. Won-loss record. Obviously. But even before this season of underachieving — Clemson is 3-3 after starting the year ranked No. 9 and being picked to win the ACC — the Tigers under Bowden lost games they should’ve won and won games they should’ve lost. That’s a sure sign of a program in trouble, and one with little internal direction and leadership. You can’t lose to Duke and beat Miami in the same season. Or lose to Wake Forest and beat Tennessee.
2. He lost control of the team. Players were bickering more and more after each loss, and then Bowden announced after last week’s loss to Wake Forest that he was benching quarterback Cullen Harper, a senior captain, in favor of redshirt freshman Willy Korn. Bowden said he was looking for “a spark” in the offense, even though Harper has been playing behind an inexperienced and beat-up offensive line and has dealt with receivers dropping balls all season. Bowden essentially blamed Harper for the team’s struggles — and nothing could be further from reality.