Wednesday, October 01, 2003

(UPDATED at 3:35 p.m.)

Fates of Clemson, Bowden hinge on next three games

OK. The preliminaries are over. We all know that the stretch of games beginning Saturday at Maryland will go a long way toward determining whether Clemson coach Tommy Bowden has a job next year or not. Don't get me wrong; I'm pleased we're 3-1. But I'd say, at the minimum, we've got to win at least one of these next three contests, and then only lose once more the rest of the season, for Bowden to have anything like a viable career left. Judging by the performances of our three upcoming opponents so far this year, I think we've got an outside shot at winning all three. But then again, I'm a fan.

Oh, and speaking of Bowden, here's a column by The Greenville News' Bart Wright that says Clemson's coach is a master at using a lot of words to say next to nothing.

HANGIN' WITH THE TERPS: Clemson's players say they believe they'll be competitive against Maryland, and hopefully end a two-game slide against the Terps. Meanwhile, Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen praised Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, but also called him David. Additionally, Friedgen says it's time for his team to "turn up the juice."

Finally, Clemson's receiving corps believes it can do well against Maryland's veteran defensive backs.

"THEY'RE THE WORST": That's linebacker Eric Sampson's description of Maryland fans, who pelted the Tigers with fruit the last time Clemson visited College Park in 2001. That bad memory is serving as motivation.

WHERE'S MILLER? Clemson defensive back Justin Miller, a preseason all-American pick by a lot of publications, seems to be having a quiet year so far. The Anderson Independent-Mail explores why.

THE SCOUTS: The Greenville News sings the praises of the scout team, a squad of scrubs who pretend to be the other team in practice the week before the big game.

CU-MD MEMORIES: The official Clemson site has posted video highlights from the 1983 Clemson-Maryland game in Death Valley. That's another one my father and I attended, and it's perhaps most memorable for the massive, record-setting balloon release before the game. Also, we kicked the 11th-ranked Terps' asses, 52-27. Check it out.

ACC EXPANSION SCHEDULE SET: ACC officials have come up with a schedule for an 11-team league, according to this story. The key excerpt:

The schedule, approved in meetings that included athletic directors, senior women's administrators and faculty representatives, maintains eight conference games with each team missing two schools every year. In the first two years, Wake Forest, North Carolina State, Virginia and North Carolina will play all three marquee programs.

Miami will play both Virginia Tech and Florida State, while the Hokies and Seminoles will not meet. The other four teams will play two of the powerhouses.

Meanwhile, Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips says rumors that Boston College is poised to become the league's 12th team are just that -- rumors. We'll see, won't we?

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