I am never a fan of excessively-hyped quarterbacks and much-lauded teams, but in the case of QB Deshaun Watson and the Clemson Tigers team, I think it is well-worth to make an exception for the raving reviews and huge expectations the football fraternity is pegging on them ahead of the new season. I mean, this is a team that flawlessly won all its games en route to the national championship game against Alabama last season. And even though they did not win the all-important trophy, nobody can deny the zestful effort they did put until the final seconds of their 45-40 loss to the Crimson Tide.
With Watson back in the fold, legendary head coach Dabo Swinney on the sidelines and a strong support system on and off the field to support the Tigers in 2016; Clemson is once again expected to make a deep run for the national title, owning the second-shortest NCAAF odds to win it all in the upcoming season. Are the Tigers a good value in the NCAA football odds as heavy conference and national favorites? Read on as we take you through a succinct breakdown of Clemson’s chances to do it big in 2016 and possibly repeat as double-digit winners in the season totals.
Here’s a Look at the 2016 Clemson Tigers Season Win Total Prediction
After impressing last season, there will obviously be a lot of expectations on Watson and his teammates to impress again in 2016. Fortunately, Watson is arguably the best dual-threat QB in the nation, as is affirmed by the record-breaking numbers he put up in 2015. The fact that he will be getting the support of his most trustworthy targets from last year—including running back Wayne Gallman, wide receiver Artavis Scott and tight end Jordan Leggett, who could all make a case as being the best ACC players in their respective positions—along with a committed offensive line, should see the QB dazzle us again with solid production in the attacking side of the football.
Defensively, the Tigers lost some key pieces in the offseason, but coach Swinney retooled brilliantly with new recruits and solid player transfers, which should keep the team competitive enough. But even if the defense won’t come around as strong as it should by the first week of the season; Watson and his stellar offense should be more than capable of lifting the weight off the defensive players by lighting it up big in the offense.
The Tigers will be having it rough from the very onset of the season, starting with a dangerous Auburn team from the SEC conference on the road in Week 1. This will be followed by two easily winnable games against some no-name teams, and then another challenging test against an experienced Louisville team (returning 17 starters) that hanged tough against the Tigers in 2015. Another stretch of soft games follow after that including the likes of Boston College and NC State up until the Tigers take on the mighty Florida State Seminoles.
As per the schedule, I’d be wary most of the trips to Auburn, the clash against Louisville and the possible ACC-deciding showdown at Tallahassee against Florida State. The FSU game will especially be a big one, as the Tigers have just one win in Tallahassee since 1986 and the Noles have been a very solid unit in recent seasons. But then again, Clemson was in a class of its own last season, especially in the offense, and that could easily prove to be the difference again this year during crunch time.
Final Remarks and Prediction
Going a perfect 12-0 in the regular season and winning the ACC title along with the No. 1 ranking in the playoffs last year means the Tigers will have a bull’s eye on their chest all season. But if there’s one thing we’ve learnt from Swinney, it is that handling pressure and high expectations is nothing new to him. In fact, he sometimes he encourages it for himself and his players, which often gets the best out of him and his team. This is evidenced by the 14 wins posted last season to mark a fifth straight year the Tigers have posted double-digits wins. The only other program in the country that can compare to that dominance is the highly-regarded Alabama. With that in mind, I believe 2016 should equally see the Tigers delivering another double-digit win season (though not a perfect 12-0), adding to the impressive 75-27 record the Tigers own since 2009 under Swinney.
Recommended Clemson Season Total Bet: OVER 10 wins