On Thursday, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said the Tigers' post-spring practice depth chart, released earlier in the day, "doesn't mean anything."
But when 20 of the 22 listed starters are juniors and seniors, it does matter. It matters a lot.
Making a run at a national championship is better requested of a team full of veterans with experience, and the Tigers have that. Young, fun and explosive two years ago in many spots, Clemson is now an older version of what it was.
Quarterback Tajh Boyd, a Heisman Trophy candidate, is a senior, and junior wide receiver Sammy Watkins is smarter than ever, and a bit humbled, which Swinney believes will make him an improved football player.
Even offensive coordinator Chad Morris, who was just a couple of years removed from coaching in high school when Boyd took over as a sophomore, is now more grizzled and a hot commodity in the ranks.
As a result, Clemson is less likely to stumble this season, an issue that has plagued t...