Clemson undoubtedly needed to can Bowden--after ten years, there's no reason to believe that Tommy was going to magically become a better coach. He's had time to prove himself, and he's proven himself to be a decent but not great coach. He's a good recruiter but his game day decisions are questionable and he's failed to surround himself with quality assistants. The fact that Bowden surrounded himself with someone like Rob Spence who can't score more than seven points against Wake Forest despite having a slew of NFL talent in the backfield attests to how bad Bowden has been with hiring assistants. Clemson knows they can do better, so they needed to move on.
However, the way they did it seems to me to be a big mistake, and one that will likely benefit the Gamecocks and put the Tigers a year or two away from getting up to speed. By firing Bowden at midseason, Clemson has undoubtedly done major damage to this year's recruiting class. They've already lost one big time recruit in DeVonte Holloman, and they stand to lose a few more depending on how the interim staff handles the situation. This could be a boon either for the Gamecocks or the surrounding schools, which include Clemson's ACC rivals from North Carolina, Florida, and Georgia. For instance, Holloman plans to visit South and North Carolina. It seems to me that Clemson could have saved themselves from some of this trouble by letting Bowden play out the season.
As for the Gamecocks, we really need to finish this season strong--including a statement victory against the Tigers--to put ourselves in position to usurp Clemson as the state's top program over the next few years. This is our chance, and we need to make good on it.
Of course, lots of information on this story is still coming out, so stay tuned for more.