Remember the term “Clemsoning?” Well, it doesn’t quite mean the same thing as it initially did. Urban Dictionary defines Clemsoning as “The act of delivering an inexplicably disappointing performance, usually within the context of a college football season.” It has also been defined by others as “hype combined with an inexplicable loss.”
Back in 2006, Clemson started the season with a 7-1 record, then dropped four of their last five games, including a bowl loss to Kentucky, and finished the season at 8-5.
Clemson entered the 2008 season ranked No. 9 in the AP Poll. They opened that season with a 34-10 loss to No. 24 Alabama. After Clemson fell to 3-3 with back-to-back losses to Maryland and Wake Forest, Tommy Bowden resigned and Swinney took over as interim head coach. The team finished 7-6 and unranked.
In 2011, Clemson started 8-0 and rose to No. 6 in the AP Poll. They then lost three of their final four regular season games to go 9-3. They ended that season by getting curb stomped in the Orange Bowl against West Virginia, 70–33.
Now Clemson has made 2 straight national championship appearances while winning one of them. In my humble honest opinion, they will be playing for (and probably winning) another championship this year.
I give you this brief Clemson history lesson to draw attention to the similarities of our programs.
Louisville has been climbing up the rankings over the past few years but just can’t quite get over that hump. The unexplainable ending to last season, as painful as it was, is eerily similar the 2006 Clemson season ( lost to UK then 2 seasons later opened with Alabama).
Clemson and their fans hated the Clemsoning term but they endured it and the team kept working. We, as Louisville fans, can learn a lot from them.
This loss to Clemson hurts a little more because of the hype surrounding the game but it still only counts as one loss. Yes, we missed an opportunity for this season but we gained perspective on where we are, where we need to be and where we can be. I’m not afraid to admit that I draw comfort from the fact that we could be Clemson in a few years. The parallels of the programs should give you some faith. It just takes a little time and that is hard for most people because we live in a world where we want it and we want it now. It’s a very unrealistic task to be a national champion after only 3 years in a power 5 conference.
Keep the faith Card fam. We are on the right path, it just takes time and talent. The talent is starting to pour in so the only variable is time.