FigureFour's 2010 Predictions

This year I decided to take a new approach to predicting what the Tigers will do this season.  After being impressed with a method the folks at Tomahawk Nation described at the beginning of last football season, I have decided to utilize their method to try to guage my confidence in the Tigers this season.  The format is pretty simple.  I will lay out a schedule and give my estimated confidence level (from 0% to 100%) on a Clemson victory over that week's performance.  This will allot fractions of wins over the course of the schedule.  At the end of the schedule, I will then sum these confidence projections and give a projected record that may or (probably) may not consist of whole numbers.

North Texas: The Labor Day Weekend gets started with Clemson hosting one of the worst teams in all the land. This Sun Belt Conference participant is, at least, a Division I-A program, so at least we did schedule someone from this classification. North Texas had a sporty 2-9 record last season, a 1-11 record in 2008, and a 2-10 record in '07. This will be a nice way for the Tigers to ease into 2010 and hopefully a game that this squad can use to work on a few things. There is no conceivable chance that Clemson loses this one.

Presbyterian College: PC rolls into the Valley to set up a second consecutive September mid-afternoon contest in Tigertown. The Blue Hose from Clinton represent Division II and should pose no threat to the Tigers. Clemson should turn this into a glorified scrimmage to assure that we have our ducks in a row before entering the meat of the schedule. Again, there is no chance that Clemson gets beaten by PC.

Auburn: This is the first real test of this football squad. Auburn has turned some heads under second year AU coach Gene Chizik. Auburn looked really good at times last season and have enough players coming back to make a legit run at second place in the West. This will be a good measuring stick for the (Clemson) Tigers. This is a night game in a tough environment against a quality SEC team. I do I think that Clemson has a chance to win? Yes. These two programs have statistically recruited about the same quality athletes over the past five years. Auburn has, however, gotten quite a few more signatures correlating to a little more talent on their squad. The big match up here will be Kevin Steele vs. Gus Malzahn. You have to give the edge to Auburn in this one with the game on the Plains at night.

Miami: Clemson is the beneficiary of a bye week between the Auburn and Miami games. I expect that Miami will bring a quality squad into Tigertown. Jacory Harris has another year's experience under his belt and should be improved over last season. Randy Shannon, new contract and all, is under pressure to win and win big that the "U". Clemson is fortunate to have this one in the Valley, and will take advantage of being at home. The Tigers are very capable of matching up with the Hurricanes and, if we can improve at the linebacker position, should be able to present this Miami offense a bit of a challenge. I think Clemson will win this one and really catches two big breaks in the timing of the bye week and the location of the game.

UNC: This contest is in the friendly confines of Kenan Stadium. If anyone gets the opportunity, I recommend a trip to Chapel Hill for this one. While the fans can be snotty, the campus and area around the stadium are really nice and the weather should be great for this mid-August match-up. A road trip to NC for the players is less than intimidating. While this basketball school has may have made big strides since Butch Davis' arrival, they still have a ways to go if they are going to contend for a title. There is little question that this will be a tough, though defense to face. The real dilemma for UNC is putting points on the board. I am giving Clemson a slight edge in this one but really see think this thing could go either way.

Maryland: Oh Ralph Friedgen, you have been a thorn in Clemson's side for many years now. I swear this man has a Clemson voodoo doll with all kinds of pins in it. He and George O'Leary gave Clemson fits at Georgia Tech. I have watched him somehow squeak one out against the Tigers the past two contests in Tigertown and again last season in one of the worst played games that I have ever watched. Maryland shouldn't beat Clemson. Heck, the big guy probably shouldn't still have a job (high buyouts and James Franklin are keeping you snug for at least this season). Thus, this should be the year that Clemson gets its act together and isn't shocked once again. I will-possibly in my desire for some revenge-predict that Clemson should win and win easily.

Georgia Tech: Clemson gets this squad at home. Georgia Tech has gotten after Clemson the past few seasons, with the Tigers' last win over the Atlanta squad coming way back in 2006 on the legs of James Davis and C. J. Spiller. Tech has lost a good bit of quality talent from last year's ACC Championship squad. While I like Paul Johnson and think that his offense is, when run fundamentally correctly, nearly impossible to stop. That being said, I just cannot see Clemson losing five consecutive games to GT, especially with what I believe is a more (overall) talented squad.

Boston College: Boston College is one of those teams who is a constant thorn in your side. They come out there and are committed to being flat out tough. That and Spaziani has a mustache an ‘80's porn star would envy. Year after year, this team just finds ways to win more games than they probably should. Clemson has won two straight against the Eagles AND I am not nearly as scared of this team since O'Brien has been gone for quite a while and Jags bolted. I am pretty confident that Clemson will return from Beantown with a "W".

NC State: Every year you hear about how NC State should be this or that. Quite frankly, I am very surprised that Tom O'Brien has not been more successful already. His teams are known for getting better and better as the season progresses and for playing good tough fundamental ball. You cannot deny that NC State has suffered quite a few injuries the past year or two, but I still cannot convince myself that this squad will come close to beating Clemson in Clemson.

Florida State: The ‘Noles are my preseason pick to win the Atlantic. Jimbo Fisher is the real deal and has risen this offense from the Jeff Bowden experiment to become one of the most potent machines in college football. I look for big improvements from this squad defensively. This one will probably be another no-holds-barred Tallahassee alley fight. I think FSU will be much more organized and improved on the defensive side of the ball. Even with the recent problems that some ‘Noles' players have had with law enforcement and team rules violations, I still think Christian Ponder and this offense are the real deal and will be a force in the ACC hunt this season.

Wake Forest: Jim Grobe is another coach who has been a thorn in Clemson's side. It took a while for us to figure out how to mitigate his chopping and cutting style coupled with some misdirection. I always get all puckered up when we roll to Wake because of the (lack of) atmosphere and Clemson's history of playing flat against the Demon Deacons. I, however, don't think that Swinney will allow this team to overlook this Wake squad, especially after he was a part of a couple of embarrassments to the Deacs as a part of Coach Bowden's staff. That being said, I am pretty confident that Clemson will win in Winston-Salem.

South Carolina: Clemson gets the in-state rival at home this season. If memory serves me correctly, the Gamecocks will again have an open week play Troy the week before this game. South Carolina has quite a few questions coming into this season, particularly involving production at the QB position and replacing Eric Norwood. South Carolina has not beaten Clemson in consecutive seasons since the great Tom Suggs was on the field in the late ‘60's and early ‘70's. That being said, I don't see Clemson dropping two in a row to their Columbia-based counterpart.

Date

Opposition

Location

FF's Confidence Level

September 04, 2010

North Texas

Clemson, SC

100%

September 11, 2010

Presbyterian

Clemson, SC

100%

September 18, 2010

@Auburn

Auburn, AL

45%

October 02, 2010

Miami (FL)

Clemson, SC

60%

October 09, 2010

@UNC

Chapel Hill, NC

53%

October 16, 2010

Maryland

Clemson, SC

80%

October 23, 2010

Ga. Tech

Clemson, SC

65%

October 30, 2010

@BC

Boston, MA

75%

November 06, 2010

NC State

Clemson, SC

75%

November 13, 2010

@FSU

Tallahassee, FL

43%

November 20, 2010

@Wake Forest

Winston-Salem, NC

80%

November 27, 2010

South Carolina

Clemson, SC

65%

Projected Regular Season Totals:  8.40 Wins 3.60 Losses

Our projections earlier this offseason

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