Holy crap my campaign worked! Clemson fired Tommy Bowden after their awful 3-3 start in which Bowden decided it wasn’t a good idea to get his two best offensive players as many touches as possible. I’ve only been campaigning against Bowden’s idiocy since, oh, week three of the season. And I went into detail in last week’s picks (scroll down).
Clemson, for some insane reason, hasn’t been giving James Davis and C.J. Spiller the ball very much. Pound for pound, this is the best running back corps east of the Mississippi, if not in all of college football. Yet Clemson never went away from a spread offense that doesn’t emphasize the run or find ways to get its best players touches. I like Cullen Harper too, coach, but I don’t like him that much. In a nice twist, Clemson’s OC is also leaving the program with Bowden. Coincidence? Um, no.
To be fair to Tommy Bowden, I didn’t really want him to lose his job, I just wanted the guy to wise the hell up. I guess Clemson wanted to take it to the next level. It’s got to hurt being fired by a guy named “Terry Don” too. But hey, whatever. Apparently, I can make things happen in college football. Move over Ivan Maisel, Mel Kiper, and Kirk Herbstreit, McD is joining the big-boys table!
As powerful and influential as I now am, Bowden was most likely fired because of his coaching decisions and the fact his team hates him. Well, probably the second one more than the first. To be fair, I didn’t know about the players part; I just thought Bowden was an idiot. In that same article I linked above, Cullen Harper just plain throws Bowden under the bus. Then he got out of said bus, took a leak on him and then backed over him one more time for good measure.
“I’d call it karma,” Harper said. “I thought it needed to be done. I think anytime a head coach or some one in a leadership position starts to place blame on his coaches and players, it weakens their respect on the team. His past experiences show he’s done that.”
Harper also went on to say many of the Clemson players just weren’t motivated by Bowden and “were off the bandwagon.”
Some of the blame still has to go with his players, since they haven’t really played all that well no matter what insane decisions Bowden made. It’s also possible Davis and Spiller just aren’t that good, all evidence to the contrary. Motivation or no motivation. Dumbass offensive system or not. The players still have to go out there and do their best not to look like assholes on television. The Clemson players failed to do that on every level.
The irony of this mess is firing a coach mid-season actually creates more chaos instead of less. Even as a weak head coach, at least the players knew Bowden was in charge. Leaving Dabo Swinney in charge means the same coaching decisions that got Bowden fired may remain in place anyway. It’s not like the system on offense or defense is going to change all that much. That stuff just can’t be radically changed during a season.
Some would argue this is just karma for taking Ray Ray McElrathbey’s scholarship away. I am one of those people – but that’s not really my point at the moment. A 3-3 record with that kind of talent isn’t the result of karma. It’s the result of plain stupidity and bad leadership, and even Tommy Bowden can’t argue with that. His daddy should have been fired twenty times over at Florida State, but he achieved success with maximum talent at one point, and therefore got to keep his job. His son did not. And that will be his legacy.
Now the Clemson job will be available at the end of the season, and with the talent remaining on that roster, there may be a stampede over to Death Valley for an interview. Goodbye, Tommy Bowden. My weekly picks column will miss you.