Week 1 Takeaways: Clemson in title hunt?
September, 1, 2013
By Travis Haney | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Richard ShiroSammy Watkins (2) looks poised for a big season after his Week 1 performance.CLEMSON, S.C. -- Just like we did last season, we will follow each college football Saturday with the biggest takeaways from the week's action.
For Week 1, that includes a look at whether LSU finally has its QB, whether Alabama's offense is a bigger concern than Texas A&M's defense and whether Washington had the quietest big win of the weekend -- plus a lot more.
But we’ll start with a look at the weekend's biggest game, and the expectations that will follow for the winner.
1. What’s next for the Clemson Tigers after their win over Georgia?
At exactly 1 a.m. ET on the first of September, Dabo Swinney had an impassioned suggestion for the bleary reporters assembled in front of him.
“Y’all need to write something different,” Clemson’s fifth-year head coach said, launching into a mini-rant that will not be mistaken for Mike Gundy’s “I’m 40!” speech, but had some teeth to it. “We don’t want to talk about things that happened five years ago. Let’s talk about what we have done instead of what we haven’t done.”
For that to truly change, it will take more than Saturday night's grind-it-out 38-35 win against Georgia. It was another move forward, but the national narrative will not fully evolve until there is a season full of highs rather than momentary peaks.
Make no mistake: This is a team that had the look of a BCS championship contender Saturday, with a dynamic veteran QB in Tajh Boyd, playmakers all over the field and a finishing schedule that is kinder than the ones faced by several other contenders. But is the 2013 edition of this team good enough to make that final breakthrough, avenging last year’s losses to FSU and South Carolina on the way to a title run?