While there are goals yet to accomplish, it's tough to argue against this era as the halcyon days of Clemson Tigers football.
The odds of an extended run at the top of the college football world are against us. Just ask Mack Brown, Gene Chizik, and even Bob Stoops & Danny Ford how fleeting championship runs can be. The ACC is improving around us, recruiting in-state Will get more challenging (pardon the pun), and we'll be playing with a target on our backs, win or lose vs. Oklahoma. But facing stiffer competition and learning to win as a hated favorite can actually improve our standing as a program.
In many respects, the 3-4+ loss seasons of the mid-late 2000s feel like eons ago. In reality, they're but a couple of coordinator hires and key signings removed from this team's configuration.
That's not to say that 2015 is the pinnacle. It feels more like a culmination of factors that Clemson's had in spots throughout Dabo Swinney's tenure. When stars align, offense and defense perform at an elite level, a favorable home schedule awaits us, and you sign a generational talent to chuck and tote the rock, magic can and does happen. We haven't as much caught lightning in a bottle as we've found our way through the maze.
The mark of an elite program is the ability to sustain that success over time. Signs point to this for Clemson, but it's important that we savor this as fans regardless.
2015 was awesome, and it's got the chance to be all-time great for this program. As we fill the roster for 2016 and 2017, let's acknowledge that this season will add another layer of bedrock for what's to come.
Ryan Kantor gets it, and we were happy to sit down for an interview during this week's show.
Stay tuned for a recruiting bonanza show mid-week with Quacking Tiger. Got a burning question you'd like him to answer? Leave a comment, hit us up on Twitter, or drop us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Enjoy your holiday season, and stay tuned for more Pawcast episodes in the run-up to Miami!