Tommy Bowden: Mostly Dead

A preseason top 10 ranking in your 12th season as a team's head coach is a death sentence only if you're the sort of coach who enjoys toying with failure, running the program perilously close to the gaping edge of a losing season, and then dramatically rallying in WWE style from a sure submission hold. If this sounds like your football program, then you are a Clemson fan, and your coach, Tommy Bowden, has once again run his career status at Clemson to "Mostly Dead." There's a chart and everything, so you know this is science.
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↵This situation may be worse than prior years for numerous, equally damaging reasons. Clemson was picked to win the ACC, their roster boasted easily cited glossy talent like James Davis, C.J. Spiller, Cullen Harper and Aaron Kelly, and there was even preseason talk of BCS bowls for the Tigers. Then, once the team ran face-first into the wood chipper of Alabama in week one on national television, Clemson began a slow, inexorable collapse, most disturbingly on the offensive side of the ball. Last night, for the second game in a row, Clemson all but abandoned the run game and put the onus on Cullen Harper, who tallied exactly one touchdown in four quarters of work, and was harried all night by pressure from the Wake defense. ↵

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↵The young offensive line has to shoulder much of the blame, but coaching is at the root, especially on the offensive side where Davis and Spiller have been tossed out of the game plan at the slightest sign of difficulty in favor of the pass. At 3-3 and 1-2 in conference, the hole is deep enough to bury Bowden, though the question is, as always: Is Clemson willing to trade the stability of Bowden for whatever comes next, like Will Muschamp learning how to be a head coach on the job? Which, apparently, is precisely what some Clemson fans want. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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