The 2008 season for most was probably the most disappointing season that many Tiger fans can remember. Hell, I will even admit that CU played much worse than I ever expected under Tom (and for the record, I quit expecting jack-shit out of Tom after UGay beat our ass to start off the 2003 season).
Coming into the year, we all expected TB to gallantly fuck up--especially with all the talent that we had at skill positions coming into the season.
**SIDE NOTE: scratch the last idea, there were (as always) some idiots on T-Net with their heads so far up their asses that they could not watch Tom's previous failures. These same people were also predicting perfection out of a flawed staff of coaches and a soft team with a piss-poor attitude.
The end result, as everyone is fully aware, was that CU and Tom parted ways. Because of this, we can split this season into two (2) distinct eras, BTF (before Tom's firing) and ATF (after Tom's firing). BTF was a period that saw Bammer absolutely humiliate the Tigers. This time period was one of copious screen passing, lack of motivation, soft play, and provided Clemson a stage to repeatedly beat themselves.
ATF immediately unemployed a mad scientist. ATF also saw a Clemson a team that played with much more enthusiasm (and noticably fewer screen passes). ATF saw a team that hit a lot harder and played a step faster. While I am not ready to annoint D Swinney the next great coach in football, I seem to like him more and more with each presser he holds and Bammer article written about the guy.
Now, on to less obvious things. The 2009 version of the Clemson coaching staff will look much different from this season's crew. VK took the hint and is freezing his ass off somewhere in Kansas as this is written. Spence and his bush league offensive scheme is gone for (what we all hope) will entail a more physical offense that will not be afraid to throw the long ball.
Swinney gets two thumbs up for his hiring strategy (so far). McCorvey, Harbison, and Pearman all have previous ties to Dabo's two working institutions.
McCorvey obviously has the trust of this blog by default, as he served at CU under the man and at Bammer under Stallings. McCorvey has also hauled in some major talent over the years and his history as a playcaller could be a useful tool for Swinney and crew.
Harbison was McCorvey's defensive counterpart at Miss State. Harbison worked at CU under T West and in Tuscaloosa under DuBose (not as impressive as Danny and Gene). Additionally, Harbison was at LSU with Saban, so he does earn some street cred there.
Pearman was a TE at Clemson in the mid-80's. While this tells us nothing about the art of catching the football, it surely does mean that he knows how to get push off the ball from a three point stance and get a good seal when running the sweep. Additionally, D Pearman was a GA under Danny and worked in several capacities under Coach Stallings.
With a new attitude for the staff and the shedding of some dead weight (I still think we are still one kechup spokesman too many on the staff), I don't see how next season could be any worse than this year. The Tigernet faithfull will overlook the effect of the coaching change on high school athletes and question Swinney's ability to recruit from the head coach's desk. They will then put on the orange tinted sunglasses and predict invinsability next year.
Another one of these, and SOS will fall just like Dietzel, Carlen, Morrison, and Holtz before him.
That is, if he is still there after Florida drops half a C-Note on him again in '09 in the Brice--note that the Gator nation wouldn't even give up a backwoods meth lab for SOS to return to Gainsville.