Not so great expectations

I don’t want to read too much into this – and I freely admit to heightened sensitivity because we heard so much similar talk in Athens the last two seasons – but does anybody else find it curious how Clemson folks are downplaying the outcome of Saturday night’s game?  Here’s Dabo:

Swinney said Tuesday that his eighth-ranked Tigers can’t get too caught up in what happens against the Bulldogs at Death Valley, win or lose. There’s a long season remaining and even a defeat won’t derail Clemson from its championship goals.

“So what?” Swinney said about a potential Tigers’ win. “You’ve got to be careful. It’s not a one-all, end-all deal. It’s a long season. We’ve got 12 games on the schedule. Every opponent is critical. We’ve got much bigger goals than an opening game.”

Tajh Boyd is on the same page.

“This is not a make or break game, regardless of the outcome,” Boyd said. “It’s a long season. Win or lose, we’ll have to get ready for the next situation.”

I get the coachspeak aspect of this.  And as I said, it’s not like we haven’t heard plenty of similar talk before out of Athens.  It’s just that usually when we hear it from Georgia, it’s in the wake of losing a key game, not before the game’s been played.  Speaking of which, it’s not how Richt is talking now.

“We’re trying to be in midseason form by Game 1,” coach Mark Richt said. “A lot of things have to be done to get us ready for that gauntlet. We know it’s coming. We’ll be ready.”

I’m not saying it’s going to have an impact in the opener.  It’s just something that caught my eye.  What do you guys think?

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30 Comments

Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Georgia Football

30 responses to “Not so great expectations

  1. It sounds like Richt knows that this is his best shot at winning it all. Being 2-0 will be a large step forward in reaching that goal. It also sounds like Dabo knows that the expectations for Clemson are too high, and he is trying to temper that enthusiasm. Clemson looks good enough to win the ACC, but all the BCS title talk is too much.

    • Tim

      I agree, sounds like Richt channeling Saban in terms of expectations and cultivating an environment that focuses on perfection.

      Once the team has bought in (may already be there), and the media has bought in, several future championships later, then he can return to coach-speak, “We’re just gonna line up and play football”, etc.

      What I’m getting at is that Saban has seemingly risen to a higher level of coach speak, whereas his coach-speak does not equal mere mortal coach-speak, even if they use the same words.

      And I may have just overstated something very simple and well-known, but oh well.

    • Terror 'Tween The Hedges

      I love it. Sounds like Clemson is going in expecting defeat. That means second guessing by the signal caller and SACKS. Also, after a couple touchdown deficit, they will raise their white flag. GATA!!! Oh, and I think these junkyard DAWGS are going to be absolutely RABID all year.

  2. semperFiDawg

    Blather

  3. Rusty

    Sounds like they’re hedging their emotional bets…Richt, not so much. He is setting a very high level of expectation and laying it all out there to be crushed if things don’t work out. It’s refreshing. Just an amateur opinion.

  4. Careful Brad

    Bigger fish to fry?

  5. hassan

    Sammy Watkins doesn’t seem to be on the same page with his coach and QB…

    “If we come out and beat Georgia, not just beat ‘em but beat the mess out of ‘em like we should, I don’t see no problems in getting started in the right direction. I don’t have disrespect for them or for nobody else, I just believe we can be just the kind of team we want to be, the talent is here, we know how to win.”

  6. Spike

    I’m all in with the Dawgs, guys, but I was at the Boise State game two years ago…

    • NC Dawg

      In many ways it’s the same scenario as two years ago. You find out a lot about the season in weeks 1 and 2.

    • charlottedawg

      I know Georgia fans get really defensive about this but we’ve had a pretty strong recent trend of losing when the lights shine brightest, often spectacularly and especially when Gameday shows up. Fortunately so does Clemson so Saturday night may be a contest of who sucks less when the pressures on. Hoping for a big win Saturday but I would not be at all surprised if it’s boise state 2.0 and Aaron Murray has the deer in the headlights look again.

    • Careful Brad

      …and those young guys that played in that game are now juniors and seniors. They are a group that has been in two SEC championship games, and has won two in a row in Jacksonville. They can handle the spotlight better than a team fresh off a trip to Memphis and a loss in the Liberty Bowl.
      The O-line is a strength and I’m guessing won’t start the game with a false start on the first play
      Gurley and Marshall are better than Crowell
      The issues of that team are not the issues of this team.

      • adam

        It is interesting to hear all the comparisons to the Boise game in 2011. That was the first game after Richt’s worst season. We lost 2 and won the rest until we got to LSU. The team is totally different now. The majority of the roster from that game is gone.

        And why are we all bringing up our first game from 2011 and ignoring their last game of 2011? We’re worried about how we looked vs Boise but we don’t care how Clemson looked vs West Virginia? I think we’ve changed more since then than they have. I mean, that was their ACC championship team, right?

        • RocketDawg

          I completely agree, there aren’t more than a handful of players from that 2011 team still on the roster, not to mention that team had issues right out of the gate with personnel (Jeremey Sulek in for Ogletree anyone?).

          This team has depth and while the defense may be green, most of them have spent time in the Grantham system where most of the 2011 team were still holdovers from Willie Two Thumbs.

          I also have an issue with some of your long term memories as well. It used to be that the years we started off with a “hard” team (2002, 2003, 2005,2007) turned out pretty well because it kept our guys focused over the summer. Two of those years were Clemson and ended up with an SEC Championship and an appearance the next year in the SECCG, 2005 was an SEC Championship, and 2007 a Sugar Bowl. I would like to think we are back in that mode vs the 2009 Okie St/2011 Boise St mode.

  7. I wonder what the expectations and the talking points would be for this Clemson team if LSU had run the ball on either 2nd and 2 or 3rd and 2 from their own 47-yard line, converted the first down, and won the game 24-22 instead of losing it 25-24. Would they be top ten?

    • Scott

      That’s what I’ve been saying for weeks now…if LSU’s coaching staff doesn’t brain fart in the 4th quarter, or if Clemson doesn’t convert a ridiculous 4th and 16, this game doesn’t have nearly the hype.

      Dawgs by two touchdowns.

      • hassan

        I am glad the hype is there. There is no overlooking Clemson. The outcome of the LSU game would only have an effect on the hype – this would still be the same Clemson team. I would rather there be hype to get everyone’s attention than there be not enough hype and we overlook them.

      • paul

        Up until now my mood regarding the opening month has been positively Munson-esque. The green secondary scares the crap out of me. Now that the adrenaline is flowing I’m starting to feel like the Clemson game may be more akin to Missouri than Boise. The game feels closer than it is for three quarters and the Dawgs pull away in the fourth. I like the thought of a two touchdown margin. I do think the Georgia is in control at the end. Of course it may just be that I picked a bad week to stop sniffing glue.

  8. hailtogeorgia

    I agree with you. I think the Alabama game and the taste of getting that close to it all has this team understanding that they’re going to have to bust it at all times. It’s more than coachspeak, it’s a mentality. Clemson hasn’t been that close, just as Georgia hadn’t until last year, so they don’t get it.

  9. Russ

    Oh great. Now even Dabo is dawg-grading our potential victory.

  10. Keese

    Sun Tzu clemson biatches!

  11. sUGArdaddy

    Everything goes in cycles. I really feel like we’re Alabama ’09 this year. Alabama ’08 burst onto the scene, but lost when the lights shone the brightest to a team that had been there before (Florida), and played uninspired in New Orleans. They had a freshman running back who played pretty good that year named Mark Ingram. In ’09, everyone had anointed the GPOOE and crew as national champs before the season. They ran the table and played the undefeated game of the century vs. Bama in Atlanta. No way Tebow would lose that game. They’d won 2 of 3 national titles and were 12-0 and #1. Turns out that sophomore running back was now the heisman winner and they stunned Florida and the world. It was a game for ages, too. In ’08, they just weren’t ready.

    In retrospect, we’re going to look back at ’11 as one heckuva coaching job by Richt. We probably had no business winning the East, but that team had some moxie and leaders like Boykin. This UGA team reminds me of Bama in ’09. Got so close the year before. Ingram and Julio were sophomores on that team. They had a stud D, but they had a lot of young guys, too. Heck, the big nose tackle that scored a TD in the BCS game was a sophomore.

    When’s the last time you actually heard our guys and coaches talking about something like Pasadena?

  12. Skeeter

    It’s really more like a preseason game, actually…

  13. Eyeore Dawg

    Dabo just po’ mouthin’.

    Clemson is a national title contender. They know this game is HUGE for them.

  14. Jay

    I noticed it also. It seemed a little strange for him to be saying it the way he did. I would have expected a little more of “it’s a huge game and we are going to do everything we can to win it.” After a game like this one is lost then you sell the players and the fans that there is still 11 games to play and a championship to be won.

  15. PTC DAWG

    Cluck Femson