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Old 01-11-2017, 10:54 AM   #181
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Default Re: No Reason we Can't win a Natty

A few thoughts:

1) Things are never quite as drastic as people think in the immediate aftermath of an event. This is true for most everything, and football is no exception. Clemson winning a national title isn’t going to bury us any more than us beating them five times with three consecutive top-10 finishes buried them. Gene Chizik won a national championship at Auburn and got fired only two years later. Obviously that situation is different than Dabo at Clemson in many ways, but the point stands – winning big gives you a bump, but it has a LOT less staying power than people think.

2) You have to get really, really lucky to win a national championship. People are tremendously discounting the luck factor for Clemson here (and underestimating how lucky we will have to be to move back to the upper echelon). A lot of folks also seem to think Clemson is some sort of recruiting machine, but the facts just don’t bear that out. Here is there 247 class ranking for the last five classes (the ones that comprise the current team):
2012: 15
2013: 15
2014:17
2015: 9
2016: 11
Average: 13.4

When we were at the top, we were also recruiting in the 10-25 range. To consistently recruit at that level and win the national title, you need a lot of things to fall into place:

All your blue chips must pan out. You only get a limited number of five-star and high four-star guys, and you absolutely need these guys to live up to the hype. Bama perhaps can have their five-star DE turn out to be a bust, but if you don’t pull in one of those guys every year, you don’t have that luxury. You need these guys to turn into first and second round draft picks.
You need to have some lesser recruited guys turn into studs. This is the tough one, and when it happens it’s often attributed to “coaching em’ up” but really a lot of it is just the physical development of the player. Mike Williams was the 35th ranked WR in his class and he is the top WR on the draft board now. If you don’t recruit the same number of blue chips as the top programs, you need to luck into a few monsters.
You have to remain on the field – no big injuries to key players, no self-inflicted wounds (suspensions, transfers)

What Clemson just accomplished takes a huge amount of work, building, and luck. Honestly, there is no reason we can’t do the same. It’s just for schools like us and them, you basically have to recruit in the middle-tier and then hope things shake out such that you end up with a top-tier team. Put another way, if you recruit at #13 for five straight years, you need to have some things really go your way to end up better than a dozen teams that objective third-parties consider more talented.

But sometimes, when you hang in this middle tier, everything goes the other way. Your top guys turn out not quite as good as people thought. Your three-stars play like three-stars (which is still good, just not elite). And then to top it all off, you have a slew of injuries and off-field issues. So despite recruiting like a top-25 team, you suck.

3) Let’s relax a little bit on the Dabo recruiting machine and how it affects us. While we are both in SC, we are pitching two very different experiences. And sure, a lot of recruits (and their parents) like the idea of a rural, Christian, big ol’ family in the woods. But there are plenty that find Dabo’s rah-rah hyper-religious environment not for them. Not saying there is necessarily anything wrong with his pitch, just saying he is selling a very particular brand of tea, and it ain’t for everybody. They can do their thing and there is still plenty of opportunity for us to pull in good players.

Tl;dr – If you recruit like us and Clemson, the stars need to align for you to win a national championship. They lined up for Clemson this year, and there is no reason they can’t for us, but it requires a lot of luck.
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:07 AM   #182
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Default Re: No Reason we Can't win a Natty

DJ.....nice post! Nail firmly struck!!
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:23 PM   #183
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Default Re: No Reason we Can't win a Natty

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DJ.....nice post! Nail firmly struck!!
Agreed
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:30 PM   #184
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Default Re: No Reason we Can't win a Natty

Very good post DJ.
It takes a lot of components going well to win it all and it helps to have a great quarterback, but there are programs that are a lot closer to that goal even before that season starts, just takes all the parts to fall into place.
Dabo's greatest coaching move this year was icing the NC State kicker.....otherwise....
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:54 PM   #185
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Default Re: No Reason we Can't win a Natty

We will win a National Football Championship under Muschamp.

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Old 01-11-2017, 02:38 PM   #186
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Default Re: No Reason we Can't win a Natty

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Very good post DJ.
It takes a lot of components going well to win it all and it helps to have a great quarterback, but there are programs that are a lot closer to that goal even before that season starts, just takes all the parts to fall into place.
Dabo's greatest coaching move this year was icing the NC State kicker.....otherwise....
I tell all my CU friends to remember they were a total of 6 yards from being 9-3. The missed FG by NcSt that was about a yard wide and the stop late in the Louisville game where the runner chose to try to race the defender to the corner rather than turn it inside for the first down. he was stopped a yard short. He makes that first down and Louisville would likely have won.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:43 PM   #187
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Default Re: No Reason we Can't win a Natty

Great post DJ!!
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:00 PM   #188
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Default Re: No Reason we Can't win a Natty

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I tell all my CU friends to remember they were a total of 6 yards from being 9-3. The missed FG by NcSt that was about a yard wide and the stop late in the Louisville game where the runner chose to try to race the defender to the corner rather than turn it inside for the first down. he was stopped a yard short. He makes that first down and Louisville would likely have won.

That is a weak argument. It didn't happen. Championship teams find ways to win. We have been in many of the same type of games and have pissed them away.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:05 PM   #189
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Default Re: No Reason we Can't win a Natty

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I tell all my CU friends to remember they were a total of 6 yards from being 9-3. The missed FG by NcSt that was about a yard wide and the stop late in the Louisville game where the runner chose to try to race the defender to the corner rather than turn it inside for the first down. he was stopped a yard short. He makes that first down and Louisville would likely have won.
If that makes you feel better. 1980 UGA almost lost to SC; but didn't. If 2006 UF doesn't block SC's FG they miss the NC game; but they blocked it. Those are just a few samples.
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Old 01-11-2017, 06:47 PM   #190
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Default Re: No Reason we Can't win a Natty

I agree with this in principle, but it will be HARD...

I read an evaluation of Clemson back in 2007 or so and realize that it was written by a writer that covers Clemson. It read like this.
--------------------------
Clemson is a middle tier school in football in spite of the expectations of fans who remember the "glory days" of the 1980s. With hard work by the coaching staff, Clemson can be a perennial top 25 team and perhaps once or twice a decade a top 10 team. Once in a blue moon they can be national title contenders. But Clemson has far too many disadvantages to ever be an elite program. There is no nationally recognized brand to lure top level recruits to Clemson on a regular basis and geographically, Clemson is poorly situated to bring in top talent yearly.
---------------------------
At the time, I couldn't help but agree with this assessment. What a difference a decade can make, no?

There's a ton of difference between USC and Clemson, but this same kind of evaluation can be seen as true for USC as well. I could make the following argument (you may not agree, but it's not crazy either) You have little tradition and are a middle tier (at best) SEC program. An argument can be made that the USC coaching job is the 4th best IN ITS OWN DIVISION behind UF, UGA, and Tenn. Even though the SEC East is down, Tenn, UGA, and UF are all committed to winning as well and have had more success that USC. Is USC likely to overcome these perennial powers long term? And that's not even considering the SEC West. With hard work USC could be top 25 program and contend for the SEC East once or twice a decade and once in a blue moon be a contender for the SEC championship (and NC).

Sobering, is it not? However, I believe that if it can be done at Clemson, then it can be done at USC (but it will be even HARDER at USC than Clemson). The fact here is that there are no shortcuts for you here and only through gradual program and player improvement can you get. You are going to have to take the players you can and develop them. Become a team that no one can look past. Then you start winning a game or two that you shouldn't and build on that. Knock off a national contender in league play or a bowl game. Build on that. You get the idea. And it's going to take TIME...

Few programs today have the sort of patience for this sort of thing. Does anyone here think that Smart has 6 years to turn UGA from a good SEC program into a national contender? He will be on the hot seat in 2018 if he doesn't look a LOT better. He'll be out if he doesn't win an SEC Championship in the next 6 years.

Does USC have a patience to do this? Is WM the guy to get it done? No one knows. This is as honest an assessment as I can give you...
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:48 PM   #191
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Default Re: No Reason we Can't win a Natty

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Tl;dr – If you recruit like us and Clemson, the stars need to align for you to win a national championship. They lined up for Clemson this year, and there is no reason they can’t for us, but it requires a lot of luck. [/size][/font]
Great post here and I feel a lot of the same way. I do want to introduce another dimension/theory I have that affects our program (and many others) in a somewhat depressing way:

We (and others) may have "missed the boat". By that I mean that at some point during 2005-2007, college football changed a lot (and possibly permanently) and the effects weren't immediately noticeable.

The recruiting industry, through technology, exploded during this period into a machine never seen before in college football. I graduated high school (and football) in 2002 and recruiting was about the same that year as it was in 1982- the big name players from the largest schools were noticed and film was sent in to bring attention to the others. I'd be willing to gamble a lot of money that kids from smaller high schools have been recruited 10x as much as they were prior to 2005. It's all under a microscope now.

Take recruiting rankings (a small part of this whole "system)- they were hardly a thing until 2001. You can analyze it all you want, but for the most part- high recruiting classes lead to high amount of wins. The need to recruit hard and be at the top of those rankings is nearly as important as winning the games on the field.

Here is where I am getting at: The teams who excelled very well during the period from 2006ish until now may have cemented their college football success for many years to come...or possibly an eternity. You can argue with me and say "well some teams have just been good football programs forever." That's true, but they haven't been ELITE forever. Even Alabama has had it's ups and downs over time...all the good ones have at some point. If you had GREAT recruiting success, you'd usually see a pattern of 2-3 great seasons, a couple down, then back at it for 2-3 more possibly. It was cyclical.

I personally don't see Alabama having a "down year" until Saban leaves or some other disasterous shakeup happens. The brand is too strong and it's a self fulfilling prophecy for Alabama to garner the best recruits in the nation. I fully believe they could do 1/4 of the work on the recruiting trail as 90% of teams and still (in this current age of football) have Top 5 recruiting classes.

You are seeing this happen with Ohio State and Michigan in the Big 10, Clemson and FSU in the ACC, and Alabama in the SEC. Everyone else needs luck a lot more than these teams within their conference to enjoy the same success. The focus and brand of the CONFERENCE becomes the brand of these individual programs- they are the faces and thus the focus of the recruiting pool.

I certainly saw it with Clemson. We were beating them for 5 years straight but at the same time they were floating to the top of their conference. It was popular opinion that winning the ACC (during that time) was an easier feat- hell, we beat them twice in years they won the ACC championship. Yet our wins against them didn't matter on the grand scheme of things because they were playing the cards dealt to them in the best way possibly- win your conference and get into a BCS bowl game. As much as it hurts to admit, they were planning for the future while we were enjoying a local rivalry. They are reaping the benefits now.

I know I'm kind of all over the place with my writing, but I feel like we didn't capitalize on our chances of becoming "elite" during the period we experienced success. I guess my point is we need "luck" more than ever to compete with the elite programs and, even then, we may not be able to repeat it like they will. It will take an elite player at the college level (Vince Young, Cam Newton) to give you that boost.

------

Of course there are many factors that play into this like coaching staff composition and facilities. Yet, I still think college football experienced somewhat of a Renaissance in 2005/2006ish that put a larger gap between being great and elite...and more importantly, the ability to repeat it year after year.

Or maybe this theory of mine is all crap and a few bad seasons creates a very foggy memory of what the road to success feels like.
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Old 01-12-2017, 09:06 AM   #192
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Default Re: No Reason we Can't win a Natty

Nice thoughts and insight, especially DJCatfish.

There are two ways to build an elite team. Of course, in either case, you need a strong staff that can coach and recruit. The first way - which is what a lot of our fans want - is to go out and sign a Top Ten class every year. In two or three years, all that talent will be getting experienced and you will have a perennial power.

Except....that only works it you are already a name school and a perennial power. Because you won't get the first Top Ten recruiting class unless you are.

But there is a second way - more painful and it takes longer, but still works. That is to get a couple of Top 25 classes, including a good QB and some skill guys, and play them early. You will take some lumps the first year or two, but by Years Three and Four, you will have a strong program that will enable you to upgrade your recruiting class and get a few difference makers.

Unfortunately, after the first wave of players leaves, you are rebuilding mode again - but with better players, including some blue chippers. So in a couple of more years, you are back up again, but with an even better team. Eventually, the talent level gets good enough that you don't have to wait until the players have 2-3 years in the system before the team is good - and you are an elite team.

There is some discussion whether Clemson is an elite team now, or is still trying to get to that level. The truth is somewhere in between. They have more talent than in the past including difference makers, but are still not a consistent Top Ten recruiting team, and their success is due to a group of key players that led the team the last three years and are leaving en masse. So they will fall off in 2017 - how much remains to be seen. You can replace talented players with more talented players, but there is no substitute for experience.

We were well along in the process of becoming elite until Spurrier ran out of shelf life, and we stopped getting the difference makers (a downturn in in-state talent contributed to that). So we had to start over with a new coach. You can argue whether we are in the first or second year of the cycle, but three of our key Offensive skill guys were true Freshmen, so still early in the process with a lot of room for improvement. We will be much better in 2017, especially on Offense and hopefully good enough to land a Top Ten class that would include difference makers on Defense to go with the Offensive talent. We'll see how it works out.
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Old 01-12-2017, 09:54 AM   #193
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Default Re: No Reason we Can't win a Natty

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Because we're still going up against bigger programs in the SEC and Clemson, our in-state rival, just solidified themselves as a recruiting powerhouse. So in addition to being in the mix for national recruits, they are now the immediate frontrunner for most in-state ones.

Things have changed from five years ago.

I do agree that if Jake Bentley becomes one of the best QB's in CFB, then there's a chance to do something big. But overall, our best chance to win big may have already passed us.

I keep hearing people say this. It is becoming quite a joke in the upstate that we are referring to Bently as "Heisman hopeful". I have not seen anything from him yet that indicates to me he is going to become the best QB in college football. He is the best QB option we have, but Heisman candidate???? . We'll have to see.
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:02 AM   #194
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Default Re: No Reason we Can't win a Natty

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Laugh all you want but their offense almost doubles Bamas average allowed last night. Experience plays a part but so does scheme. It isn't like Bama has never played a team with a lot of Juniors and Seniors before or even teams with a lot of talent. Clemson made adjustments at half time and Bama couldn't counter.

I'd almost be willing to bet they'll put up better offensive numbers next year with a first year starter than we'll see out of our guys in year two of the system.
Clemson was able to do that because the Alabama QB couldn't throw a forward pass into the ocean from the beach. If Alabama has ANY passing game at all that game would have had a very different outcome. Alabama couldn't sustain drives. This keeps the defense on the field without much rest wearing them down. Look where CU started to gain ground, in the fourth quarter against a worn out defense. Add to that Mike Williams out there looking like a Frisbee catching dog catching anything within 5 yards of him. And is still took a last second score to win. Not as dominating as the numbers show.
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:10 AM   #195
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Default Re: No Reason we Can't win a Natty

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Clemson was able to do that because the Alabama QB couldn't throw a forward pass into the ocean from the beach. If Alabama has ANY passing game at all that game would have had a very different outcome. Alabama couldn't sustain drives. This keeps the defense on the field without much rest wearing them down. Look where CU started to gain ground, in the fourth quarter against a worn out defense. Add to that Mike Williams out there looking like a Frisbee catching dog catching anything within 5 yards of him. And is still took a last second score to win. Not as dominating as the numbers show.
This is fan logic. ""He'd have scored if that guy didn't tackle him!"

Of course Bama would have fared better if Hurts has played better, but he didn't. The team whose players play better usually wins. Clemson's D controlled him.
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:10 AM   #196
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Default Re: No Reason we Can't win a Natty

There's no reason we can't win a national title but there are plenty of reasons why we won't win one anytime soon.
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Old 01-12-2017, 02:42 PM   #197
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Default Re: No Reason we Can't win a Natty



These are the only Natties we are winning anytime soon.
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Old 01-12-2017, 03:00 PM   #198
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Default Re: No Reason we Can't win a Natty

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Nice thoughts and insight, especially DJCatfish.

There are two ways to build an elite team. Of course, in either case, you need a strong staff that can coach and recruit. The first way - which is what a lot of our fans want - is to go out and sign a Top Ten class every year. In two or three years, all that talent will be getting experienced and you will have a perennial power.

Except....that only works it you are already a name school and a perennial power. Because you won't get the first Top Ten recruiting class unless you are.

But there is a second way - more painful and it takes longer, but still works. That is to get a couple of Top 25 classes, including a good QB and some skill guys, and play them early. You will take some lumps the first year or two, but by Years Three and Four, you will have a strong program that will enable you to upgrade your recruiting class and get a few difference makers.

Unfortunately, after the first wave of players leaves, you are rebuilding mode again - but with better players, including some blue chippers. So in a couple of more years, you are back up again, but with an even better team. Eventually, the talent level gets good enough that you don't have to wait until the players have 2-3 years in the system before the team is good - and you are an elite team.

There is some discussion whether Clemson is an elite team now, or is still trying to get to that level. The truth is somewhere in between. They have more talent than in the past including difference makers, but are still not a consistent Top Ten recruiting team, and their success is due to a group of key players that led the team the last three years and are leaving en masse. So they will fall off in 2017 - how much remains to be seen. You can replace talented players with more talented players, but there is no substitute for experience.

We were well along in the process of becoming elite until Spurrier ran out of shelf life, and we stopped getting the difference makers (a downturn in in-state talent contributed to that). So we had to start over with a new coach. You can argue whether we are in the first or second year of the cycle, but three of our key Offensive skill guys were true Freshmen, so still early in the process with a lot of room for improvement. We will be much better in 2017, especially on Offense and hopefully good enough to land a Top Ten class that would include difference makers on Defense to go with the Offensive talent. We'll see how it works out.
Well said Ace.

A handful of difference makers, particularly QB, WR, DE and DB - filled in with solid, hungry and coach-able kids can get you there. Emphasis on QB first and foremost. DW is a once in a generation player at the college level and think he can be a very good NFL QB, we'll see. I'd take him on the Texans in a second. Gamecock alum Bob McNair likes SC and CU players and Hopkins is a baller.

Of course Bentley is not a Heisman contender. But we have a right to be excited about his potential. He's big, strong, smart and a competitor. Could he be elite, for sure, but he's not there yet, not close. I like that he wants to be and will work hard to get there.

I would also contend that you don't need top 10 recruiting classes every year. Yeah, Bama has that, but you can only put 11 guys out there at a time. There are dozens of 4* players on their roster that will never see much playing time. Point is, you need to get a few special kids each year, then coach up the rest. See our teams with Marcus, Alshon, Melvin, JD and Shaw - and certainly a few more are escaping me.
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Old 01-12-2017, 03:58 PM   #199
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Default Re: No Reason we Can't win a Natty

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I keep hearing people say this. It is becoming quite a joke in the upstate that we are referring to Bently as "Heisman hopeful". I have not seen anything from him yet that indicates to me he is going to become the best QB in college football. He is the best QB option we have, but Heisman candidate???? . We'll have to see.


He looked a whole lot better than the other freshmen QBs in the SEC..that being said, winning the Heisman is a whole lot of luck tho. There is no logic to the voters. Lamar Jackson was trash the last few weeks and yet he still won. If we get a decent OL and Roper gets his head out of his rear, Bentley will be elite. I've never seen a freshman QB go through his progressions like he does. He also has that slipperiness that made Watson so frustrating. He didn't get to show it off too much because of the free runs at the QB we gave up but he had a few Houdini moments for sure.


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Old 01-12-2017, 06:04 PM   #200
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Default Re: No Reason we Can't win a Natty

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Originally Posted by ffstreetdoc View Post
I keep hearing people say this. It is becoming quite a joke in the upstate that we are referring to Bently as "Heisman hopeful". I have not seen anything from him yet that indicates to me he is going to become the best QB in college football. He is the best QB option we have, but Heisman candidate???? . We'll have to see.
Why because they thought Watson would win it this year, what had Jackson shown you last year that made anyone think he would win it this year?
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