Wednesday, January 2, 2013

13 Predictions for 2013

So often we are so focused on the future, we forget about the past. Luckily, the Peach Bowl win over LSU allows us to ruminate on the past a little longer, which means we can sprinkle some future thoughts in without causing the past to spoil.

With that in mind, here are 13 thoughts for 2013, of which most, if not all, will never actually occur:

  1. Football - The end of the Chad

    Chad Morris flirted with leaving for a head coaching gig this season, but was ultimately passed over and never received an offer (though we're not so sure he wouldn't be a strong candidate in Oregon if Chip Kelly goes pro). His candle will only burn brighter this year as the motivation of not getting an offer burns. The Tigers offensive stats increase again - and the Chad leaves for greener pastures and a major BCS head coaching job.

  2. Football - The end of Nuk

    In the Peach Bowl, Nuk Hopkins proved to the rest of the world how valuable of a receiving threat he is. Unfortunately for Clemson, he will parlay his Peach Bowl, and season, success into a first round draft pick, thus fulfilling one of his final collegiate goals.

  3. Football - The return of Sammy

    With Nuk heading to the NFL, the Sammy of his freshman year will return. He will become the go-to guy for Clemson, much like Nuk was this year, and his numbers bear it out. He will struggle at times being the focal point of both the Clemson offense and opposing defenses, but his talent will prevail.

  4. Football - The reemergence of Linebacker U

    The defense was much aligned in 2012, but one group continued to get better – the linebackers. In 2013, they’ll lose Tig Willard, but return Anthony, Steward, & Shuey. In addition, Lateek Townsend will be in the mix and they’ll add Kellen Jones from Oklahoma & Justin Parker from injury. With one more year under Venables, this could become the strength of this defense.

  5. Football - Someone will be invited to New York for the Heisman presentation

    First it was Woody Dantzler being snubbed for Heisman consideration. Then it was CJ Spiller. Last year it was Sammy Watkins. And this year Tajh Boyd & Nuk Hopkins. Next year, or after the 2013 football season, one of Clemson’s offensive stars will become the first Clemson player to get invited to participate in the Heisman ceremony. They may not dance the final dance, but they’ll be wearing their dancing shoes.

  6. Football - No Bowl game

    In 2012, Clemson played in two bowl games: the first they’d love to forget and the second they’ll always remember. In 2013, they won’t play in a bowl game at all; because they’ll play in a BCS bowl game sometime after the ball drops to ring in 2014.

    In most cases, calling for a New Year’s Day bowl game is not much of a stretch, but because Swofford is terrible, the ACC has no non-BCS New Year’s Day bowl tie-ins. Luckily for Clemson, it won’t matter as they’ll be playing in one of the last BCS bowls before the playoff takes effect.

  7. Football - The hosting of College Gameday

    Clemson fans clamored for College Gameday for the USC game, but if we’re honest with ourselves, we’re glad we didn’t get it. In 2013, Clemson fans finally get their wish as Clemson hosts their second ever College Gameday. And we may not have to wait long as it could happen as early as Labor Day weekend when Georgia comes to town. If not, look for the FSU game as it will once again decide the Atlantic.

  8. Basketball - Will pull off a major upset

    The basketball team looked fantastic against Gonzaga, terrible against Purdue, strong against Arizona, and downright foolish against Coastal. But this basketball team is getting better, and more balanced, and anytime you play with the intensity and defensive prowess like Brownell requires, you can win any game. And at some point this spring, Clemson will combine a stifling defense with red-hot shooting to pull off a major upset. And it could occur as soon as Elvis’ birthday at Cameron Indoor. Just sayin’...

  9. Basketball - Will be a much discussed Bubble team, but will not make the tournament

    Outside of Duke, every team in the ACC has flaws, which allows Clemson to rack up some conference wins. At 8-8 or better, Clemson will be on the bubble. However, not winning any of their notable non-conference games comes back to bite them as they finish on the wrong side of the NCAA bubble.

  10. Basketball - Will end 2013 ranked

    When Thanksgiving and 2013-2014 season begins, Clemson will be outside of the Top 25. By the time 2013 ends, Clemson will be ranked for the first time since January 2010. The team generates its first true identity and continues to improve as the first of Brownell’s recruiting classes become seniors.

  11. Baseball - Will win the weekend series w/ USC

    The last two years, Clemson has fought hard and played well against USC; however, they’ve had little to show for it. This year, Clemson regains control of the state as they win the season series and advance further than USC in regional play.

  12. Baseball – The Cheap Seats celebrate a Regional win

    Over the last three years, Clemson has played in nearly every combination of NCAA Regional play possible. In 2012, they traveled to Columbia and nearly pulled off the upset over the host Gamecocks. In 2011, Clemson hosted a regional, but lost to UConn. In 2010, Clemson won a regional at Auburn and then hosted a Super Regional vs Alabama. This year, Clemson returns to the national stage by not only hosting a regional, but winning. The Tiger pitching is solid and the bats produce enough key hits to propel Clemson through their own regional, allowing the Cheap Seats to celebrate with the Tiger players.

  13. Baseball - Will run out of hits before reaching Omaha

    And while Clemson enjoys success in regional play, they are unable to advance past the Supers as the bats never come alive. However, the end of the year success propels Clemson to a strong recruiting class and a Top 10 national ranking for 2014.
So, there are our 13 predictions for 2013. Where are we wrong? What did we forget?

Regardless of what happens, look for 2013 to be a great year for Clemson – across the board. The football team will start the season in the Top 10, the basketball team will make strides, and the baseball team will return to prominence.

Go Tigers!

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