27 November 2007


Are we still in good hands? Should we stay the course, as always?

In early June of this year I wrote an article entitled "The Pros (And Cons) of Ditching Tommy Bowden." Well now that the regular season has ended and not only are we once again not even playing for the ACC title, Mr. Bowden is licking his chops and getting ready to restructure his contract again. Following my pros and cons from the first article, let's take a look at what Bowden has in each category. The last article was the pros and cons of getting rid of Bowden. These would be the pros and cons of keeping him. Please feel free to leave your opinion in the comments section.


- Sub Rob Spence, Bowden has a baller set of assistant coaches that are loyal to Clemson University and our goals. In actuality, I think Spence has a great play book (minus the screens) for this offense but he either chooses the wrong plays at the wrong times or he gets a comfy lead and then starts coaching not to lose.

- He is a great coach all around. He doesn't meddle too much in his assistant coaches doings. He doesn't really call anyone out in the press. He's respectful to players, coaches, officials, etc. Tommy tries to portray Clemson as best he can under incredible scrutiny and pressure. He works hard. He also makes sure his players get degrees that they can take into the post college world.

- He doesn't talk too much trash. Tommy stays classy. He looks presentable whenever he's on TV and he's not a scum bag. We don't have to worry about him going off on a month long drinking tangent culminating in a vaseline covered Bowden blowing up a bank vault or something of the like. We also don't have to worry about major NCAA violations ever. The guy and his program are so squeaky clean that it's almost too good to be true.

- Hate to bite the bullet here and seem like a Tommy Bowden Kool-Aid drinker, but he is the best thing we've had since Danny. He's improved facilities as well as brought back our recruiting presence. Season ticket sales are at an all time high as are IPTAY donations. Most importantly, we're consistently ranked in the top 25, even top 15. What's more is we've been finishing ranked lately as well. I sat through those 1992 (5-6), 1994 (5-6), and 1998 (3-8) seasons. I grew up with that. I can't go back to that and with Tommy around, we're almost guaranteed not to go back to that.

- He still has a smokin' daughter. In fact, I'm putting out an APB for her. Someone figure out what she's doing nowadays, so I can, uh... just find out where she is. You don't need to know what I do with the information afterwards.

I do enjoy the fact that Tommy really gives it to the referees when they make a bad call. Most of the times though he's so lost in his own tirade that he doesn't call a timeout for the booth to review.


- As many fans like me, I want my hard nose, up the gut Clemson football back. I want to go back to the days where the center and guards were bigger than the tackles. Where the running back shouted at the linebackers "I'm coming through the A gap, try and stop us" before the snap. He allows Spence to coach way too east and west and not enough north and south.

- He just can't seem to string together an entire season. Either we endure a scenario where we come out of the gate laying in our own shit, have a mid season pity party, or an end of the season crash and burn. I can't take the Clemson Football Rollercoaster. I constantly feel like the kid that's a little too drunk to be on the ride at the amusement park and my brain is constantly telling me, "Oh god. Dude our mouth is watering really bad. The stomach says everything is on the way out. GET OFF THIS THING." I feel as if his team's positions go in cycles that Bowden can't manage to sync together. One year we have a stellar offense except the O Line, etc, etc.

- The Bowden's used to be known for their trick plays and most of the time those risks panned out for us. So why did we stop taking them? I feel that sometimes Tommy needs to take the reins and call a few plays of his own, but doesn't. I feel as if he's never actually put together a playbook of his own and called his own plays. He just hires people to do it for him and stands there, shrugging his shoulders when things don't work out. At least Spurrier has the nuts to say "Yeah, I called that play. I made that decision. That's my fault, I fucked up."

- He schedules out of conference cupcake teams. If we are going to consistently go 8-4 or 9-3 in the regular season, let's play some real teams. Stop fluffing your schedule and let's get dirty.

- It's been nine to ten years since he signed up for the job and he hasn't brought us any hardware that actually counts for something. He's brought us a few memorable wins, but how about a few memorable championships, is that too much to ask in a decade?

- For big games, we deep dick the opposing team and put them in a hole Then we play conservatively and hope that we can hang on and that we don't lose. Now, this is Spence's fault but Tommy needs to know when to say, "Hey, put the foot on the gas and not the brakes, pal." Let's just do what we did to Wake Forest and keep pounding it out.

What Bowden needs to work on

- The offensive play book is good, it just needs a few tweaks (Getting rid of screens, stop running plays that haven't worked all season). As of now, it is still a little too home run centered and not enough pound it out. Perhaps this could be discussed in the contract meeting.

- Maybe we should start focusing more on defensive and offensive linemen and the talent players will follow. We need to stop getting small linemen with good technique out of high school and trying to build them up size wise once they get here. Let's just find some hosses and work on their techniques.

- When he restructures his contract, perhaps he should offer to take a pay cut as a trade off for more years. That money lost should be filtered into the incentives of his contract. He should also lessen his buy out because sometimes it feels as if he is holding us hostage. He hasn't won anything yet, so he is still unproven. The honorable thing to do would to stop digging in our pockets when he hasn't earned it yet. He feels like that buddy that always borrows money, but probably won't get you back. "C'mon man, you know I'm good for it."

Now again, I'm not attacking Bowden or defending him. I'm just throwing this out there and it's how I feel. If you don't agree, let me know in the comments. If you're just disagreeing to disagree, there's a bunch of neanderthals in a jerk circle over at the Tigernet forums waiting for you.