A Note on Dabo Swinney

As long as I am going to take Tennessee to task for its questionable hire, I might as well add Clemson in too.

Dabo Swinney is going to take over as the full-time head coach. His principle qualifications appeared to be that he is young, he is energetic, he knows Clemson, and most importantly he is not Tommy Bowden. It also doesn’t hurt that keeping Dabo means C.J. Spiller is sticking around for another season. Probably.

According to the linked article, his primary accomplishment was firing OC Rob Spence and deciding to give the ball to James Davis and Spiller more. Not to heap on the snark, but everyone who looked at Clemson’s situation could see that having a banged up Cullen Harper sling it around the field was a bad idea and that giving the ball to the two most talented players on the offense was the right thing to do.

So as we near the Dabo era, I think it’s worth digging up a table I made back before the season when I was doing coaching record analysis. I have updated it to add 2008.

Clemson Season Splits
Year First Half Second Half Beat SC? Overall
1999 3-3 3-3 Y 6-6
2000 6-0 3-3 Y 9-3
2001 4-2 3-3 N 7-5
2002 3-3 4-3 Y 7-6
2003 4-2 4-2 Y 8-4
2004 2-4 4-1 Y 6-5
2005 3-3 5-1 Y 8-4
2006 5-1 3-4 N 8-5
2007 4-2 5-2 Y 9-4
2008 3-3 4-2 Y 7-5

If I scrambled up the years and didn’t label them, you would not be able to pick 2008 out from the bunch. OK maybe you could have found the one of the two years with only 12 total games and seven wins, but you get the point. Nothing particularly stands out about 2008 relative to the rest of the Bowden Era.

This is Dabo’s task: make a row in the table that doesn’t blend in with the others. I don’t know if a guy who was out of coaching as recently as 2002 is the right one for one of the four ACC schools that truly cares about football in the way that Big 12 and SEC schools do.

We’ll see, but I have a feeling the next three seasons in the upstate of South Carolina will probably not stand out from anything else you see here.


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