With a new offensive coordinator (good) and new quarterback (bad), Clemson will not significantly improve in 2011. The Tigers face a tough schedule and will be hard pressed to become bowl eligible. There are seven “must-win” games, but it’s doubtful they will be able to win them all.
Dabo has the uniforms looking better than ever, among the best in the ACC (if not country). Both the jerseys and pants have been simplified. Though Swinney has at least nine uniform combinations (orange, purple, and white jerseys and pants) to choose from, he will stick with the basics as much as possible, pulling out the purple only for special motivational occasions. For the most part he’ll stick to the traditional orange jerseys and white pants at home, and couple the road white jerseys with the white pants more often on the road.
Here’s my predictions for the 2011 season, for both the game outcome and uniform to be worn:
Wofford…Win in orange over white. A “must-win” game. 2 – 0.
At Virginia Tech…Lose in white over white. 2 – 3.
At Georgia Tech…Win in orange over white. A “must-win” game. Last year Clemson stuffed Tech’s option. The Jackets will run a more varied attack this year. The score will be closer than last season, but the outcome will be the same. 5 – 4.
At NC State…Lose in white over purple. With a three game winning streak, the Tiger players will once again get the big head. 6 – 5.
The Tigers finish the year 6 – 6. Bowl eligible, Clemson will once again be picked for a better bowl than Georgia Tech (if the Jackets go bowling at all). Dabo will feel some heat, but with elite quarterback recruits on the way, will be retained for another year.