Archive for the ‘Predictions’ Category

Obviously there is no rhyme or reason to college football recruiting. My stance on the effects that Twitter and Facebook have had on the process is well known. If you are an avid listener to my programs you also know I favor an early signing period to eliminate some of the youthful nonsense that we are having to deal with in this day in age.

The irony of it all is that I can clearly understand a player taking advantage of the situation. I also think for some it has more to do with establishing their brand and gaining Twitter followers than it does making a decision. Look, if I can add Twitter followers by declaring my “commitment” then why not shop around a while. By the way, follow us on Twitter @ClemsonSports. Yes, that was a shameless plug.

This week, I will have a chance to sit down with ESPN’s National Recruiting Director Tom Luginbill. I plan to get his take on many of the issues that I see around college football recruiting  Plus, I will attempt to get his latest predictions for some of Clemson’s top targets. Due to the Super Bowl, the show will air on Monday afternoon at 4:30.

Anyhow, on to my predictions for five of Clemson’s top remaining targets.

Adrian Baker

Adrian Baker 6’1″ 170, Cornerback- Clemson

Outside of Alexander, I think Baker is the biggest toss up. He’s down to Clemson and Oklahoma so anything could happen. I think in the end, distance and need will be the deciding factor.

Tyrone Crowder

Tyrone Crowder 6’1″ 330, Offensive Guard – Clemson

I’ve had a great feeling about Crowder for some time. He is a young man who keeps things fairly close to the vest, but my hunch here is that he will be headed to Tiger Town.

Carl Lawson

Carl Lawson 6’2″ 253, Defensive End – Tennessee

What a get Carl Lawson could have been following the Robert Nkemdiche saga that occurred. Lawson who is an Auburn commit is down to three schools including Clemson. However, weeks ago it was Ryan Jenkins recruiting him to Clemson, now Jenkins is a Tennessee commit and trying to lure him that direction. Plus,  his relationship with former Auburn coach Tommy Thigpen who is now at Tennessee has me thinking he becomes a Vol.

MacKensie Alexander

MacKensie Alexander 5’11 175, Cornerback – Clemson

When the news broke that a package deal for the Alexander’s wasn’t a necessity I got a bit more excited about Clemson’s hopes of landing the elite corner. Twin brother Mackenro all but threw Clemson under the bus for how they have handled his recruitment, or lack there of. I noted on a recent show that I hoped MacKensie would realize that this decision isn’t about his brother, it’s about MacKensie. This one will shock some people but Dabo Swinney has been a master. I’ll take Clemson as early playing time should be available.

Montravious Adams

Montravious Adams 6’3″ 290, Defensive Tackle – Clemson

“Big Mon” or “Mount Adams” as many call him is one of, if not THE prize of this recruiting class. Alabama has proven that you win in the trenches and that is where Adams thrives. He is a huge kid who plays with a high motor. He has all the tools you would want to see in a player at his position this early in his football career. He is strong, fast off the line, and eats up space. Clemson has worked hard on Montravious and if Clemson is lucky enough to also land Carl Lawson the Nkemdiche hangover will vanish quickly.

As for Robert Nkemdiche, my prediction is Ole Miss. My contacts down there have been confident from the moment he decommitted from Clemson. In fact, one source there told me, “We were never worried about his commitment to Clemson.”  However, they have also felt the commitment was coming and months have passed with no commitment. Does that mean anything?

Obviously Hugh Freeze is doing an outstanding job recruiting. Message boards will scream that it’s “all about the Benjamins”. I’m not here to throw stones. Heck, Clemson has been in the mix with many of the top players in the country and I think it’s all been done on the up and up.  Sometimes you get fortunate and land a great class. Ole Miss was due and Coach Freeze has brought some excitement to the Rebels. Sometimes great classes pan out, sometimes they don’t. Only time will tell. Eyes are certain to be on The Grove as Hotty Toddy is reeling in some big fish.

Finally, would I fall out my chair if Nkemdiche and Dabo agreed to a silent commit? No. Okay, maybe. The pressure was mounting on Robert from all angles and he needed a release. Perhaps Dabo and Robert made a deal. We back off, you stay committed, and go have fun as the number one recruit in America.

Perhaps the reason you don’t hear much about Clemson is because Clemson doesn’t want to be heard about. Could Dabo pull off the biggest shocker we’ve seen in a long time? Some will say that I am crazy, but funnier things have happened. I wouldn’t bet my house, or even my favorite pet, but nonetheless February 6th should be fun.

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The P.A.W. Contest Week 2

Posted: September 10, 2012 by El Swann in Clemson, Football, Predictions, TigerNet

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week Joe Bostic went 5-0 and took the top spot in our rankings all to himself. It was Richard Davis who took the biggest hit of the weekend and he dropped into a tie for last place with Patrick Sapp.

This week’s games:

Furman @ Clemson
Wake @ FSU
Alabama @ Arkansas
Florida @ Tennessee
Virginia @ Georgia Tech
Stop by next week to see who takes the lead.

The Re-Branding of Clemson Podcasts

Posted: September 4, 2012 by El Swann in Clemson, Football, Predictions, TigerNet

As many of you know we are in the process of a complete re-branding. The name “Clemson Podcasts” just didn’t describe our model any longer. We are in the process of becoming “Clemson Sports Talk” and most of the initial work is already in the mix. We have the web address and things are coming together. 

I’d also like to announce that we have a new weekly contest The P.A.W. (Pick-A-Winner) Contest which features some notable Clemson alumni. This year the four participants are former Clemson Tigers Woodrow Dantzler, Patrick Sapp, Joe Bostic, and Clemson businessman Richard Davis.

Each week these four will pick the winners of five games I send them. I am also going to pick and the winner will be crowned as the Inaugural P.A.W. Champion. Until everything is up and running on www.ClemsonSportsTalk.com we will continue to keep up with the contest on our WordPress blog.

Week #1

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Morris Situation

Posted: January 11, 2011 by El Swann in Clemson, Football, Opinion, Predictions, TigerNet

I will open by saying that I can’t give you anymore insight than most of us already know. At this point I still think that Chad Morris stays with his commitment to Clemson.

I could understand taking the job at Tulsa, but I see this as a lateral move for a guy who has a chance to make a name for himself in a major conference. Sure, being a head coach is important to Morris furthering his career, but If his system works well at Clemson bigger jobs than Tulsa will be calling.

I would guess the last hold up would be his family. If they are happy in Oklahoma then I expect them to play a big role in his decision. However, it sounded like his children were excited about being Tigers. That might be a bigger deal than some might think.

I’ll guess he stays with Clemson, but it will be a tough decision for Coach Morris.

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.

Conference expansion is at a peak right now. It appears we are only moments from the fallout of Colorado leaving the Big 12 for the PAC-10. I am guessing this thing is about to take off. It sort of feels like Christmas as we wait for the dominoes to fall. It will be very interesting to say the least.

Clemson’s Purnell Bolts for DePaul

Posted: April 6, 2010 by El Swann in Basketball, Clemson, Predictions

It’s being reported this morning that Oliver Purnell will take the DePaul job later this afternoon. A press conference has been set up for 2:30 EST. It’s reported that DePaul is going to pay Purnell $15 million over 7 years and pay is buyout at Clemson.

This one is a tough one to swallow. I am a little surprised at Coach Purnell leaving. I know it’s difficult to be successful at Clemson, but Purnell was doing it the right way. Purnell took Clemson to three straight NCAA tournaments and was establishing Clemson as a mid to upper level ACC basketball team.

You could argue that Clemson has been more dedicated to basketball during the Purnell era than any other time in history. It doesn’t sound right saying that, “Purnell is leaving to go to DePaul.” For a moment I thought it was a late April Fool’s joke. The only thing I can figure is that Purnell felt he had reached the limit of what he could do at Clemson.

I guess those Clemson fans who but so much heat on Purnell for not winning an NCAA game got what they wanted. I wonder how those people really feel today given our basketball history and Purnell’s overall success. I for one, am not excited about having to look for a new coach. The best news is that the cupboard isn’t bare, but you never know. Players could decide to leave and this program could crash to the bottom of the ACC.

In my opinion, it’s time for Clemson to open up the checkbook and make an offer to a big name coach. The popular choice will be Brad Stevens, who just led Butler to the National Championship game. You can’t really argue with his history and as a game day coach he appeared excellent. I doubt that happens, but he will be on everyone’s radar after this year’s NCAA run.

My instant short list of coaches:

Brad Stevens (Butler) – Born in Greenville, SC Greenville Stands Behind Stevens

Johnny Dawkins (Stanford) – Ties to the ACC, Duke lineage

Ben Jacobson (Northern Iowa) – An unreal run in the NCAAs, looks the part, great game day coach

Shaka Smart (VCU) – Former Clemson assistant, great recruiter, fits recent hiring trend

Did Clemson Win by Losing?

Posted: March 7, 2010 by El Swann in ACC Tournament, Basketball, Clemson, Predictions

It’s possible that losing at Wake Forest will actually help Clemson in the ACC Tournament. As nice as the bye would have been, falling to the sixth seed might work out better for the Tigers after it’s all said and done. Instead resting Thursday and then most likely facing Wake Forest on Friday, Clemson will open with N.C. State and, if they win, will get to play Florida State in round two.

Plus both games are 9:00 tipoffs which should give Clemson ample time to recover. Remember the old days where the last game winner played in the first game on Friday? Talk about tired legs.

Recently, the Wolfpack have been playing well, winning three out of four, but Clemson has matchup advantages all over the court. N.C. State probably scares me less than any other team in the league.

These two went to the wire in a 73-70 Clemson win in January, but Clemson didn’t play their best game. I would expect the Tigers to win this game by at least ten points on a neutral floor. Clemson is the superior ball club and should show it on Thursday evening.

If that happens, Clemson would try to move to 3-0 against Florida State. Although it’s always tough to beat someone three times in one season, I like Clemson’s chances to get to the semifinals better in this scenario than if they had to face Wake Forest in round two, even with a bye. Give me FSU over Al-Farouq Aminu and Ish Smith any day of the week.

No matter what, the best draw was not being on Duke’s side of the bracket. I think Clemson has has good a chance as any on their side. I could see a nice run by Clemson getting them into the semi-finals or finals. It’s obvious the ACC is a very balanced league. Clemson’s drop in the last game of the season, falling from #3 to #6 says it all.

Also, don’t count out North Carolina. The Tarheels could easily make a run at the championship game this year. They have a good opening draw against Georgia Tech and even at the 10 seed have to be considered a threat. They have played awful this year, but they have the talent. If it clicks this weekend, the hated Tarheels could shock the Atlantic Coast Conference.

With all that said here are my predictions on how the ACC Tournament will play out.

Round 1

#9 Virgina over #8 Boston College

#5 Wake Forest over #12 Miami

#10 North Carolina over #7 Georgia Tech

#6 Clemson over #11 N.C. State

Round 2

#1 Duke over #9 Virginia

#5 Wake Forest over #4 Virginia Tech

#2 Maryand over #10 North Carolina

#6 Clemson over #3 Florida State

Semi-finals

#1 Duke over #5 Wake Forest

#6 Clemson over #2 Maryland

Championship

#1 Duke over #6 Clemson

Yep, I’m going to put it out there right now. Clemson makes a run in the ACC Tournament and falls short, under tired legs, in a tough loss to the Blue Devils in the ACC Championship Game. I’ve struggled all year to be confident in this team, but their draw looks good to me. I guess we will see how it all plays out.

On to the ACC and NCAA Tournaments!

Don’t you just love this time of the year?