2.25 Million Reasons Clemson Fans Should Be Mad at Clemson, Tommy Bowden
Tommy Bowden owes much of the $2.25 million he’ll receive this year to the University of Arkansas.
It was the Razorbacks’ baffling interest in Bowden to fill their coaching vacancy last year that led the Tigers to extend their head coach’s contract through 2014, a contract that will cost the Clemson about $2.5 million to terminate Bowden at year’s end, if the Tigers’ dream season continues to evolve into a nightmare.
Under Bowden, Clemson has been the East Coast version of Iowa. A team that perennially looks great on paper, makes a number of “dark horse” list for both conference championship and BCS contention, and then promptly folds.
Clemson fans thought 2008 was going to be the year that the Tigers would break through that glass ceiling and, once again, ascend to ACC superiority and vie for a shot at the national title. And who could blame them? Returning the best backfield in college football with quarterback Cullen Harper and running backs C.J. Spiller, many in the upstate thought a return to glory was imminent.
Not so fast.
The team got embarrassed by Alabama on national television, and this week’s home loss to an underrated but talented Maryland team send the Tigers into the bye week with a lot of soul-searching to do. The rest of Clemson’s schedule is favorable but not without a fair share of landmines with road games at Florida State and Wake Forest, not to mention their season finale against the hated Gamecocks at Death Valley.
If Clemson is able to win out the rest of their schedule, they may save their coach’s job, but with all that talent, anything less than nine wins will smell an awful lot like an abject failure and could ultimately spell the end of Bobby Bowden’s unspectacular — and expensive — tenure as the Tigers’ head coach.