Monday, December 27, 2004

Clemson talks to LSU assistant

Will Muschamp is being courted to be Clemson's new defensive coordinator.

And in other Clemson-related news, here's a look-back at the 1978 Gator Bowl, a 17-15 Clemson victory over Ohio State that led to the end of Woody Hayes' coaching career after he punched Clemson's Charlie Bauman. (Thank you, Fanblogs, for looking up Clemson stuff so I don't have to!)

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Oh, no....Miller's going pro!

Yes, it's sad news. Fanblogs is reporting that star defensive back Justin Miller will enter the NFL draft.

Sorry, Justin, but you're going a year too early. You're a tremendous talent, but you're costing yourself a lot of money with this move.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Steve Spurrier's trying to steal our assistant coaches!

Specifically, Brad Scott and Burton Burns! Find out what the new coach of the Gamecocks is up to at Fanblogs! And somebody make me stop using exclamation points!

ALL-AMERICANS: Defensive standouts Leroy Hill and Justin Miller have been named to a couple of All-American teams. Congratulations, fellas.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Hill named ACC defensive player of the year

Clemson linebacker Leroy Hill was voted the best defensive player in the league. (More here.) Congratulations, Leroy. Don't go and turn pro or anything.

Friday, December 10, 2004

WestZone project runs into a snafu

The bids for the stadium renovation projects exceeded budget estimates. Oh well.

CROWTON TO CLEMSON? The Tigers are eyeing former BYU coach Gary Crowton to be the team's new offensive coordinator.

'HOWARD'S END': The State has an interesting look at the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of legendary Clemson coach Frank Howard. (A man I was lucky enough to meet when I was a child.) It happened 35 years ago today.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Miller may go pro; coaches react to firings

Clemson's all-star defensive back Justin Miller is considering turning pro next year. (More here.) Don't do it, Justin. Look at Derrick Hamilton, who turned pro early and is riding the pine with a very bad San Francisco 49ers team.

THE TUESDAY AFTERNOON MASSACRE: Former assistants Mike O'Cain and John Lovett are speaking out abour their dismissals. (See here and here.) The words "slap in the face" are used.

ALL-ACC TEAM: Linebacker Leroy Hill and receiver Airese Currie are on the first team. (Here's the list.) Also, offensive tackle Barry Richardson has been named a freshman All-American by The Sporting News.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

No bowl game? Let's steal some s**t, then!

Interesting news from Columbia.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Bowden finally speaks about staff shakeups

Clemson coach Tommy Bowden has broken his silence on recent changes to his coaching staff. Read all about it here, here and here.

There's also a look at who could be hired to replace the departed assistants, a Bart Wright column, and a story acknowledging that Bowden respects new Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier.

Well, that's good to know.

THE FINAL NOTES: The SID's office has released the final notes of the football season.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Hokies win ACC title by downing Miami

Virginia Tech defeated the Hurricanes 16-10 Saturday to win the league crown and a likely berth in the Sugar Bowl. Congratulations, Hokies.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Another assistant gets the ax

Fanblogs is reporting that Thielen Smith has been fired. Smith coached rovers and whip linebackers, and was a former defensive line coach.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Firings look bad for Clemson

So says Bart Wright, who wonders why Tommy Bowden hasn't issued any public statements about the dismissal of offensive coordinator Mike O'Cain and defensive coordinator John Lovett. Bowden, meanwhile, is eyeballing Florida assistant Larry Fedora to be the new offensive coordinator.

DANNY'S NOT GOING TO ECU: Surprise, surprise. It's little Skippy Holtz who will be the Pirates' next head coach. At least that's the story today...

DE FACTO ACC TITLE GAME: That's what Saturday's matchup between Miami and Virginia Tech will be.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

BREAKING NEWS AGAIN: Danny Ford to coach ECU?

What the hell?

It's not just a rumor: O'Cain and Lovett were fired

The State cites "multiple sources" for the dismissal of Clemson offensive coordinator Mike O'Cain and defensive coordinator John Lovett. Those sources say both men were "blindsided" by the decision. (More here.)

Meanwhile, the university is standing silent on the whole affair.

I'm not disappointed to see O'Cain go. He may have been the main reason we struggled on offense, and it's probably not a coincidence that quarterback Charlie Whitehurst had an off year with O'Cain as his mentor. But Lovett seemed to be doing a solid job on defense, despite many Tigernetters' protests about Clemson's inability to stop anybody on third down. (Yes, I've noticed that, too.)

We'll see what happens in the coming weeks. Hopefully we'll get some good people in there.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

BREAKING NEWS: O'Cain, Lovett get canned

Fanblogs is reporting that offensive coordinator Mike O'Cain and defensive coordinator John Lovett will not return next year. More on this tomorrow.

The suspensions is killin' me!

Sorry, couldn't resist. Well, Brawlgate has struck for a second time. The first was last week, when both Clemson and USC refused any bowl invitation that might have been offered. The next blow came Monday, when a total of 12 players from both schools were suspended for the first game of the 2005 season. (More here.) Yusef "Pre-emptive Strike" Kelly also would have been suspended, but he's used up all of his eligibility.

Ain't that a kick in the head?

Ron Morris of The State says a one-game suspension isn't nearly enough punishment. I don't necessarily agree with that. Yes, the fight was bad, but it wasn't like the Pistons-Pacers game, where several fans got beat-downs from players. And besides, the players already are being punished by not getting to go to a bowl. That last point is not making coach Tommy Bowden very happy, by the way.

THAT WAS THE SEASON THAT WAS: College Football News has a game-by-game rundown of Clemson's 2004 season. Check it out. And here's a final look at Clemson's NCAA statistical rankings. Justin Miller ranks No. 1 in the country in kickoff returns, and we were 12th in the nation in pass efficiency defense.

YES, QUESTIONS: Here are five questions for the Clemson football team for the 2005 season.

Monday, November 22, 2004

No bowl for you!

Despite being bowl-eligible, Clemson (and the University of South Carolina) declined to accept any bowl bids. (More here and here.) It's all because of the big fight they had on Saturday.

Ron Morris of The State had a column in Monday's paper calling for just such a move. And here's more from Fanblogs.

That's about it for me on this. I'm on the road and won't be able to post much this week.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Clemson 29, South Carolina 7: Satisfying finale

Wow. I've got to admit that I'm surprised we won so handily. I figured the Cocks would be fired up for what was probably Lou Holtz's final game as a coach, but the only thing they wanted to do was fight.

Now we just have to wait and see which bowl we go to.

On a technical note, thanks to frequent commenter Jason, I was able to watch the game on my computer via Yahoo. (It wasn't being broadcast in our area.) It looked pretty good! No, really! So thank you, Jason.

There is so much coverage of The Big Game, I'm just going to direct you here, here, here and here.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

It's Clemson vs. UNC -- for final ACC bowl slot

This weekend's games are obviously important for determining who goes where. All I can say is, go Duke!

BACK TO BIG THURSDAY: Should Clemson-USC be played on Thanksgiving every year? As someone who most likely will be watching it on TV most years, I sayyes. Others might disagree, though, and it'll be hard to get a TV breakthrough on the NFL's traditional big day.

SPURRIER TO THE COCKS? I don't want to get all pessimistic, but if this story is true, then I believe it is bad news for Clemson. Steve Spurrier will kick our butts in recruiting for at least a couple of years, and barring a major shakeup on our coaching staff (no, I'm not talking about canning Tommy; more like an assistant or two), he will likely kick our butts on the field for a few years, too.

That said, I do agree with a post I read on the Tigernet message board. The gist of it was that Spurrier's hiring could be the kick in the butt Clemson needs to get serious about being competitive again.

I hope that poster is right. God, I hope he's right.

FUTURE SCHEDULES: Here's a handy chart that shows 10 years' worth of conference games for the newly aligned ACC.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Beating the Chickens is a Clemson tradition

But Clemson's players are a little more cautious this year.

LOOKING BACK: To last year's 63-17 blowout.

LOOKING AHEAD: To this year's game here and here.

WHAT WENT WRONG AGAINST DUKE? The Greenville News' Bart Wright investigates.

FLASHBACK: The official Clemson site has posted video highlights from the 1988 Clemson-USC game, a 29-10 victory for the Tigers.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here. By the way, I really hope Justin Miller doesn't decide to turn pro early.

SOUTH CAROLINA'S FOOTBALL HISTORY: This is South Carolina Football. (There you go, Rob!)

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

O'Cain blames himself for Duke loss

And maybe we should, too. Clemson offensive coordinator Mike O'Cain says Duke's defense confused him. That's right. The same Duke defense that's giving up an average of 420.5 yards of offense per game and is 108th out of 117 in rushing defense in the NCAA. (Here's another notebook echoing the same theme. And, here are the voluminous pregame notes from the SID's office.)

THE GAME AGAINST THE COCKS: Apparently, it gets bigger the closer you get to kickoff.

Read that any way you want.

STOCKSTILL COMES HOME: USC assistant coach Rick Stockstill, who coached at Clemson for 14 years, makes his homecoming this Saturday.

BAD YEAR FOR WHITEHURST: You're kidding me! What, our quarterback's not been playing well?

That's the first I've heard of it.

GAMECOCK-TIGER JOKES: These are pretty bad.

FLASHBACK: The official Clemson site has video highlights from the 1980 Clemson-USC game, a 27-6 upset victory for the Tigers.

My father and I were at that game, and it was truly unforgettable. The team warmed up in white pants, but by the time they came down The Hill, they were dressed in all orange. To this day, I have never heard Death Valley as loud as it was at that moment, and I've been to at least a couple of games a year every year since 1976.

To top it off, we beat a South Carolina team that was ranked, bowl-bound and featured Heisman Trophy-winning running back George Rodgers. The victory set the stage for our undefeated national championship season in 1981.

Monday, November 15, 2004

It's Chicken Week: Time to wake up, Tigers

Clemson plays South Carolina on Saturday, and here's hoping that the big game provides some motivation after the horrifying loss to Duke this past week. (More here.)

BOWDEN SAYS 'MY BAD' ABOUT DUKE: I'll go along with that, coach.

BOTH TEAMS REELING: Both Clemson and South Carolina are coming off tough losses.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Duke 16, Clemson 13: A disaster of biblical proportions

We lost to Duke. In football.


You know, even if we beat the Gamecocks next week to become bowl-eligible, we should refuse any bowl invitation solely on the basis of this loss.


Read all about the mess here, here, here and here.

The State's Bob Spear wonders what happened.

And here are the stats.

I'm too disgusted to post any more.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

For Clemson, it's the defense, stupid

The Tigers' recent resurgence has been fueled by outstanding performances by the defense. (More here, including a helpful chart.)

SCHEDULE MODEL RELEASED: The ACC has released a model of the 2005 schedule for the newly expanded conference. Clemson is slated to play Boston College; Duke; Florida State; at Georgia Tech; at Maryland; Miami; at NC State; and at Wake Forest.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here. Also, here's a notebook on the ACC from The State.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Duke's quiet stadium can drain a team's energy

Clemson is hoping to avoid the kind of letdown that led to a closer-than-necessary victory the last time the Tigers played in Durham two years ago. (More here.) Honestly, that stadium is so empty, you get assigned your own personal drink vendor when they tear your ticket.

WHITEHURST READY: Despite all that, Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst is looking forward to getting back to Wallace Wade Stadium.

A SEASON SAVED: Here's a look at how Clemson recovered from a 1-4 start to be on the verge of bowl eligibility.

WESTZONE UPDATE: Clemson is accepting bids on the stadium-renovation project, and Bart Wright weighs in with his thoughts.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Glow from a memorable victory lingers

The Tigers are basking in it, but hopefully not getting complacent. (More here.) And here's a list of Clemson's victories over top 10 teams.

MIAMI STUNNED: The Canes might not have taken the ACC as seriously as they should have.

That's a shame.

NOON KICK FOR 'COCKS: The Clemson-South Carolina game will begin at noon on Nov. 20 and will be televised regionally by Jefferson-Pilot.

Yeah, but which Jefferson-Pilot? The ACC package or the SEC package? If it's the SEC package, then I'm screwed up here in Northern Virginia, because that means I'll have to watch North Carolina at Duke or some crap.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Monday, November 08, 2004

What would you like on your tombstone, Tigers

Try Clemson 24, Miami 17. But watch out for Duke, which could be a serious letdown game.

BOWL DESTINY IN TIGERS' HANDS: They've just got to win one game and they're in. Also, here's the stat of the week: If Clemson becomes bowl-eligible, it'll be the first time in ACC history that a team has started 1-4 and eventually reached a bowl game.

FOOTBALL CAPITAL: The Greenville News' Bart Wright discusses the long-term consequences of Clemson's win against Miami.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Clemson 24, Miami 17 (OT): Biggest road win ever?

It certainly seems like it should be, though the record books might disagree. But what a game. I'm really pleased by this, though I can't help but look back on that horrible night in September when we lost to Georgia Tech. I think if we had won that game, we probably would have won at least one of our next three contests. That means we'd be 7-2 instead of 5-4.

But hey, enough complaining. We beat Miami! In the Orange Bowl!

GAME STORIES: "Tigers stick it to Canes," says the Greenville News; "Tigers shock Canes," says The State; "Tigers topple Hurricanes," says the Augusta Chronicle.

THE STATS: Here is a complete statistical summary of the game.

OTHER STORIES: The Greenville News' Bart Wright says this was a night to remember. Ron Morris of The State calls this Clemson's "greatest test."

Here's more on that awesome sneak play.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Tigers get ready for Hurricanes

The players seem to like their odds against Miami's suddenly porous defense, but they're also mindful of the Canes' mystique.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here, here and here.

IT'S ELECTION DAY: You know what to do.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Despite loss, Miami remains dangerous

No kidding, Tommy. In fact, they might be even more dangerous. (More here.)

POLITICAL SEASON: I guess it was inevitable. The Clemson beat writers have come up with their own angles for stories during this closely contested election. Here's one story, and here's another.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Clemson 26, N.C. State 20: Hey, we're getting better!

Now that was a satisfying win. Combined with UNC's upset of No. 3 Miami (next week's opponent) and Maryland shocking Florida State, I have a lot more hope for the season now. I think we'll definitely get to a bowl game, and we could even end up in a decent one.

GAME STORIES: "Tigers send 'em Packing," says the Greenville News; "Last-gasp stand boosts bowl hopes," says The State; "Tigers' defense earning stripes," says the Augusta Chronicle.

THE STATS: Here's a complete statistical summary of the game.

OTHER STORIES: All hail the defense. Justin Miller can do it all. Kicker Jad Dean is automatic (he hasn't missed a kick all year). Bart Wright notes Clemson's improved play, and Bob Gillespie thinks the Tigers have finally shaken off that disastrous loss to Georgia Tech in September.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

N.C. State has a tough defense

This will be the second week in a row that the Tigers will be facing a highly ranked defensive unit.

STUDENT TROUBLES: Here's a story about the age-old campus conflict between athletes and non-athletes. When I was in school, we always cheered like hell for the players on the field and tried to not to get our asses kicked by them off the field. A lot of them were nice guys, but a lot of them were Class A jerks, too.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

LATE-BREAKING RED SOX UPDATE: I almost forgot. On Wednesday night, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. It's the team's first world title since 1918, and has effectively closed the books on a rather large cottage industry of writers, whiners and hangers-on who, for some perverse reason, enjoy being associated with these "beautiful losers" and their beautiful ballpark.

OK, in all seriousness, I'm glad the Sox won. It really is a great story. But the main reason for this update is to share a semi-Sox-related complaint I sent off to 7-Eleven, a trusted name in the convenience-store business. Here goes (my fiancee thinks this is best read in the voice of Ron White):

To: Whom it may concern

Re: Ridiculous denial of beer sale
I left my job in Tysons Corner (approximately 2 miles from the 7-Eleven in question) at about 11:45 and pulled into the store at 11:56 (that was according to the store's clock). I wanted to buy some beer so I could celebrate the Red Sox's historic victory in the World Series.
I was the only customer in the store at the time, and I stepped up to the counter to pay for the beer just as the clock rolled over to 11:58. However, the clerk informed me that I had to have the beer "off the premises" by midnight, and he refused to sell it to me.

I guess he thought he was quoting Virginia state law or something, but according to the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control's "Retail Licensee Guide," which can be viewed online at (note the section that begins on page 16, and especially the beer-sale-at-11:58 question on page 17), my transaction NEEDED TO BE COMPLETED by midnight. There is no language AT ALL about beer being "off the premises" by midnight. Unless this guy is unable to count change like a normal person (and I kind of doubt that, because he definitely had two eyes and two hands), I should have been out the door and in my car by 11:59. Easily.

Anyway, back to my story. After the clerk told me I had to have the beer "off the premises" by midnight, I showed him the $10 bill I was holding in my hand, noted that the clock read 11:58, and politely informed him that that would not be a problem. However, this genius had it in his head that it WOULD be a problem, refused to sell me the beer and yanked the six-pack off the counter. I asked if he was kidding. He said he wasn't. I wanted to make sure, so I once again asked if he was kidding. He again assured me he wasn't. (I'll give him a tiny bit of credit; he was polite and said he was sorry he was unable to sell me the beer.)

I left the store at 11:59, beerless, pissed off and with decidedly less goodwill toward 7-Eleven, Inc. It's not like he checked the register and saw that its internal clock would show a beer sale after midnight. (I've seen cash registers that won't allow alcohol to be sold at times that are illegal -- a little beeper goes off or something when you hit the beer/wine key at 12:01. Surely 7-Eleven, Inc., has such devices.) He just flat-out denied me a beer sale because he apparently didn't know the damn law.
Look, I'm a fairly easy-going guy. In most situations, I probably wouldn't have minded too much, but, Jesus, THE RED SOX HAD JUST WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!
The purpose of a convenience store is to be convenient, right? People pay $8.29 for a six-pack they can get for $5.89 at the grocery store because, oh, let's see: IT WOULD TAKE TOO LONG TO GET TO THE GROCERY STORE AND GO THROUGH THE CHECK-OUT LINE BEFORE MIDNIGHT!!
I'm not really looking for any restitution for this or anything. I just want to bring this troubling situation to your attention. Please let the people buy beer at 11:58 p.m. It's a win-win situation for everybody.

Thank you.

I haven't heard anything yet from 7-Eleven, but I'll let you know if they write back.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

It's another season on the brink for Clemson

This article looks at Tommy Bowden's trend of scrambling to qualify for a bowl game. I don't know about you, but that's not a very promising trend.

OFFENSIVE CURE NEEDED: Hopefully, Clemson will find one. (More here.)

2005 SCHEDULE RELEASED: Clemson will play Miami, Florida State and Boston College at home next season, along with Georgia Tech. We'll also host Texas A&M and Temple. That's right, Diva: Temple! (Maybe that'll give you a reason to bring some Philly-area friends to Tigertown.)

A SUBTLE PATTERN EMERGES: And for Clemson's season, that bodes well, if you believe these kinds of things.

COACHING AND THE BIG BUCKS: A perspective from The State.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Defense could push Tigers to postseason

If they keep playing well, that is. And here's a story about Reggie Herring, Clemson's former defensive coordinator who now does the same job at N.C. State, the Tigers' opponent this week.
But wait! There's more! Here's a comparison of Clemson's defensive record under Herring and under current defensive czar John Lovett.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here, here and here.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Clemson 10, Maryland 7: A snoozer until the end, but a win's a win

Dad and I had a good time tailgating, and we had some pretty good seats, but this was a really boring game. Don't get me wrong; the defense was good again, and we definitely needed a win, but I'd traveled a long way and hoped to see something more exciting. If you haven't read about the game, read about it here.

Anyway, sorry for the lack of posts since Friday. I've been traveling again.

CONSERVATIVE PLAY AHEAD? Clemson's offensive woes may force the Tigers to play more conservatively.

Yeah, so I guess we can expect to see more of those crappy draw plays that fool nobody.

Boise, here we come.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Special teams have been special for Clemson this year

They're responsible for a lot of our scoring, which I think says a lot about how our team has done this season. (More here.)

STATHAM TO START: Maryland quarterback Joel Statham will "definitely" start Saturday against Clemson.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Whitehurst frustrated by his poor start

The Heisman Trophy is gone, but there's still a lot of football left to play, and quarterback Charlie Whitehurst can still turn it around.

MARYLAND GAME LOOMS LARGE: The Tigers' turnaround can begin in earnest this week. (More here.)

COLLINS, STRAIGHT UP, IS GOOD: Clemson receiver Michael Collins stepped in last week and played well.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Hey, we've got a real shot in the next game!

Yes, Maryland looks quite beatable. However, Clemson coach Tommy Bowden hasn't done too well against Maryland coach Ralph "We must protect this pizza" Friedgen. (More here.)

WE'RE IN THE ATLANTIC: The ACC has unveiled its division name and assignments for the expanded league. (More here.) It looks like Fanblogs' Kevin Donahue was right; the divisions will be called the Atlantic and the Coastal. Here's how the divisions break down:

Atlantic: Clemson, Maryland, N.C. State, Wake Forest, Boston College, Florida State.

Coastal: Virginia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Duke, Virginia Tech, Miami.

There's a new logo, too. It looks a lot like the old one.

PREGAME NOTES: Here are the voluminous pregame notes from the SID's office for the Maryland game.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Defensive hustle impresses Bowden (and the fans, too)

Clemson's excellent defensive performance in Saturday's 35-6 victory over Utah State is the talk of the moment (more here).

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Clemson 35, Utah State 6: Thank god, we finally won!!

Whew. Well, that's out of the way. Now we can win the rest of our games and go to the Tire Bowl.

Next week, we play Maryland, a team that looks very beatable. So, let's go beat them.

GAME STORIES: "Tigers rip Utah State," says The Greenville News; "Great finish ends slide," says The State; "Clemson cruises to home victory," says the Augusta Chronicle; "Clemson pours it on during big 2nd half," says the Salt Lake Tribune.

THE STATS: Here's a complete statistical summary of the game.

OTHER STORIES: Well, Bart Wright seems a little less grumpy. We had a lot of sacks on Saturday. The game was therapeutic, too.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Clemson vs. Utah State: We'd better win this one

Sorry for the lack of posts this week, and thank you to my loyal readers who continue to stop by even though I'm a slacker. My slackitude has been caused by a confluence of a) a whacked-out work schedule, b) a wrecked car I had to replace (bought a silver 2004 Toyota Corolla on Friday, and it's one sweet ride) and c) the fact that my Tigers kind of suck. Hopefully that suckitude will be abated somewhat today against the Aggies, who don't sound like they're very good.

Gametime is 1 p.m. It's not on television.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Big plays just aren't happening for the Tigers

Here's a good story on our offensive woes this season, with the biggest woe being the extreme lack of big-gaining plays.

WHERE ARE THE ANSWERS: Clemson's Tommy Bowden keeps looking for them, even though he says he's not going to do anything drastic. The Greenville News' Bart Wright examines Bowden's shifting rationales for the team's crappy start here.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Tigers desperately need a win this week

Clemson's confidence is at a low point, but a win over Utah State would help a great deal.

MIDSEASON REPORT: The State evaluates Clemson (and USC) halfway through the season, and it ain't pretty. Download the PDF here. And Jeff Quinton of Fanblogs examines the rest of Clemson's schedule here.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Virginia 30, Clemson 10: An all-around painful trip

Here's how my day went Thursday: I wrecked my car on the way down to Charlottesville (it was still driveable, but I did about $2000 of damage to it) then watched Virginia dominate Clemson 30-10.

There were some good parts of the trip, though. I got to see my dad, which was great, and we ate a really good dinner at this place called the Aberdeen Barn. It's billed as "Virginia's finest steak house," and I believe it.

Also, it was an absolutely beautiful evening for football.

You guys know all the details by now. I'm just going to link to a couple of columns here and here.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Clemson vs. Virginia: We need this one really badly

I guess that goes without saying. I'll be there tonight rooting on the Tigers.

Gametime is 7:30 p.m. It's on ESPN.

GAME PREVIEWS: I'm really pushed for time this morning, so just go here and here.

You can also read USA Today's preview, though if your staying in a hotel, you probably have already.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Meet Tommy 'What, Me Worry' Bowden

Clemson's coach once again says he's not concerned by the Tigers' horrible 1-3 start. Insert your own snarky comment.

VIRGINIA A FRESH START? That's how Clemson views it. I'll be there Thursday night, and I certainly hope they're right.

ANOTHER ELUSIVE QUARTERBACK: That's what Clemson will face Thursday in Virginia's Marques Hagans. And we've done so well against this type of signal-caller this season, too.

WHITEHURST'S STRUGGLES: Yet another article on Clemson's thus-far-disappointing quarterback. This one is from the Washington Post.

MORE ON THE GAME: Just read this.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here, here and here.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Bowden's 'philosophy' will remain intact, despite setbacks

Clemson coach Tommy Bowden says he's not changing a thing about how he approaches football. Interesting read.

WE SUCK ON THURSDAYS, PART II: Here's an article from The State on our feebleness under the Thursday spotlight.

ONE'S UP, ONE'S DOWN: Here's a column from the Charlottesville paper about how Clemson and Virginia's seasons have gone so far.

TDP SPEAKS: Athletic director Terry Don Phillips shares his thoughts on the state of the athletic department. This will be a weekly feature.

THE NOTEBOOK: Right here.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Coleman may be just the thing to get our motor runnin'

Clemson running back Duane Coleman will be full strength for the Virginia game after nursing a broken foot for several weeks.

FIFTH YEAR COMING? A fifth year of eligibility for football players is being discussed by the NCAA.

WE SUCK ON THURSDAYS Fanblogs' Jeff Quinton reveals the awful truth.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

It's been a painful fall in Tigertown

The State examines where Clemson has fallen down en route to an uninspiring 1-3 start and a rapid departure from the Top 25. And here's a story about our line woes.

THE CAVALIERS ARE NEXT: Here's a quick look-ahead to Virginia, our opponent on Thursday night.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Tigers push it hard in practice this week

Clemson went to full-contact drills and scrimmages twice this week. (More here.) The Tigers are off until Thursday, when they travel to play Virginia.

'I'M PLAYING FOR ME AND DAVID': The State has a nice story on linebacker Nick Watkins, who will be starting just a week after his brother died.

CATCHING ON: Clemson is working on making sure its receivers hold on to the ball.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Richardson makes a big step

Clemson freshman offensive lineman Barry Richardson will become the first freshman lineman to start for the Tigers in 18 years when we travel to Virginia on Oct. 7.

THEY HELPED MILLER RUN: The State has a nice story on the players on the return team who sprung the blocks that let Justin Miller set an NCAA record for returns in the Florida State game.

ACC NOTES: Check 'em out. And, if you're registered at The Washington Post, here's another notebook.

THE NOTEBOOK: Right here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Lineup changes coming to Clemson

Coach Tommy Bowden is aiming to shake up the roster after a disastrous 1-3 start. (More here.)

TURNOVER TROUBLES: Here's a story on perhaps the biggest bugaboo haunting the Tigers: turnovers. We're last in Division I in turnover margin.

PANIC? WHO? ME? Coach Bowden says he's not worried about his team's 1-3 start, maybe because he's signed a 10-year contract. (More on long-term job security here.)

THE NOTEBOOK: Right here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

We're close to becoming very good? Huh?

Clemson offensive coordinator Mike O'Cain says it's true.

I'll have what he's having, please.

GOOD NEWS FOR A CHANGE: Check out the Greenville News' awesome, multi-story package on gameday at Clemson. Well worth the time.

MILLER WINS ACC AWARD: For the second time this season, Justin Miller has been named an ACC player of the week.

GOALPOSTS: Here's an update on the status of Clemson's fancy new goalposts. Yee-haw.

OBED ARIRI SIGHTING: Here's a good story I found on Obed Ariri, Clemson's great All-American placekicker from the late 1970s.

RICHARDSON TO START: Freshman offensive lineman Barry Richardson will start against Virginia over Jesse Pickens.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Bye week couldn't come at a better time for Clemson

Following Saturday's tough 41-22 loss to Florida State, Clemson won't play a game until an Oct. 7 meeting in Charlottesville with Virginia. My father and I will be at that one, but I'm not really looking forward to it anymore.

And apologies for the lack of posts over the weekend. I was traveling again, though I did get to see all of Saturday's game. For a nice recap, check out Jeff Quinton's analysis at Fanblogs. A few thoughts:

Our offensive line is pitiful, and I believe that's the main reason quarterback Charlie Whitehurst was responsible for five turnovers. Besides that, Whitehurst is simply not playing anywhere near to his abilities.

Justin Miller was amazing. Setting an NCAA record for kick-return yards in a game has gotten him nominated for various player-of-the-week awards (including this one) and he may very well win a few.

I felt the defense put up a pretty good fight, but when they're forced to stay on the field most of the game, they're going to get worn down.

As most Clemson fans know by now, we are dead last in Division I in turnover margin. If I remember correctly, when we won the national title in 1981, we led the nation in that category. (Here's the NCAA's official rankings for Clemson.)

I don't know who to blame for the mess our season has become. A big part of me wants to blame Tommy Bowden; another part of me says that the devastating last-second loss to Georgia Tech two weeks ago is still weighing heavily on the players' (and coaches') minds. (It's certainly still weighing on my mind.) If the latter is the case, then I suppose we can still blame Bowden for not getting the players properly motivated. But we also have to remember that these are just kids. Most of them aren't even old enough to drink yet.

Plus, there's the fact that we just don't have the talent at key positions. I fear the early departure of receiver Derrick Hamilton and defensive lineman Donnell Washington left bigger holes than most of us realized.

Anyway, those are just my opinions. I hope we can bounce back and have a winning season, but right now, it's not looking too good.

Friday, September 24, 2004

FSU QB Chris Rix has a mixed legacy

He's coach Bobby Bowden's only four-year starter at quarterback, but he has a less-than-stellar record.

CLEMSON'S STRUGGLES: Here's a longish story from USA Today.

QUARTERBACK STRUGGLES: This story looks at the sluggish start for both FSU's Chris Rix and Clemson's Charlie Whitehurst.

FAMILY AFFAIR: It's a column by ESPN's Bill Curry on the Bowden Bowl and a few other things.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

TOP TALENT: Looks like we've gotten a commitment from Kavell Connor, a top prep running back in Virginia.

FLASHBACK: Here's a look back at Clemson's 34-23 victory against FSU in Tallahassee.

MIAMI WINS: The 'Canes beat a pesky Houston team, 38-13.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Clemson defense can't seem to stop the run

Obviously, that's not good, especially considering that we had seven starters back from last year's squad.

BOWDEN BOWL -- BIG DEAL? The luster is fading from this once-marquee matchup, especially for the Bowden family. (More here.)

GAME PREDICTION: College Football News says 31-16 Florida State.

TOUGH DEFENSE: That's what Clemson will be facing at Florida State.

HARD TIMES IN TIGERTOWN: More on Clemson's struggles this season.

TOUGH ROAD TRIP: A writer in Charlottesville notices we've got a difficult stretch of road games. Imagine that.

BOWDEN JOINS BROADCAST: Brother Terry will be in the booth for Saturday's Clemson-FSU game.

ACC A FOOTBALL FLOP? It's too early to say that, says this columnist.

'SPORTS CENTER' IN CLEMSON? No, not the ESPN show. It's a proposed sports-themed condo development.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Clemson's defense looking to rebound, find 'swagger'

The defensive unit has struggled this season, and hopes it can play "Clemson football" again beginning this Saturday at Florida State.

THE TROUBLE WITH CHARLIE: Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst has been struggling this year. Here's why.

QUESTIONS: The Greenville News' Bart Wright has a few.

ALL IS LOST: That's the opinion of Ron Morris of The State. He doesn't expect Clemson to bounce back this year.

FAMILIAR PLACE: Clemson's tough start this year is not unlike years past under Bowden.

BOWDEN BOWL PREVIEW: Here's one from the AP, and here are the voluminous pregame notes from the SID's office. And for those seeking happier memories, here are some video highlights from last season's Bowden Bowl, a 26-10 Clemson victory.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

It's serious gut-check time in Tigertown

Clemson travels to Florida State this Saturday, and the coverage reflects that here and here.

TROUBLE ON THE BUS: Did an un-air-conditioned bus ride over to Texas A&M's Kyle Field last Saturday sap Clemson's strength? Read about it here and here.

BOWDEN BOWL: It still has appeal, according to the Miami Herald. (More here and here.)

Monday, September 20, 2004

At Clemson, jobs are now on the line

Clemson coach Tommy Bowden says he's going to bench some players who don't start performing, especially this week as the Tigers prepare to play at Florida State.

GOOD COLUMNS: In my post-defeat funk Sunday, I forgot to link to a couple of good columns from Saturday's debacle. Here's one, and here's the other.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Texas A&M 27, Clemson 6: We officially suck now

What an incredibly disappointing display Saturday night. I've been on the road all day, and I've got to go to work in a few minutes, but I just want to issue an apology to that columnist from Richmond whom I compared to Karl "Sling Blade" Childers the other day because he dubbed Clemson the ACC team most like to "deflate" this year.

Sir, you are a genius. And a handsome man, to boot.

I really don't have much time to post as much as I normally would, so here goes:

THE STATS: Here's a complete statistical summary of the game.

MORE COVERAGE: Just go to the usual places here, here, here, here, here and here. I'm too disgusted to post anymore today.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Tigers tangle with Aggies today

I'm kind of rushed today and won't be able to post a full roundup of previews, but I'll do what I can.

Gametime is 7 p.m. It will be televised nationally on TBS. GO TIGERS!!!!

GAME PREVIEWS: Here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here . Also, check out Fanblogs' coverage here.

AROUND THE ACC: There's a full slate of games today.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Tigers gear up for trip to Texas A&M

Utah's 41-20 victory over the Aggies on Sept. 2 is teaching Clemson a lot about Texas A&M's strengths and weaknesses.

IT'S GETTING BETTER: Clemson's players are starting to recover from last week's loss to Georgia Tech.

TEXAS A&M TRADITIONS: The Greenville News examines them here. So does The State, here.

JUST CHILLIN': Clemson will be wearing special "air-conditioned" jerseys for Saturday's game in College Station, where the temperature is expected to be in the 90s.

CAN BOWDEN STAND THE HEAT? Here's a story from the Houston Chronicle that imagines some kind of huge backlash building against Clemson coach Tommy Bowden because he's not 2-0 right now. Ridiculous. Now, if we go 0-3 on the road trip that begins Saturday at Texas A&M, then I think we'll have some complaining.

RESERVES ROCK: Here's another story on running backs Kyle Browning and Reggie Merriweather.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here, here and here.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Ivan worries Texas-bound Clemson fans

Hurricane Ivan is altering the travel plans for some Clemson fans who were hoping to attend Saturday's game against Texas A&M in College Station.

ON THE LINE: Clemson's defensive line is showing some ability in the early going.

CU-TAMU PREDICTION: College Football News says Aggies 27, Tigers 25.

AROUND THE ACC: Here's a columnist from the Richmond Times Dispatch who says that Clemson is the ACC team most likely "to deflate" this season. Hey, it's just an opinion.

I say the writer is most likely to win a Karl "Sling Blade" Childers look-alike contest.

Again, just an opinion.

MORE LATER ...: I've got another weird day at work tomorrow (today). I'll try to post some more stuff later.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Positivitiy is the word of the week for Clemson

The coaches and players are trying to maintain an upbeat attitude after last week's stunning loss to Georgia Tech. (More here and here.) The Greenville News' Bart Wright echoes a lot of the same ideas here.

BACKUPS CARRY THE LOAD: Running backs Reggie Merriweather and Kyle Browning are profiled here.

JUMP BALL: The State has an article on Clemson's work to defend against -- and utilize -- the kind of pass play Georgia Tech used for a couple of its touchdowns last week.

IS WHITEHURST OK? The Greenville News looks at the solid but unspectacular performance so far this year of quarterback Charlie Whitehurst.

SLOWING DOWN CLEMSON: According to Fanblogs, Texas A&M will try to disrupt Clemson's no-huddle offense by working the rule book.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here, here and here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

For long snapper Geoff Rigsby, a heavy burden to bear

There are a lot of stories out today about Clemson's veteran long snapper Geoff Rigsby, who's poor snap late in the Georgia Tech game set up the Yellow Jackets for their game-winning touchdown. Read them here, here and here.

Well, Geoff, mistakes happen. The best thing for our fans to do is support Geoff and the team as much as possible, and the best thing for Geoff to do is to try to move on.

Former Clemson player Paul Snyder did something especially classy. Snyder, whose bad snap in the 1959 Sugar Bowl led to LSU's only touchdown in a 7-0 win, called Rigsby personally on Sunday to console him. That's a wonderful thing to do, Paul. You are a true Tiger.

BIZARRE STAT: Speaking of the Georgia Tech game, a poster on the Tigernet message boards cited an interesting statistic:

Don't know if this has been brought up...

but we are 38-0-1 all-time, when we have at least 200 yds. rushing and 200 yds. passing! We ended up with 199 rushing on Saturday. All we needed was that 1 yard and we would be 2-0 and 39-0-1!!!!

Sure enough, we did finish with 199 yards rushing. And that one measley yard, late in the game, would have given us a first down and allowed us to run out the clock.

Instead, we know what happened next.


ACCENTUATING THE POSITIVE: It's difficult, but that's what Clemson coach Tommy Bowden is trying to do.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

FSU GAME TIME, HILL HONORED: Clemson's game at Florida State on Sept. 25 will be televised by ABC and kicks off at 3:30 p.m. Also, linebacker Leroy Hill was named the ACC defensive lineman of the week.

PREGAME NOTES: Here are some pregame notes for this week's contest at Texas A&M. (More on that game here.)

Monday, September 13, 2004

And now, let the healing begin ...

That's what Clemson is trying to do in the wake of Saturday's unbelievable 28-24 loss to Georgia Tech. Stories related to that are here, here and here. The Greenville News' Bart Wright echoes similar themes.

BEST MEN WANTED: Clemson coach Tommy Bowden says he wants the best players on the field, regardless of their experience level.

STILL HOLDING: Clemson fell five spots in the ESPN/USA TODAY coaches poll to 25th. We're no longer ranked in the AP poll.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Georgia Tech 28, Clemson 24: This really hurts

I'm going to try to post as much as I can without puking. It's difficult to wrap my head around the fact that we lost last night. I just hope our guys can bounce back. We've got trips to Texas A&M, Florida State and Virginia next.

GAME STORIES: "Tech burns Tigers," says The State; "Tech stuns Tigers," says the Greenville News; "Jackets nab crazy win over Tigers," says the Augusta Chronicle; "Un-BEE-lievable!" says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

THE STATS: Here's a complete statistical summary of the game.

OTHER STORIES: The emotional toll of the loss is explored here. Bob Spear of The State writes about the game's offensive fireworks. The State also has the quarter-by-quarter key moments, the keys to victory, the injury report and that high five thingee.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here, here and here.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Stunning, stunning, stunning ...

Georgia Tech 28, Clemson 24.

Words fail me. I don't think I've ever seen anything like that. How in the HELL did we lose that game?

That's the kind of loss that has the potential to haunt us for the rest of the season, if not the rest of our lives.

I'll post the full horror from the media tomorrow. I mean, later today.

Tigers set to tangle with Yellowjackets tonight

And I'm going to have to order it on pay-per-view here in the D.C. area. (We've got Penn State/Boston College.) Unbelievable. Here I am, 20 miles from ACC school Maryland, 95 miles fro ACC school Virginia, AND up to my neck in Virginia Tech fans (a new ACC school), and I've got to watch Penn State and Boston College. I know, BC joins the ACC next year, blah blah blah. But I'm not happy.

Kickoff is at 8 p.m. The game is on ABC -- hopefully where you live, anyway. GO TIGERS!

GAME PREVIEWS: The Greenville News compares Clemson and Georgia Tech to a couple of sumo wrestlers. (I don't get it, either.) There's also a game capsule. The Anderson Independent-Mail says Clemson's passing game is a big threat to Georgia Tech. (The paper also predicts a 37-21 victory for the Tigers.)

The State has its usual pregame package: A look at how they'll try to stop Tech quarterback Reggie Ball, the keys to victory, the advantages, the injury report and the starting lineups.

The Macon Telegraph says Georgia Tech will be looking to shut down Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. And for more on Georgia Tech, check out the Georgia Tech Sports Blog.

OTHER STORIES: The State focuses on the third anniversary of 9/11 here and here.

MIAMI HOLDS ON: The 'Canes defeated Florida State 16-10 in overtime Friday night.

AROUND THE ACC: In other games, North Carolina travels to Virginia, Duke plays at Connecticut, Maryland hosts Temple, Western Michigan travels to Virginia Tech and Wake Forest plays at East Carolina.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Bowden back to work after a sad day

An emotional Clemson coach Tommy Bowden rejoined his team Thursday after delivering a eulogy at a funeral for his nephew and former brother-in-law, who were killed in a traffic accident in Florida on Sunday. (More on Bowden and priorities heading into Saturday's Georgia Tech game here.)

MORE ON STUCKEY: The Greenville News has an article on dazzling receiver Chansi Stuckey.

THE GOALPOSTS: Here is an article on those fancy collapsible goalposts Clemson installed this year.

BIG DAY IN S.C.: The Greenville News' Bart Wright has a column about a big day for college football in South Carolina.

HILL PROFILED: Here's a story on dominating Clemson linebacker Leroy Hill.

THE NOTEBOOK: Here you go.

LOOKING BACK: Here's a story about the 1977 Clemson-Georgia Tech game, a 31-14 win for the Tigers in Atlanta.


TONIGHT'S BIG GAME: It's Miami versus Florida State. (Clemson plays both of them this year on the road.) Read all about it here.

AND FINALLY: The good guys over at the Georgia Tech Sports Blog (no permalinks; scroll down) have posted some GT/Clemson haikus that surfaced on a Yellowjackets message board. They're pretty funny:

John Deere, famous brand
All those tractors 'round Clemson
Budweiser is good!

September distills
Orange tears and purple blood
Exit stadium

Singing Ramblin' Wreck,
Top deck Techies gasp for air.
Damn these seats are high!

Going to the game
A Tiger fans asks, "Would you... some fries with that?"

"i puked this morning
the colors in it looked much
better than clemsons.

'Necks leaving the field
Orange and purple stalkers
Cows running in fear

No, no, I was just
Helping that sheep over the
fence. Got some chew man?

And then a Clemson fan showed up:

Thirty nine to three
That was the score in your house
Please shut your pie hole

As Tech blogger Scott wrote: "That had me cracking up. I mean THAT is what I call smack-talk. I love it."

Me too, Scott. Me too.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Technical difficulties. Trying to catch up...

Sorry about no posts on Wednesday. #$%&*@+ Blogger decided to crap out on me. I'll try to catch up. I'll also try to update this later today -- much later today. Gotta go to work early today.

LOOKING AHEAD: There's a nice package of stories about the upcoming game against Georgia Tech and college football in general. Here's one about Clemson coach Tommy Bowden using some of Tech coach Chan Gailey's comments as "bulletin-board material." (More here and here.) Here's a notebook, and here's the ACC week in review. Additionally, here are some ACC stats.

BOWDEN IN MOURNING: There are several stories about how coach Bowden is dealing with the loss of two close relatives, the first such loss he has encountered in his family. Read here and here.

BALL, TECH ROLLING TOWARD CLEMSON: Here's a story about Georgia Tech quarterback Reggie Ball. Apparently, he's good. And here's more about the Jackets and how they learned a powerful lesson from the 39-3 beatdown we applied to them in Atlanta last year. These guys certainly haven't forgotten. Stop by and leave a comment. I'm sure they'd love to hear from some Clemson fans.

GOOD RECEPTION: Here's a story about how Clemson's relatively inexperienced receiving corps has played well so far this season.

WESTZONE UPDATE: Stadium naming rights for the WestZone Project at Death Valley apparently are on the table. Hmmm. The Hooters/Naturally Fresh WestZone?

STILL MORE ON WHITEHURST: Here's one from The State, and here's a column by the Greenville News' Bart Wright.

MILLER HONORED: Defensive back Justin Miller could be headed for a great season. He's already garnered his first honor -- ACC defensive back of the week.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here. And here's an older one.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004


What the hell is wrong with Blogger today?

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Bowden family suffers tragic loss

A Florida car accident related to Hurricane Frances tragically took the life of coach Tommy Bowden's nephew and ex-brother-in-law. John Madden, 45, and his son, Bowden Madden, 15, died Sunday night near Quincy, Fla. My condolences go out to Coach Bowden and his family. You can share your condolences at Tigernet; they've put up an online condolence card.

RUNNING GAME NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: A couple of stories today deal with Clemson's anemic rushing performance in Saturday's victory against Wake Forest.

FREE FALLING: Clemson fell five places in the AP poll this week, but that doesn't seem to be bothering the players.

STUCKEY'S BIG DAY: Here's a story on the huge game Clemson's Chansi Stuckey had Saturday against Wake Forest.

GEORGIA TECH LOOK-AHEAD: Here's some information on the team from the Anderson Independent-Mail, and here are the voluminous pregame notes from the SID's office.

POSTGAME ANALYSIS: Here's a look back at the Wake Forest game by Jeff Quinton of FanBlogs.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Sweet relief: Bowden's just happy to be 1-0

Clemson coach Tommy Bowden could rest easy on Saturday and Sunday after the Tigers' thrilling 37-30 overtime victory against Wake Forest. Despite the win, Clemson dropped five places in the AP poll, to 20th, the biggest slip of any team in the rankings. Bowden also saw more positives than negatives in the win, as did Greenville News columnist Bart Wright.

NEW FACES: The Augusta Chronicle looks at the new players who made positive contributions for Clemson on Saturday.

McDUFFIE BACK: Defensive lineman Chris McDuffie has been reinstated for this week's game against Georgia Tech.