Friday, September 09, 2011

Clemson 2011 Football Predictions

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:

Troy…Win in orange over white. A “must-win” game. 1 – 0.

Wofford…Win in orange over white. A “must-win” game. 2 – 0.

Auburn…Lose in orange over white. Many fans recall the razor-thin loss to last year’s national champions at Auburn. This year the game is at Clemson, without Cam Newton. Of greater import, no Kyle Parker. Auburn barely won their first game this year against Utah State. The Tigers will be confident, coming into the game with wins over two patsies. But after trailing at halftime in the season opener against Troy, Auburn will beat Clemson this year by an even wider margin. 2 – 1.

Florida State…Lose in orange over orange. After wearing orange over white in the first three home games in September, the Tigers will finally switch things up for their biggest conference home game of the year. It’s their only chance to wear the all-orange uni that their fans love. Nonetheless, FSU is loaded this year, so Clemson’s uniform choice won’t matter. 2 – 2.

At Virginia Tech…Lose in white over white. 2 – 3.

Boston College…Win in orange over white. A “must-win” game. 3 – 3.

At Maryland…Lose in white over white. A “must-win” game. The Tigers will lose focus against either Maryland or UNC. 3 – 4.

North Carolina…Win in orange over white. Homecoming is another “must-win” game. 4 – 4.

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.

Wake Forest…Win in orange over white. 6 – 4. A “must-win” game. The fans start thinking they can win out.

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.

At South Carolina…Lose in white over orange. The Gamecocks will again be in the running for the SEC East crown. After facing the likes of Georgia and Florida, they’ll have no trouble with Clemson.

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.

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