Risky Business

Posted: January 4, 2011 by El Swann in Clemson, Football, Opinion, Predictions

I’m still getting my mind around all of the recent changes for the Clemson coaching staff. I can’t say I was caught off guard by Billy Napier or Andre Powell being excused from his position. While some of the offensive issues were exasperated by the loss of Andre Ellington it was becoming clear that we had little to no offensive identity and that fell on Napier.

As for Powell, I hate to say it, but I didn’t think he fit in. He always seemed a bit cross at reporters and almost unhappy. I might be reading into it too much, but that was always my impression. It sometimes seemed like an almost, “You are questioning me?” attitude.

As for the Napier situation, it may have come down to the tug-of-war match that went on between both Coach Swinney. I have it on good account that we never truly saw Napier’s system because Coach Swinney would make his adjustments during the games. Napier’s hands were tied. Ultimately, both guys were at fault in my opinion. They should have put their differences aside and found the best scheme for Clemson.

With Chris Rumph heading to Alabama, which was a surprise to me, how can you argue with that move? He doubles his pay and ends up with one of the best coaches on one of the best teams in college football. It might even be enough to carry the #1 recruit in the country to the Crimson Tide. Put yourself in Rumph’s shoes. Now remove the orange colored glasses. Yep, your leaving for Alabama in a hurry.

As far as the decision that Coach Swinney makes in his hiring of these positions, one thing is clear, it is now do or die for this entire staff. I don’t see anything short of 8 wins and possibly an ACC Championship birth giving this staff another year. The bowl attendance was a huge wake up call for the athletic department and the administration. I would expect donations to IPTAY to follow suit.

We have even more holes to fill on the coaching staff and ultimately a great recruiting class could end up falling flat. We haven’t seen a mass exodus from the recruits, but no one can say for sure. Add to that the fact that these coaches are not going to come to Clemson on the cheap or with short contracts. They know the writing is on the wall and they will take advantage of that.

I always knew year three for Coach Swinney would be the key year. I’ve been supportive of him having a chance to prove his worth at Clemson. I am a fan of an emotional coach and I like how fired up Dabo is before, during, and after games. I don’t think he holds any punches, even if it upsets some of the fan base.  I like when he gets on fans for being down about the program. I don’t want a coach who hides behind a curtain. I want my coach to wear his emotions on his sleeve.

I would venture to guess that on today’s date next year I will be writing about a new head coach at Clemson. However, I will give 100% to Coach Swinney and this team for the upcoming year. I think that the offensive coordinator will be Chad Morris and it’s a risky choice. Compare him all you want to Gus Malzahn, but I don’t know if I’m buying it. I just don’t think what works at school X will always work at school Y.

There are no sure bets, but Dabo appears to be going all in with a pair of fives. It’s going to be tough to win this hand.

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