Normally my prediction stories follow a certain format.
I look at four different categories, figuring out who has the advantage in each and make the pick from there.
Not gonna happen this week. It makes no sense to approach this as just another prediction on just another game.
Saturday, when Georgia Tech visits Death Valley, will be many things.
Just another game isn't one of them.
The ascension of Dabo Swinney to the heading coaching spot on an interim basis has electrified the Clemson fan base. This is just a guess, but had the change not been made there likely would have been several thousand no-shows for the noon kickoff.
But when Tommy Bowden stepped aside and Swinney took over, something funny happened.
The more Swinney talked, the more excited people became. It was as if the first six games of the season never happened. Suddenly there was hope again, and Swinney was responsible.
So far he has said all the right things and done all the right things. Swinney has reached out to the fan base. He has challenged the players. He has excited the support staff.
All this without ever coaching a game.
That changes Saturday, and I'd be shocked if the house isn't full. Dabo wants an Orange Out? Dabo gets an Orange Out. Tickets will be at a premium, and for once nobody will complain about the noon start time.
What does all this have to do with the game? One word.
The players, feeding off the crowd, will be stoked. The effort, which has been good anyway, will be great. The toughness will be there. The passion will be there. And, for all those in Orange, the results will be there.
This particular kind of emotion is good for one game, and one game only. After that, all bets are off and it's back to business as usual.
But, at least this week, everyone will be "All In."
Tech has some advantages if you look at just X's and O's. But the outcome of this game will come down to the intangibles.
And this week anyway, the intangibles are all in Clemson's favor. And that will be more than enough.
THE PICK: Clemson 31, Ga. Tech 17
Tigers Must Go "All In" Against Tech
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