Axed Clemson coach Tommy Bowden sealed his own fate five months before the season even started.
In an interview last spring, Bowden told me — as he did others — that “on paper, since I’ve been at Clemson, this [season] is my best opportunity” to win the school’s first ACC title since 1991. If you make that claim only to get eliminated from the race by the first week of October, what possible reason would anyone have to believe it’s ever going to happen?
It took 10 years, but on Monday, Clemson administrators finally accepted this reality. They saw a team brimming with offensive weapons that started the season with a humiliating performance against Alabama, a subsequent loss to Maryland and, most gallingly, a 12-7 loss to Wake Forest last Thursday in which the Tigers looked completely inept offensively.