First, let’s take a quick step back (I know the tile and the first statement don’t jive, deal with it) and look at a few points from this past weekend. First of all, I would like to say that, as of Monday afternoon, all should be right in the universe again because the Tiger Football Team should be ranked ahead of the Basketball Team. This major crisis was real and I could see The Nothing from The Never Ending Story devouring South Carolina as a whole due to this paradox. All should be well in Clemson land.
There is one point of info which I am sure we have all viewed slack-jawed over from this past weekend’s game, Tiger and Gamecock alike. The major reason why Clemson came away with a win in Columbia is time of possession. The Tigers kept the ball out of Spurrier’s hands for nearly 3 entire quarters (CU38:37 USC21:23). I truly believe this was the game winner for the Tigers. An extra few minutes of ball possession on the Gamecock side and the outcome would have, very possibly, been different. This is the one glaring statistic on paper for this game which made the difference. Most of the numbers on both side of the ball are VERY similar.
On a side note, a hot topic, what to do with Bowden? Well, difficult to fire the man after a 9-3 regular season, even if we get thumped in a bowl by an SEC team. Pickings will be slim to none for a decent coach in the off season, we have a fantastic class of recruits headed to Tigertown this year, and nearly every kid is graduating in four years on the team. Everyone, it’s time to put the pitchforks and torches away for awhile. Bowden’s current contract is through 2010. It’s time to show the nation we are serious about our program. I for one am about sick of the media gabbing on about how we are going to fire Bowden and how he is on the “hot seat”. This is devastating to a program and how it is portrayed from the outside in. I feel it to be a good move to offer a two year extension with a nominal pay raise (contract to 2012) with a rider of a possible additional three year extension(contract to 20015) and pay raise at the end of a potential “great” season in 2008. Keeping the program moving in a positive direction and giving a contractual goal for Bowden is good business and is critical from every standpoint. Recruits want to know who they will be playing for all four years, negative media needs to be silenced, and the administration needs to make sure Tommy doesn’t leave Clemson in the middle of the night because we won’t put up for some job security on his part. Extend the contract, keep a decent/good coach and keep moving in a positive direction. Things could be much worse. Clemson could be 6-6, not going to a bowl game, and have just lost our 9th game in 11 years to our rival and our coach could be in the mist of the longest losing streak of his career.