Ease the heat on Dabo Swinney

One of the most frequent questions I've gotten this season is about Clemson coach Dabo Swinney's job security.

He said recently that he's not feeling any pressure.

Should he be?

My take: Back-to-back losing seasons aren't tolerated at Clemson. So yes, if Clemson were to flop again and fall below .500, I would expect a coaching change. But I don't think Clemson is going to have a losing season, and I think the administration should and would give Swinney some leeway this year because of the significant offensive overhaul. We're talking about an entirely new offensive philosophy under first-year coordinator Chad Morris, a new offensive line coach, and a first-year starting quarterback. Mistakes are a given. A few losses should be expected. South Carolina is probably the better team, at least the way things look right now. But just how many missteps can Swinney afford this year?

A reasonable expectation for Clemson this year is at least seven wins and a bowl game. The Tigers should start out 2-0, need to win at least one of the following three games to avoid the dreaded 2-3 start, and then beat four of the next six conference opponents. Can they do better? Yes. It all depends on how quickly quarterback Tajh Boyd and his teammates learn and execute the offense. Plus, you've got to factor in Clemson's future, which is very bright if the recent recruiting classes live up to the hype. Barring a disaster this fall, the administration should give Swinney some time to develop that talent. If Clemson gets to a bowl game and comes out on the winning end this year -- even with a third straight loss to South Carolina -- I would think Swinney would be safe.

And he should be.