiculous quarters in Maryland are still a giant red flag, it means we should be able to put something resembling a productive offense on the field at least half of the time against middling defenses. The good news: none of our final four ACC opponents are particularly known for solid defenses, and some have been downright bad. The possible exception here is Virginia, but they've carved out some goodwill for Al Groh by beating the following teams: North Carolina (has struggled on offense this year), Indiana, and Maryland. I'm not buying it until I see them hold down Miami or Georgia Tech in the coming weeks.

Here's how I see it now:

Clemson finishes with between 2-4 wins, giving a 4-4 finish on the pessimistic side with a 6-2 finish on the optimistic side. The most likely scenario, however, is a 5-3 finish. Does this give us the division title? Probably not. Boston College has a very soft schedule (at Maryland, at Virginia, and home for North Carolina); I'd give them about 3:2 odds right now of winning out. Anyone else tired of BC and their illegitimate division titles?

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A blog about all Clemson Tiger University sports--football, basketball, baseball, along with the occasional South Carolina coot bashing.