Many media outlets are on Clemson around 2022, but not CBS Sports’ Chip Patterson.
There has been a fair amount of negativity surrounding Clemson football and the prospect of the Tigers returning to the playoffs in 2022.
Given how hard the Tigers have been looking for a good part of the 2021 season, I understand that, but sometimes the media tends to, uh, overdo it a little in the endless race for eyeballs and clicks.
Even so, there’s no getting around the Tigers who won 10 games last season, finished the season with the longest P5 winning streak in the nation and are the proud owners of a deep seven front and can – be unmatched.
Yet I was still moderately surprised when Patterson topped Clemson’s 10.5 win total.
With one of the best defenses in the nation, Clemson may not even need the passing game to regain his form to win the ACC after his six-year conference championship streak ends in 2021. However, beating that win total will require playing better from the quarterback position and that’s something I expect to see from DJ Uiagalelei or Cade Klubnik. The Tigers have two of their three toughest opponents (NC State, Miami) in Death Valley, but the toughest place is against Notre Dame in South Bend, where the Fighting Irish beat No. 1-ranked Clemson – quarterback -back by DJU – in a 47-40 in a double overtime thriller in 2020.
It’s hard to disagree with everything Patterson says, but usually when a writer’s mind is set, they’ll bend over backwards to find reasons why they’re right, even when objective facts indicate that he is wrong.
Clemson will likely be favored in every game except Notre Dame
I am also intrigued by everyone’s perception of Notre Dame. With the Tigers constantly plagued by the ‘staff turnover problem’ this offseason, no one sees it as a problem for the Irish to snap a first head coach – it just seems like a no-brainer that Marcus Freeman is going to do better than the very good experienced head coach who just moved to LSU.
Patterson avoids that trap, at least explicitly, and to be fair, Notre Dame is a very good team, but we’ve yet to see a game from Freeman as head coach under the pressure of Notre Dame’s work.
Dabo certainly had some growing pains as a young head coach and it took him several years to become the coach he is now.
This will be an interesting subplot for the game in South Bend in November.