The future for Clemson football is bright. Unlike some recent national champions, like Auburn, Clemson is well positioned to continue playing for conference championships and a berth in the College Football Playoffs. And that’s why, for kicks and giggles, I’m going to project out the next 5 years of Clemson football and where the Tigers will be. Some of this is pure speculation, some is educated guesswork based on current trends, and the rest of it just pleases me.
Clemson will win another national title.
This may be the most unlikely prediction. Winning a national title is difficult; winning one with the new playoff system is even harder. A team has to go 15-0 or 14-1 to do it, or they have to get a ridiculous amount of luck. But Clemson is well positioned for it. Despite some of our protests, Clemson is recruiting at a historic level. And they are also meeting needs. The DL continues to churn out amazing talent and Clemson has a plethora of QB recruits, guys any team in the country would take. That bodes well for the future.
Dabo Swinney will leave for Alabama.
I think Coach Swinney is the first call made when Nick Saban steps down at Alabama. Swinney is an alum who won a national title with the Crimson Tide. He’s also got experience as a head coach, 9 years and counting, and he’s had success. Dabo has even beaten Alabama for a national title as coach. But at Clemson, Dabo has built something amazing. He’s realized the dream of Clemson fans, a dream that hasn’t been a thing since 1981. If Dabo stays, he pretty much gets to write his own ticket.
But all of us know how strong of a pull your school is. How many of us would turn down an opportunity to take a job at Clemson? That same pull exists for Dabo with Alabama... and I think he acts on it.
Tony Elliot will become Clemson’s head coach.
The popular opinion is that Brent Venables would be the first man up if Swinney leaves Clemson. And that may very well be true, but I just have this feeling that Venables will decide he’s not interested in becoming a head coach. He seems to enjoy being a defensive coordinator and he’s frankly fantastic at it. But I can see Clemson wanting to stay in house, for better or worse, and that means going with Tony Elliott (I think Jeff Scott leaves at some point for an OC job). It would be a very interesting move because Elliott is a bit of an unknown. As Co-OC we’ve seen more from him when he talks to the press, but running a football program is a different beast. Elliott is also very different from Swinney and we would see a similar Clemson program wrapped in a new public face.
Clemson will have a Heisman Trophy winner.
I’m not sure who it will be, but Clemson will finally get a Heisman Trophy winner. It should have been Deshaun Watson one of the past 2 years, but with Clemson on the map one of highly talented Tigers over the next 5 years will win a Heisman. Smart money would be on one of those QB recruits, but good luck picking one.