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.