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Clemson under Bowden

There are clearly two camps in the whole Bowden issue. There are the haters and the blind loyalists. Personally, I doubt the blind loyalists were a glimmer in anybody's eye during the '80s, most probably grew up in the Tommy West era, but thats a separate issue.

Pragmatically, lets just state that extremists on either side are blinded by strong emotion, I think we can all agree on this fact. Next, lets look at the good and bad things done here under Bowden.

Lets credit him where its due. I think we'll also all agree Tom is a good guy. He goes to church every weekend; he won't curse; he even tries to get them to go to church with him, and we all took his side when the ACLU (liberal sissies) tried to stir up a stink about it. Even cockfan didn't grumble much about that one. With all the players they've had arrested in 5 points lately, I can't see why they would.

Unfortunately Christian values don't translate to X's and O's; God doesn't pick the winner folks.

But it does help in other ways. He runs a clean program, with the exception of that Gaffneygate mess that was really blown out of proportion by cockfans. His players graduate, they tend to get into less trouble than other schools (see sakerlina, FSU), and we can say that this program is in a better place than in '98 when West was fired.

Tommy's saving grace is his great ability to recruit. He's hired assistants who are great at it too, some of which I'd hate to see let go. He now has the facilities that he bitched about for the first 4 years here. The blame for that particular issue can be laid at the feet of our great and beloved Bobby Robinson.

Do we give him a pass on the recruiting his first few years because of that? He didnt seem to have trouble after 2000, in fact it was one of his better classes. Yes we lost Roscoe and Zimmerman, but the rest didnt perform as they shouldve, at least not as well as they were ranked.

So lets look at the last couple years, if you say facilities were everything.

Clemson finished the 2006 season 8-5. The Tigers were a perfect 5-0 versus teams that finished the season with a losing/non-winning record. They were also 3-5 (38%) against winning teams. (We also need to acknowledge that this season saw a "roller coaster" ride that included starting 7-1, then losing 4 out of 5.)

Clemson finished 2007 with a final 9-4 record. Closer inspection reveals that the Tigers were again 5-0 vs the losing teams, and only 4-4 against the winners (and one of those wins came against 1-AA Furman). That's a 50% clip against "decent" competition, and that's only if you count Furman (43% without them).

What does that mean?

That means that we are 10-0 versus losing teams, which seems to add validity to the notion that we "beat the teams we are supposed to beat". It also means that we are only 7-9 (44%) against the better teams on our schedules.

Hello? dont you want to beat the ones who are worth a damn too? Some of those we were one play or call away from winning. Some we got our ass handed to us on a silver platter.

Tommy is a good man, who has built a solid program. For that, he should be commended and credited. On the field, we are currently seeing a winning percentage against good teams that is somewhere around 41%-44% (depending on if you count Alabama). That is mediocre performance, and should not be acceptable at Clemson. Maybe at Sakerlina but not here. I am not a "hater" for thinking this way, but merely someone who has taken time to evaluate the situation, and break down the numbers.