RUMOR: “BOWDEN TO BE FIRED THIS AFTERNOON” – from Block C (didn’t happen…yet)
You can all but guarantee that Tommy Bowden will probably be run out of Death Valley shortly after the Tigers season-ending battle with South Carolina after Clemson’s season got worse with last night’s loss by Clemson to Wake Forest.
The play calling has been in question. Bowden’s job is in question. But nobody in Clemson’s program seems to have any answers right now.
Offensive coordinator Rob Spence had the same lost look in his eyes he had after the Maryland loss. And, similarly, he had few answers, other than injuries and the young offensive line. Clemson has now scored just seven points in its past six quarters.
Even Rivals.com’s “Dr. Saturday” is leading off this morning with the headline – The last days of Tommy Bowden and the following quote from The State newspaper in South Carolina.
If the loss to Maryland nearly two weeks ago served as the funeral for Clemson’s football season, then Thursday’s defeat at the hands of Wake Forest served as the graveside service.
The same rites could have been administered to Tommy Bowden’s coaching career at the school. In fact, Clemson fans might want to begin passing the hat. They will need to pony up $4 million to buy out Bowden’s contract and send him on his way at season’s end.
For our last linke, Joe Giglio has some great insight/observations posted here after last night’s game.
And at this point, I’m coming clean. I owe every reader an apology. I’m sorry. I picked Clemson to win the ACC and ranked the Tigers in the top 10 (No. 7) of my preseason AP Top 25.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. That was painfully clear by the middle of the second quarter of Thursday’s 12-7 loss to Wake Forest when the Tigers had negative rushing yardage and zero first downs. This, an offense, that features two future NFL running backs.
The only solace in my folly is I have company. Fifty other ACC writers picked the Tigers to win their first conference title since 1991 and the AP sent Clemson off as the No. 9 team in the country.
A bad pick is my problem, I’ll live with it. Tommy’s are much bigger, at least until December.
So…it is time to play the speculation game. Where does Clemson turn for their next Head Coach? Where would you turn?
The following is a speculative ‘short list’ of names that I expect will get good looks at the job and a couple that should get good looks at the job. After we logged this entry Caulton Tudor posted an entry at ACCNow listing 10+ potential candidates. My projected Top 3 candidates below comprise spots #3-#5 on Tudor’s list. I think that is pretty damn good.
(1) First, I will throw out a legitimate longshot/’what if’ scenario that you should keep on your radar. As Coachesonthehotseat.com highlights, Tommy Tuberville has genuine trouble at Auburn. ESPN’s Pat Forde highlighted the Auburn situation in his comments on College Football Live yesterday. You can debate the fairness of the heat on Tuberville all that you want; but it doesn’t seem that you can debate the validity of growing pressure on Tuberville. How could a coach like Tuberville NOT be a natural fit for Clemson?
(2) On the other end of the coaching spectrum I submit to you that Dick Sheridan’s protege, Bobby Johnson, will garner a lot of attention at Clemson due to his success at Vanderbilt and his deep ties and connections in the state of South Carolina.
(3) The bloom of Skip Holtz’s rose may be slightly tarnished after ECU’s hot start in September has cooled, but that doesn’t detract from Holtz’s solid record of success at various schools during his career. Holtz is charming, likeable, young, energetic and has an attractive resume when you consider how quickly he built a very solid program in Greenville. He should have have some pretty strong ties in the state of South Carolina from his days at USC; and don’t forget that Holtz did a fantastic, albeit forgotten, job elevating the UConn program from a mediocre Division I-AA program more than a decade ago.
While we are mentioning UConn, I submit that a trio of rising Big East stars could garner some attention in this search -
UConn’s Randy Edsall; Rutgers’ Greg Schiano; and Cincinnati’s Brian Kelly each offer some compelling reasons to be considered. Edsall has strong ties with some ACC coaches and actually coached at Georgia Tech in 1998.
Lastly…don’t be surprised if Mack Brown’s name ‘mysteriously’ pops-up in some speculative chatter this offseason. If there is any legitimacy to the chatter then Clemson may be as good of a place to end a career as any. (Then again, if Butch Davis jumps for Tennessee…)