As usual, Clemson is a hard team to figure. They are Jeckyll one week and Hyde the next. They look great and absolutely horrid all in the same season and sometimes all in the same game. Clemson always recruits near the top of the rankings and yet somehow it doesn’t quite translate on the field.
So this year Clemson returns all of their skill position starters, or at least most of them, but they lose nearly every starter on both lines. So the Tigers in 2012? Hard to guess. The Tigers are coming off a complete meltdown on defense. It bottomed out in the Orange Bowl against West Virginia when they gave up 70 points. But the good news was the offense last year was pretty good.
With Tahj Boyd ans Sammy Watkins, he Tigers offense clicked pretty well last year. Both will be back this year. So the big question is the line of scrimmage. Will the defensive line be able to stop people? And will the offensive line be able to open holes? We will know those answers soon enough as the Tigers open the season against Auburn at the Georgia Dome on September 1st.
The schedule is very favorable this year for the Tigers. Other than the neutral site game against Auburn and a road game at Florida State, all of their tough opponents come to Death Valley. Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State and South Carolina are all at home.
Clemson understandably has a new defensive coordinator after the train wreck of the end of last season. The new D-Coordinator is Brent Venables who came from Oklahoma where he spent 13 years in charge of the Sooners defense. At times, the Sooner defense was outstanding. Other times not so much. So he should fit right in at Clemson.
Clemson has always been a crapshoot. One year they are great on defense and awful on offense. The next year it’s the other way around. They always seem to beat somebody they shouldn’t and then lose to somebody they shouldn’t. We see no reason why this season will be any different.
Head Coach Dabo Swinney is a recruiting machine. The Tigers have been in the top of the heap since he’s been there, but unless the Tigers start winning more consistently, the natives will get restless. Watching the Mountaineers embarrass them in the Orange Bowl did not sit well with them.
Betting prospectus: You are on your own. Nobody knows with this bunch. Taking the over seems to be a good plan though.