2009 Clemson Football Schedule
Sept. 5 Middle Tennessee State
Sept. 10 *#at Georgia Tech
Sept. 19 *Boston College
Sept. 26 TCU
Oct. 3 *at Maryland
Oct. 17 *Wake Forest
Oct. 24 *at Miami (FL)
Oct. 31 Coastal Carolina
Nov. 7 *Florida State
Nov. 14 *at North Carolina State
Nov. 21 *Virginia
Nov. 28 at **South Carolina
* - ACC game;
** - Traditional ass-whippin'
# - Thursday night game on ESPN
All times are PM and Eastern;
Home games in bold
The new schedule was released today by the conference here. The whole conference is available here.
"Seven of our eight league opponents went to bowl games last year and Virginia, will be much improved with the return of the quarterback who led them to nine wins in 2007.
I do like the position of our open date (October 10) in that it is close to the middle of the season, and I do like the fact that we never have back to back road games."
I see 8 wins on the schedule, and a couple possibles. Against MTSU we play againt longtime coaches Rick Stockstill and Les Herrin, and a talented spread offense with good WRs, but Danny's magic doesnt extend to them and its going to be an ass-kicking.
I think that because we get GT early before their option-attack is well-oiled is a blessing, but its on Thursday night on the road, and we usually get our ass beat on national night games so I'm calling it a loss for now.
BC should be an easy win, BC has a new coach and OC, and I don't think they're going to be a conference threat this year. Their run at the top of the Atlantic is over.
If TCU is signed to a deal, I expect a tough victory. Their Rivals site shows that nearly all of the starters on last year's team were seniors. 8 of 11 starters are gone, and only 1 RS Sr. will return on their defensive front. They lose two RBs from their by-committee approach, but return their Sr. QB who has passed for 2500 and 2200yds the last two years.
(at the time this was written, a deal had not been signed)
We should defeat Maryland and the chia pet QB, and we have played them well on the road lately, but I call it a toss-up.
Wake Forest I'm gonna call a win. You should never predict a loss to Wake, particularly after a BYE. If we can't come out and demolish them after two weeks practice...somebody should get shot.
Miami is a toss-up, their home-field advantage doesnt extend to Joe Robbie Stadium, or whatever the fuck its named now, but if they play like they can, they will beat us. Their DL will test this (still) young OL more than anyone else all season. John Lovett reigns over the D at Miami next year, and they have a new Offensive Coordinator as well.
Coastal is an easy win...but it would be nice if we played a real school that late. FSU I'm going to call a loss for now. As much as I hate to predict a loss at home, they started to get their shit together last year and I think they are almost back to the old FSU. The last 3 should be victories, but remember that NCSU played really well down the stretch in 2008. UVA and SC are the white meat.
Thats 8 wins, with 2 losses and 2 toss-ups that will make or break the season. On paper we have more talent than everyone but Miami and FSU, but over the last two years that's been just as true as it will be this fall. I'm tempted to predict 9 or 10 wins, and we're certainly capable, but I have to look at the big questions we still have:
We don't know if the OL will be significantly better in '09, they can't really get worse however.
We will have a new RS Sophomore QB.
We will be replacing two starting WRs and Safeties.
We will be running a new defensive system that depends greatly on the Safety position to make checks and calls (if its anything like the Saban system, an experienced S is required and we are starting Chambers).
We will have Napier calling the offense with Dabo.
FF thinks a little more optimistically than in years past:
MTSU will come in to Death Valley with some familiar faces, particularly Rick Stockstill who did a pretty good job IMO while an assistant with the Tigers. Familiarity with the locals won't be enough, as Clemson should beat the shit out of these guys to open the year.
GT will be an interesting game. I am extremely optimistic about this one, especially since CU has made a history of getting killed on Thursday nights. One would have to think that an experienced returning backfield would be an advantage for GT, especially with an option attack. I like playing GT early, especially after a season-opening layup. This will give the coaches all off-season to gameplan for this day, and should allow for practice time in early August in anticipation for the Yellow Jacket's option offense. So long as we don't miss 4-5 field goals, we should win this one to go to 2-0.
BC, Central Michigan, and UMd are all games that we should win. I really think that BC and their instability at HC will be their demise and Clemson were in position to rip the Terps a new one last year, only to quit at halftime (Thanks Tom).
Wake has been a thorn in our side for almost a decade now. The game is in Death Valley, though, and the Tigers have an Open Date before this contest so there is really no reason to think that Swinney won't have the boys ready to play and should get to 6-0.
Miami is one of those games that you hate to be pressed about. The 'Canes struggled last season, but played a ton of underclassmen. They also have boatloads of young talent and should be an up and coming team. We all know how quickly the team from South Beach gets good...Although they are missing the home town shootout advantage they received at the Orange Bowl, these guys should be a formidable opponent that I don't think the Tigers will overcome. First loss of the year occurs in Dolphin Stadium to the U.
Coastal is a newer, yet decent program. Thank God Tom got the boot before allowing Coastal to go on a 4th qtr run to beat our ass. (Should be an easy win for DS, though). FSU has gotten damn good up front recently. They really looked good over the home stretch last season (just don't compare them to the teams they put out in the '90's just yet). Jimbo and Mickey roll back to Tallahassee with the W in this case.
NCST, Virginia, and South Carolina are, well, NCST, Virginia, and South Carolina. Barring some ridiculous let down game the Tigers should get through the white meat of the schedule without a blemish.
The fact that Dabo calls this schedule "challenging" just shows the amount of showmanship that he possesses. See above for level of difficulty, and see here for quote. As I have explained above, winning 10 out of 12 is not out of the realm of possibilities. However, the past 18 years have left me a little jaded about this team. Consequently, I fall into the category with everyone else: we will win 8-10 games and I still expect at least one let down game against a team that we should take to the woodshed.
Overall: We will be a better team to watch now that Tom is off the sidelines. The key area to me will be the safety position. I am confident that the skill positions will be better than last year and that we will be stout up front on defense. How Fat Brad and his boys respond will dictate the success (or dissapointment) of the season. I am eager to see how Spiller responds to being th e feature back and how the QB competition will pan out. In all actuality, the schedule is favorable to the Tigers with GT and Miami being the only difficult road games in the mix. At least this year I won't be cussing Tom Bowden out in a bar in Colorado because he can't produce more than 10 yards of total offense in a half against Wake.
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