Monday, October 13, 2008

Clemson Fires Tommy Bowden: Guess Who's a Clemson Grad...

After a disappointing 3-3 start to the season, the Clemson Tigers fired head coach Tommy Bowden today.

In any other year, this would be an unimportant occurence (despite the fact that Bowden has somehow managed to escape with his job on countless occasions).  But in this year, with this Vanderbilt team doing as well as they are, there's reason to be concerned.

Bobby Johnson, a native of Columbia, SC, will doubtlessly be getting a phone call from his alma mater.

There's some other things that make Bobby a real intriguing fit at Clemson.  Already stated, he's a Clemson alum, and in addition he was a defensive coordinator at Clemson for a year.  He wasn't a slouch at Clemson either, leading his team in interceptions in '72 and '73.  Shortly after his stint as defensive coordinator he was highly successful at the I-AA level, where he took nearby Furman University to the national championship game before coming over to Vanderbilt.  The point is, people know him in the South Carolina upstate.  He's a familiar face who understands Clemson's tradition, and anyone who knows anything about Clemson is that they take their tradition seriously.  Further, it's likely that Bobby will be one of the few coaches Clemson will look at with actual head coaching experience, and that experience comes at the highest level of play.

Working against Bobby is that he has a less than 30% winning percentage at Vandy, something that Clemson might view as a negative.  Let's hope that they do, because we all know that is no indication of Bobby's ability.  He took us from a perennial doormat to a contender with half the talent of the rest of the league.  Plus he is an adept recruiter, imagine what happens when he has a name with more prestige.

Make no mistake, this is going to have huge ripples across the college football landscape and if Vanderbilt keeps playing the way they have, Bobby's name is going to be on the short list at some schools.  It may be months before anything happens, but a perfect storm is beginning to brew and I'm a little concerned that it might leave us without a coach who has finally gotten the program to gel.  It would be a tough loss for the Vandy program to replace Bobby J. in the event he gets an offer he can't refuse.  Here's hoping that if the phone call does arrive, DeFKA makes a real strong push to hold onto him.


Boyer in the District said...

Oh Relax...we all know Saban or Petrino are taking this job.

Aaron said...

Phil Fulmer for the Clemson job!

Anonymous said...

Bobby Johnson is a great coach and as you said " He took Vandy from a perennial doormat to a contender with half the talent of the rest of the league." Bobby Johnson's record does not indicate his performance as a head coach. As a Dawg fan...I used to look at the UGA-Vandy game as a stat builder and not it is a game I have to worry about. Just my thoughts...Go Dawgs!