Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Bowden visits Aiken; preseason predictions

Clemson football coach Tommy Bowden spoke Tuesday at the Aiken/Edgefield County Clemson Club's spring meeting, and the Augusta Chronicle was there to cover it.

PRESEASON PREDICTIONS: College Football News says we'll finish fifth in the expanded ACC in 2004 (huh?), and ESPN's Ivan Maisel has updated his preseason top 25 by moving Clemson down a couple of notches. Here's why:

Clemson finished the season as the hottest team in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Tigers won their last four games, including decisive victories over Florida State and Tennessee, and they had 16 underclassmen among their starters. But wide receiver Derrick Hamilton and defensive tackle Donnell Washington left early for the NFL draft. Instead of losing one top receiver, Kevin Youngblood, quarterback Charlie Whitehurst has lost two wideouts who combined to catch 124 passes and 12 touchdowns.

Clemson also has the smell of Auburn about them. When Auburn finished strong in 2002, upsetting highly ranked Alabama and Penn State, and had so many top players returning in 2003, it seemed logical that the Tigers would pick up where they left off. Auburn did pick up where it left off -- in mid-2002, before the strong finish.

Hopefully, we can come out of the gate strong and get that Auburn stink off of us.

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