Saturday, January 31, 2004

Tigers topple Tar Heels in basketball

I don't blog about basketball here, but I'd just like to note Clemson's 81-72 victory against the 12th-ranked Tar Heels on Saturday.

I hate the Heels.

And, in other sports news...

GO PANTHERS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 30, 2004

Where I've been, and where I haven't

There's not much Clemson football news out there today, so here's a neat Web site where you can track the states you've visited. Mine are shown in red.

create your own visited states map

I really need to get out more...

THE FRIDAY FIVE: OK, here goes:

You have just won one million dollars:

1. Who do you call first?
My fiancee.

2. What is the first thing you buy for yourself?
A nice house.

3. What is the first thing you buy for someone else?
A car.

4. Do you give any away? If yes, to whom?
Yes, to my family members.

5. Do you invest any? If so, how?
I would invest some of it in mostly safe, steadily growing mutual or money-market funds.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

West End Zone project may get boost from State House

The South Carolina General Assembly is considering a bill that would allow Clemson to raise more money through bonds to complete the West End Zone project.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Recruiting: Tigers aim to hold on to what they've got

The Anderson Independent-Mail has a story on how recruiting has gone so far this season.

And in other recruiting news, Clemson received a commitment from receiver Aaron Kelly of Marietta, Ga.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Two more players commit

Clemson received commitments from defensive end/tight end Xavier Littleberry of Columbus, Ohio( via Camden Military Academy) and tight end Durrell Barry. Welcome!

PRESEASON RANKINGS: Heading into the 2004 football season, Clemson is 12th in the country and third in the ACC according to College Football News.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

An interview with Clemson's recruiting coordinator

The State has an interview with David Blackwell, an assistant football coach for the Tigers who also runs recruiting. Check it out.

NOT COMING BACK: The State is reporting that players Ronny Delusme and Brian Carr will not return for their final season.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

More on 2004 football schedule; recruiting update

The Anderson Independent-Mail has an update on Clemson's future football schedules.

And Tigernet reports that Clemson will host six potential recruits this weekend. The site also has a breakdown of scholarships available at key positions.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Winter workouts move at a faster pace

Clemson's four-game winning streak to close out the season has inspired a new attitude in the weight room.

GADDIS TO PLAY BASEBALL: Redshirt freshman quarterback C.J. Gaddis will play baseball this spring. (More here.)

TEMPLE ADDED TO SCHEDULE: Clemson will play Temple at Death Valley in 2005 and 2007, and will travel to Philadelphia to meet the Owls in 2006. Tiger fans may remember Temple as the coaching black hole that sucked in former Clemson defensive coordinator Ron Dickerson.

THE FRIDAY FIVE: OK, here goes:

At this moment, what is your favorite...

Stacy's Mom by Fountains of Wayne. I really like a lot of their other songs, too, such as Red Dragon Tattoo, Troubled Times, Go, Hippie and Amity Gardens.

Really digging Middle Eastern food right now. Never really had it before I moved to Northern Virginia.

3. show?
Curb your Enthusiasm. And, of course, Seinfeld. I never got to watch Seinfeld during its run on NBC because I've always worked at night, so I've been catching up in the reruns.

4. ...scent?
Huh? Well, I guess it's Crave by Calvin Klein. (My fiancee got it for me. If she hadn't, I'd be using Old Spice or something from JC Penney.)

5. ...quote?
It's the Frank Howard quote at the top of this page: "To hell with the best team winning. I want us to win."

Thursday, January 22, 2004

More recruiting; new Clemson Web site

Defensive end Anthony Davis of Columbia, S.C., has flip-flopped, choosing Clemson over Wake Forest after originally picking the Tigers over the Deacons. Oh well.

On the other hand, it looks like we got a commitment from Elsmore Gabriel, a defensive lineman from Brooklyn, N.Y.

We don't seem to get many players from the New York area. The last one I remember that made an impact was a good one, though -- quarterback Nealon Greene from Yonkers, N.Y. He set many records at Clemson, and has enjoyed a solid career in the Canadian Football League.

NEW CLEMSON SITE: Check out Clemson Tiger Sports News. It's just starting out, but it shows some promise.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

More recruiting updates

Defensive end Jacquez McKissic of Opelika, Ala., is still leaning toward the Tigers, and defensive tackle Rashaad Jackson visited Clemson this past weekend but hasn't committed yet.

EXPANSION BOOSTS RECRUITING: The Palm Beach Post has a nice article on how the addition of Miami and Virginia Tech could help propel top football talent into the ACC.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

It's official: Merling commits to Clemson

Phillip Merling, a tight end/defensive end from Cordova, Tenn., didn't even visit campus before deciding he wanted to come to Tigertown.

REESE UPDATE: Quarterback Tribble Reese remains a firm Clemson commitment despite a positive visit to Ole Miss.

HAMLIN LEANING: Defensive back Michael Hamlin of Lamar, S.C., favors Clemson.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Updates on recruiting, and how 'bout them Panthers?

Tigernet has several recruiting updates here, here and here.

But I want to say a few things about the Panthers, who advanced to the Super Bowl with a 14-3 victory against Philadelphia Sunday night.

First of all, I realize I don't blog about the Panthers. This site is about Clemson football, my No. 1 sports passion. But I grew up in Charlotte, I'm a big Panthers fan and I've attended several games through the years -- though until I went to see Carolina play Dallas in November, I hadn't seen the team play in person since 1999.

A couple of those games were franchise landmarks.

I was there at Death Valley in 1995 for Carolina's first-ever home game, a loss to St. Louis. (I've still got the commemorative ticket and program.) I was also at Ericsson Stadium a year later for the Panthers' first home game in their permanent home, and I went to a couple of other games during a magical season that saw Carolina advance to the NFC championship game.

Because they are my hometown team, they've supplanted Pittsburgh as my favorite NFL squad.

And now, they're in the Super Bowl. THE SUPER BOWL!!!! If you had told me when I was a senior in high school in 1984 that within 20 years Charlotte would gain (and lose) an NBA franchise and also get an NFL team, I would have thought you were crazy. But it's happened, and now Charlotte plays on the biggest field imaginable, with literally the whole world watching.

The media in Charlotte have touted many landmark moments in the city's remarkable growth over the past 20 years, but none comes close to equalling this.

I'm proud and excited for the coaches and players, naturally, but more so for the city that is still my home in so many ways. I'll be watching in two weeks.


OK, that's enough cheesy civic boosterism for today.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Henry ready for Hula Bowl appearance

Clemson offensive tackle William Henry will play in tonight's Hula Bowl, which will air on ESPN2 at 8 p.m.

Additionally, Henry and teammate Khaleed Vaughn will take part in The Villages Gridiron Classic on Jan. 31 in Orlando, Fla.

TIGER IN THE PROS: Former Clemson player Brian Dawkins is the emotional leader for the Philadelphia Eagles. They'll face the Panthers Sunday in the NFC championship game

Go Panthers!

Friday, January 16, 2004

Tigers get a couple more commitments

Defensive end Anthony Davis of Columbia, S.C., switched his commitment from Wake Forest to Clemson, and tight end/defensive end Phillip Merling of Cordova, Tenn., committed without making an official visit.

Meanwhile, coach Tommy Bowden is hitting the recruiting trail. (More here.)

THE FRIDAY FIVE: OK, here goes.

1. What does it say in the signature line of your emails?

2. Did you have a senior quote in your high school yearbook? What was it? If you haven't graduated yet, what would you like your quote to be?
Didn't have quotes in my yearbook.

3. If you had vanity plates on your car, what would they read? If you already have them, what do they say?
Poopie. Just because it's a funny word.

4. Have you received any gifts with messages engraved upon them? What did the inscription say?
Just my initials.

5. What would you like your epitaph to be?
"He had a wonderful life."

Thursday, January 15, 2004

It's official: McIntosh will be a Tiger

On Wednesday, top prep receiver Mike McIntosh confirmed his commitment to play for Clemson this season. He's one of the top 15 receivers in the country. (More here and here.)

�It�s a great situation for me to come in and play as a true freshman,� said McIntosh. "Derrick Hamilton leaving played a big role in my decision. I knew Tony Elliott was leaving and also Kevin Youngblood was leaving. I knew it was a great opportunity for me to go in and play right away."

McIntosh also liked the stability of the Clemson coaching staff.

"Up at Clemson it is a great coaching situation. I know Coach Tommy is going to be there the next seven years."

Welcome to Clemson, Mike. You're quite a catch. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

WHY SHOULD A RECRUIT SIGN WITH AN ACC SCHOOL? College Football News counts the ways.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

(UPDATED at 12:57 p.m.)

Football team honored at awards banquet

The Clemson football team held its annual football awards banquet recently. Here's a complete breakdown of who won what.

ANOTHER COMMITMENT: It's safety Adrian Kindred from Opelika, Ala.

NEW UNIS: The Backcountry Conservative has a look at what Clemson's new uniforms could look like. Check it out.

THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT WAS: Here's another look back at the 2003 ACC football season.

ACC SCHEDULING: Now that it's official that Boston College won't join the league until 2005, the ACC is planning to go ahead with scheduling for 2004. The football schedule should be ready by the end of the month.

RIPPING CHARLOTTE, PART II: Well, the e-mail writers in Charlotte have been busy sending missives to that jack-leg writer from Philadelphia who blasted the Queen City as a backward enclave of inbreds, racists and hypocrites. If you don't want to register to read the article, here are some of the more choice responses:

...The South has the most beautiful women in the world. No one argues this. I saw Philly's representatives. I was drunk, and I still wasn't impressed. Rather I was amazed that you people even reproduce. Fat, ugly women that look like their names should be Hank. What a pity.

...Charlotte is a beautiful, clean, family oriented city. Remember the Fresh Prince of Bel Air? Didn't he leave Philadelphia?

...Next time you want to fill space in the days leading up to the game, you would do just as well to draw a crayon picture of the opposing team's mayor and write doody-head next to it. But that may take more talent than you actually have.

...You know, maybe if I were to move to Philly, I'd finally be able to take my kids to a decent strip club. Thanks for opening my eyes, Will.

...I bet you think you're pretty clever, sitting there with Velveeta dripping off your Cheesesteak (Philly's one and only contribution to civilized society), crumbs from your TastyCake on your free size XXXL sportswriter swag shirt.

...I for one am originally from Southampton, Pa. and moved down to the Carolinas 2 years ago. Let me tell you how happy I am to be out of Filthadelphia, the most disgusting, drug filled, crime ridden city I have ever seen. So, you have an art museum. Whoopie!!! Around the corner you have crack alley.

...The only other place I can think of that compares to Philly is that well in Silence of the Lambs. So after the Panthers finish their beat-down of your always-a-bridesmaid-never-a-bride dirty birds, we will put the lotion in the basket and leave as quickly as your deadly, poorly planned roads will allow.

...Tell you what you should do - Head on down to your local cheesesteak shop, order up a 12-incher from whichever mullet-headed goon with an 8th-grade education whom happens to be working that hour, then shove it and this bunch of crap straight up your untalented ass.

Way to go, my fellow Charlotteans!

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

(UPDATED at 1:04 p.m.)

Promising defensive lineman commits to Clemson

Dorell Scott, a highly regarded defensive tackle from Columbia, S.C., has committed to Clemson. He sounds like a good one.

And here's a recruiting update on receiver Phillip Morris from Timmonsville, S.C.

And here's another commitment: huge offensive lineman Barry Richardson from Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

WE'RE NO. 7: Frequent Tigerpundit reader Larry Bailey, who resides in Texas, has forwarded a link to a preseason football poll in the Austin American-Statesman that ranks Clemson No. 7. Check it out. (And thanks, Larry!)

NEW UNIS IN WORKS? Clemson coach Tommy Bowden says he's considering some new uniform combinations for next season. Here's a hint:

"I like those Denver (Broncos) uniforms," Bowden said. "Those blue ones with the orange stripes look pretty good."

Stay tuned.

RIPPING CHARLOTTE: As a native Charlottean, I'm surprisingly non-insulted by this ridiculous column from the Philadelphia Daily News. (Sorry, you'll have to register to read it.) Tom Sorenson has responded appropriately.

You always see this crap around the time of a major sporting event. But just remember the source.

It's from Philadelphia. Phila-freakin'-delphia! No major city in the country gets picked on more than the City of Brotherly Love. Or so richly deserves it.

Bob Uecker once said, "They have Easter egg hunts in Philadelphia, and if the kids don't find the eggs, they get booed."

This is a city whose fans are so vile that, in the words of a former Philly sportswriter, they'd "boo Christ for dropping the cross."

Howard Ogden once described the city this way: "Philadelphia: all the filth and corruption of a big city; all the pettiness and insularity of a small town."

That sounds about right.

ACC AIN'T THAT GREAT: Here's a contrarian view on the rising fortunes of ACC football from Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Bob Lipper. Here's his summation of the 2003 season:

It didn't raise much of a ruckus in 2003. Its 22-14 record against nonconference opponents was padded with four wins against I-AA softies and others against the likes of Eastern Michigan, Middle Tennessee, Rice and Troy State. Even with its bowl blitz, it still finished 2-7 against teams ranked in the AP's final Top 25 and was the only major league without a top-10 occupant.

The SEC and Big Ten, it ain't.

Lipper also says that the league will truly come into its own in 2004 if Virginia, Maryland and Clemson have great seasons. Otherwise, expect Miami and Florida State to dominate the league.

Monday, January 12, 2004

A big weekend on the recruiting front

Clemson hosted nearly 40 potential players over the weekend, including the surprise visit of one all-star prep player and a reported commitment from another.

I don't follow recruiting much, except after signing day, but it sounds like things are going pretty well this year. That's another side effect of winning, I guess.

MILLER NAMED ALL-BOWL: Defensive back Justin Miller has been named to Sports Illustrated's All-Bowl team for 2003. Earlier, running back Chad Jasmin was named to ESPN's All-Bowl team.

NO ACC TITLE GAME IN '04: According to the New York Times, the NCAA won't let the league play a football title game until Boston College joins in 2005.

FUTURE'S SO BRIGHT: Speaking of the ACC, here's a good column from David Teel of the Hampton Roads Daily Press that looks forward to what could be a very good football season for the conference in 2004.

WE'RE NO. 21: Athlon ranks the Tigers 21st in its final poll of the 2003 season. (Link via Tigernet's message board.)

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Bowden a finalist for coach of the year

Clemson coach Tommy Bowden is one of nine finalists for the 2003 Bear Bryant Award. The award is presented each year to the national coach of the year.

Congratulations, Tommy. I hope you win it. Coming off the mat to win four straight (including two against Top 10 teams) after getting creamed by Wake Forest has got to be one of the greatest coaching jobs of the year.

HAMILTON'S GONE: As reported on Friday, Clemson receiver Derrick Hamilton will leave school a year early to join the NFL draft. The media's reaction is here, here and here.

BEAVIS IS ALIVE AND WELL: And may soon be doing time in Oregon. (More here.)

Friday, January 09, 2004

(UPDATED at 2:49 p.m.)

Hamilton opts to test the NFL waters

Well, it looks like it's official. All-star receiver Derrick Hamilton will join Donnell Washington in jumping to the NFL a year early.

Again, I wish them both well, but I also think they're making a mistake.

Hamilton's decision took long enough. He finally met with coach Tommy Bowden today after he had postponed a meeting with him on Thursday. (More here and here.)

ACC -- A FOOTBALL CONFERENCE: Check out this column from Bob Thomas of the Times-Union in Jacksonville. It's about the ACC's strength in football. Here's the most important passage:

-With a 97-83-5 all-time bowl record, the ACC is the nation's all-time winningest conference by percentage in postseason history;

- The ACC is tied with the SEC for most bowl wins (13) over the past two seasons, but has the best winning percentage (.684, 13-6), followed by the Big East (.600, 9-6) and SEC (.590, 13-9);

- It is the only league with a winning bowl record in each of the last three years, and;

- It boasts a 26-20 overall record vs. Bowl Championship Series conference teams over the past two years, including a 10-7 mark against the SEC.

Good stuff. (Link via Tigernet.)

PRE-PRE-PRESEASON POLL: ESPN's Ivan Maisel lists his Top 25 teams for the 2004 season, and Clemson clocks in at No. 13.

GRATUITOUS CLEMSON INSULT: Check this out. In a column about the sad state of American comedy, Washington Times reporter David Eldridge writes the following:

That's what it's come to, folks. Comedy Central's Jon Stewart is the funniest person in the country now.
Think about that too long, and it's really sort of depressing. It's like the year Clemson � Clemson � finished as national champion in college football. Jon Stewart is charming and, yes, quick-witted and amusing, but ... the funniest guy in the country?

That's cutting-edge sarcasm, folks! He must be a Georgia fan or something.

Is that the best Eldridge has got? If so, then his column certainly says a lot about the state of comedy in America, but not in the way he intended. (Link found via Tigernet.)

RECRUITING UPDATE: A few more players will be visiting Clemson this weekend.

THE FRIDAY FIVE: OK, here's a new feature I'm adding during the off-season. Here goes:

What one thing are you most looking forward to . . .

My lunch at the Middle Eastern restaurant I go to every Friday.

2. ...over the next week?
Payday is next Friday, bay-bee!

3. ...this year?
Hopefully a decent raise. My salary was frozen last year.

4. ...over the next five years?
More raises. Also, I hope to have continued good health.

5. ...for the rest of your life?
Love and happiness.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

(UPDATED at 8:25 p.m.)

Hamilton's decision: Is it a done deal?

WPDE, an ABC affiliate serving the Florence-Myrtle Beach area, is reporting that Derrick Hamilton has indeed decided to turn pro. According to WPDE, Hamilton will announce his decision to his teammates at Saturday's team banquet.

If it's true, it's bad news. But I'd like to see some independent confirmation of this. As of this morning, Hamilton still hadn't made up his mind. (More here and here.)

ACC EXPANSION, AND BEYOND: This is an important story. The Washington Post is reporting that Boston College will not join the league until 2005, and that it will have a ripple effect throughout college fooball, perhaps prompting a fairly large re-alignment of the ACC, Big East and Conference USA.

ALL-BOWL JASMIN: Clemson running back Chad Jasmin has been named to Ivan Maisel's All-Bowl team. Congratulations, Chad.

THE 2004 SCHEDULE: It hasn't been ironed out yet, but three non-conference games are set: Sept. 18 at Texas A&M, Oct. 16 vs. Utah State and Nov. 20 vs. South Carolina.

PLAN YOUR SICK DAYS IN 2004: This is funny.

DO YOU HATE SPAM? Then you'll hate this guy.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

(UPDATED at 2:10 p.m.)

Is Derrick Hamilton bound for the draft, too?

Yesterday, defensive tackle Donnell Washington announced he'd declare himself eligible for the NFL draft. Today, it looks like all-star receiver Derrick Hamilton may do the same thing. (More here and here.)

I think Hamilton is making a mistake. An outstanding season in 2004 would have significantly raised his draft status.

I guess this is the downside of redshirting entire freshman classes.

RECRUITING UPDATE: This could be the weekend that decides which players will sign with Clemson. Thirty-six potential signees will visit the school this weekend. Signing Day is Feb. 4.

WALKER IN ALL-STAR GAME: Senior offensive lineman Gregory Walker will play in the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas All-American Classic on Jan. 17. Congratulations, Greg.

NOTEBOOK: Right here.

'ROCKY SHOCK': Here's a follow-up to the Peach Bowl that I haven't seen before. It's an enjoyable read.

CLEMSON FAN DIES AFTER FALL: Ian Burns, a Clemson fan who fell from a pedestrian ramp at the Peach Bowl, died of his injuries on Tuesday. I'm very sorry to hear that.

MORE TIME, LESS ACTION: Here's a fascinating story from the New York Times. It seems that the Sugar Bowl produced only 16 minutes and 28 seconds of live action during a 3-hour, 45-minute broadcast. The rest of the time was replays, commercials, shots of the band or the crowd, etc.

The Times seems to think this is a bad thing, and granted, some games do run too long (the Peach Bowl sure did), but I think that's what makes TV sporting events worth watching. You can see replays, see fan and player reactions up close, and often get a better understanding of what happened on the field than if you were there in person.

It's hard to beat the excitement generated by the crowd at a live sporting event, though. And the proliferation of Jumbo-trons in stadiums means we can get the instant replays, too.

If only it didn't take so long to go to the bathroom at Death Valley...

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Washington declares himself eligible for NFL draft

Well, this is a real blow. Junior defensive tackle Donnell Washington, who finally began playing up to his awesome potential this season, is going to enter the NFL draft and forgo his final season at Clemson. The State has apparently scooped the Greenville News, which says Washington will decide by the weekend if he'll enter the draft. Or maybe it's the other way around.

Clemson coach Tommy Bowden says he thinks it's a bad idea.

I agree.

THAT RANKING: There are a couple of newspaper stories about Clemson being ranked 22nd in the final polls.

PEACH BOWL THOUGHTS: College Football News has five thoughts on the Peach Bowl. Check it out.

STATS A WRAP: Here's a final look at Clemson's rankings in various NCAA statistical categories. As a team, we finished No. 2 in the country in kickoff returns. Derrick Hamilton was first in the ACC and 23rd in the nation in all-purpose yards. Charlie Whitehurst was second in the ACC and 14th nationally in total offense.

Monday, January 05, 2004

(UPDATED at 5:28 p.m.)

A national title split; Tigers finish 22nd in both polls

With LSU's 21-14 victory against Oklahoma in Sunday's Sugar Bowl, we have a split decision for the national title in college football.

Clemson was voted No. 22 in both the coaches and AP's poll. It's the second Top 25 finish under coach Tommy Bowden.

LSU is the BCS national champs, but Southern California won the voting in the AP poll.

Here's the final AP poll:

Rec Pts Pvs
1. Sou Cal (48) 12-1 1,608 1
2. LSU (17) 13-1 1,576 2
3. Oklahoma 12-2 1,476 3
4. Ohio St. 11-2 1,411 7
5. Miami 11-2 1,329 10
6. Michigan 10-3 1,281 4
7. Georgia 11-3 1,255 11
8. Iowa 10-3 1,107 13
9. Washington St. 10-3 1,060 15
10. Miami (Ohio) 13-1 932 14
11. Florida St. 10-3 905 9
12. Texas 10-3 887 5
13. Mississippi 10-3 845 16
14. Kansas St. 11-4 833 8
15. Tennessee 10-3 695 6
16. Boise St. 13-1 645 18
17. Maryland 10-3 564 23
18. Purdue 9-4 526 12
19. Nebraska 10-3 520 22
20. Minnesota 10-3 368 24
21. Utah 10-2 308 25
22. Clemson 9-4 230 -
23. Bowling Green 11-3 189 -
24. Florida 8-5 165 17
25. TCU 11-2 126 19

And here's the final USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches' poll:

1. LSU (60) 13-1 1,572 2
2. Sou Cal (3) 12-1 1,514 1
3. Oklahoma 12-2 1,429 3
4. Ohio State 11-2 1,370 6
5. Miami (Fla.) 11-2 1,306 9
6. Georgia 11-3 1,183 11
7. Michigan 10-3 1,140 4
8. Iowa 10-3 1,119 12
9. Washington St 10-3 983 14
10. Florida State 10-3 929 8
11. Texas 10-3 894 5
12. Miami (Ohio) 13-1 800 15
13. Kansas State 11-4 746 10
14. Mississippi 10-3 730 18
15. Boise State 13-1 704 16
16. Tennessee 10-3 684 7
17. Minnesota 10-3 553 20
18. Nebraska 10-3 532 21
19. Purdue 9-4 510 13
20. Maryland 10-3 462 24
21. Utah 10-2 327 25
22. Clemson 9-4 219 NR
23. Bowling Green 11-3 170 NR
24. TCU 11-2 145 19
25. Florida 8-5 124 17

This is the first time since 2000 that the Tigers have finished the season ranked in the Top 25. It's also the 21st time since 1939 that the program has been ranked in the final AP poll.

Once again, congratulations to the coaches and players on an outstanding season. The future of Clemson football looks bright.

ANOTHER LOOK: College Football News has updated its Clemson page with the results from the Peach Bowl. A lot of people have problems with CFN's accuracy, but this page provides a nice, quick summary of the Tigers' season.

And here's the 2003 list of accomplishments from the SID's office.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Peach Bowl postmortems keep rolling in

I'm posting a few more follow-ups to Clemson's huge 27-14 Peach Bowl victory over No. 7 Tennessee today, but with the college football season basically over, I expect the rate of posting to slow down considerably for the foreseeable future.

Don't worry. I'll be monitoring the media for any Clemson football news. I'll do my best to follow recruiting, and I'm sure I'll have plenty to post on Feb. 4, National Signing Day. I'll also follow spring practice and the Orange-White Game. But there may be weeks with little or no Tiger football news.

During the long lulls, I'll try to fill the space with some other stuff to keep your interest. You know, stuff about music, movies, etc.

In the meantime, on with the Peach Bowl aftermath.

WE'RE RANKED: Clemson is ranked 16th in the latest USA TODAY Sagarin ratings. Way to go, guys!

IS CLEMSON BACK? Not so fast, my friend. Or that's what coach Tommy Bowden is saying. (More here and here.)

BRIGHT FUTURE: The Anderson Independent-Mail has a story about how Clemson could be a dominating team in 2004 -- on paper, anyway.

FIVE BIG QUESTIONS FOR 2004: How will the expanded ACC affect the Tigers? Will Derrick Hamilton and Donnell Washington go pro? Read that and more here, along with a projected starting lineup.

'AJC' REPORTS ON GAME: I missed this stuff the other day, but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a couple of noteworthy columns about the Peach Bowl. First up is the legendary Furman Bisher, who writes about the unlikely ending to Clemson's up-and-down season.

Next is Mark Bradley, who says you can now tell which school's orange is the real orange.

SO LONG, AARON: Clemson senior kicker Aaron Hunt, who grew up in the heart of Vols country in Oak Ridge, Tenn., reflects on the Tigers' big win.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

(UPDATED at 4:03 p.m.)

Peach Bowl was a landmark win, no matter how you slice it

It's one of the few victories over a Top 10 team in school history and it will almost certainly see us ranked in the final Top 25 poll. I agree with the ESPN commentator last night who said Clemson should be a preseason Top 15 team next year.

Anyway, on the media coverage.

GAME STORIES: "We're back," says The State; "Tigers win a Peach," says the Greenville News; "Rocky flop in Atlanta," says the Knoxville News-Sentinel; "Vols continue embarrassment in Peach Bowl," says The Tennessean.

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

COLUMNS & COMMENTARY: The State's Ron Morris says the Peach Bowl win bodes well for the future of Clemson's program, and Bart "Bandwagon" Wright of the Greenville News says the Tigers have turned the page. David Climer of The Tennessean comments on how bad Clemson made Tennessee look. John Adams of the Knoxville News-Sentinel has a good column on the mystery that was the Vols' No. 6 ranking:

Clemson didn't just beat the Vols. It put their six-game, regular-season winning streak in perspective. The Vols beat only one winning team in that stretch and they struggled against both Alabama and Duke, which combined to lose 17 games.

The sixth-ranked Vols felt they deserved better than the Peach Bowl. They were snubbed by the Bowl Championship Series.

At least in UT's case, the BCS knew what it was doing.


ROCKY TOP MELTDOWN: Tennessee, in addition to being outplayed, lost its cool. (More here.) Especially satisfying was seeing linebacker Kevin Burnett rack up 30 yards of unsportsmanlike penalties in the fourth quarter for a late hit and subsequent taunting. Burnett had made several provocative statements at a pregame press conference in Atlanta. And check this out: Burnett blames the refs for the loss!

The following is posted without comment:

Burnett is one of Tennessee's captains...

THAT SNEAKY PLAY: The fumblerooskie-type play that produced a second-quarter touchdown for Clemson has worked before. (More here and here.)

DERRICK HAMILTON -- NATION'S BEST PLAYER? That's the opinion of one former coach, according to this article on Clemson's top receiver.

JASMIN RUNS WILD: Running back Chad Jasmin had a great game.

TRICKERATION: Clemson's offense fooled Tennessee's defense, and Tennessee's deviation from its pregame offensive plan fooled some of the Vols' players.

KEYS & REPORT CARDS: The State has its keys to victory and that high five thingee. The Knoxville News-Sentinel has a best & worst from the game. The Tennessean hands out a report card.

HOUSE OF HORRORS: Once again, the Vols stunk it up in the Georgia Dome.

WHOSE ORANGE IS THE REAL ORANGE?I think that's been decided, but it's still something for the fans to talk about.

NOTEBOOKS: Here, here and here.

ACC GOES 5-1: Georgia Tech crushed Tulsa 52-10 in the Humanitarian Bowl. With that victory, the ACC improved to 5-1 in postseason play and should clinch ESPN's Bowl Challenge Cup.

Friday, January 02, 2004

(UPDATED at 10:54 p.m.)

Tigers dominate Vols, 27-14

Wow! What an impressive showing in the Peach Bowl! This is a great, great victory for this program. I'll post more tomorrow, but tonight is for drinking!!!!! Go Tigers!!!!

Peach Bowl: It's on today

Well, I'm geeked, as the kids say. We'll find out a lot about our team today and hopefully get the kind of win that provides a nice springboard for next season, which could be a very special one indeed.

Kickoff is at 4:30 p.m. The game will be televised by ESPN.

Go Tigers!!!!!

CLEMSON PREGAME COVERAGE: From The State, the Greenville News and the Anderson Independent-Mail.

TENNESSEE PREGAME COVERAGE: From the Knoxville News-Sentinel and The Tennessean.

ANOTHER PREVIEW: From College Football News.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: The ACC improved to 3-1 in the bowl season on New Year's Day. Maryland demolished West Virginia 41-7 in the Gator Bowl and Florida State lost a 16-14 heartbreaker to Miami in the Orange Bowl.

Thursday, January 01, 2004


May 2004 bring us lots of victories on the football field, beginning Friday in the Peach Bowl.

THE LAST MILE: Clemson is wrapping up its preparations for Friday's Peach Bowl game against Tennessee.

FLAPPING THEIR GUMS: The State has its version of the Tennessee-Clemson smack-talking that I highlighted yesterday.

THRILLING HILL: The Anderson Independent-Mail profiles linebacker Leroy Hill, who had an All-American-caliber season in 2003.

WATCHING WHITEHURST: The State has a good profile of Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. Here are a few of Charlie's favorite things. And here's a column about Whitehurst from The State's Ron Morris.

MORE ON RECRUITING: Here's another story that echoes yesterday's articles.

SHARPE-DRESSED MAN: And here's another story about center Tommy Sharpe.

WEST ZONE: And here's another story about the West End Zone project.

NOTEBOOKS: Here, here and here.

IT'S A MATCH: Mike Griffith of the Knoxville News-Sentinel grades the position-by-position matchups between Clemson and Tennessee.

STUFFING THE RUN: That will be Tennessee's defensive strategy against Clemson on Friday.

THE DOME OF DOOM: The Georgia Dome has not been kind to the Volunteers over the past few years.

CLEMSON LOOKS FAMILIAR...: To Tennessee's coaches and players.

TAKE THE QUIZ: Knoxville News-Sentinel columnist John Adams has a quiz for Tennessee fans to test their knowledge of all things Clemson. Check it out.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Can the ACC improve to 4-0 in the bowl season? We'll find out today. Maryland plays West Virginia in the Gator Bowl, and Florida State meets Miami in the Orange Bowl.