Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bad news: Stuckey breaks foot, out 3-5 weeks

Ouch. Clemson's top receiver, Chansi Stuckey, broke his foot in practice Tuesday and will miss a couple of key games. That's gonna hurt. (Pardon the pun.)

* The "hell" of Wake week: Clemson's Tommy Bowden certainly knows all about it; this game nearly cost him his job the other year.

* Dean struggles: Clemson kicker Jad Dean is trying to work it out. Well, he'd better do it soon. He's already cost us an undefeated season. He'd better not screw us out of any more games.

* Howard's Rock: Yet another story about the mythical stone in Clemson's stadium.

Monday, October 02, 2006

McElrathbey trust nears $50,000 mark

Wow. What amazing generosity. The trust established for Ray Ray and Fahmarr McElrathbey has raised nearly $50,000. Way to go, human race.

* Cary Cox dies: Former Tiger Cary Cox, who captained both Clemson and South Carolina, died Saturday. He was 83.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Clemson 51, La. Tech 0: Sweet shutout

The Tigers recorded their first blanking of an opponent in seven years Saturday. Clemson also had three 100-yard rushers for the first time in decades. The poll voters responded, bumping the Tigers up to No. 15. Read all about it here, here, here and here.

* How good is Clemson? Very, very good, according to our opponents.

* Wake Forest ahead: This week's opponent, the undefeated Demon Deacons, have been quite problematic for the Tigers the past few years.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Offensive line powers CU's success

I think we all knew it would be a good unit, but even a jaded fan such as myself has been surprised at how strong they've played. The media has noticed, too.

* Don't forget the defense: Especially the pass defense. Speaking of which, why isn't anybody trying screen passes against us? ... Here's another positive story about defensive end Gaines Adams. ... Some sports gamblers rank defensive coordinator Vic Koenning one of the best in the country. ... Linebacker Nick Watkins also is playing well, and his family, displaced by Hurricane Katrina, has returned to New Orleans.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Is Clemson the complete package?

That's the thrust of this story, and this one, too.

* Blowouts yield experience: Clemson's romps against UNC and Florida Atlantic have given young players plenty of playing time.

* Ray Ray update: This story examines how Ray Ray McElrathbey's on-field career is going.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Clemson 52, UNC 7: Heels get stomped

There's no team I love to beat more than the Tar Heels. And Saturday, we really took it to them. That was pretty, especially the running game, which is shaping up to be one of the best in the country. We didn't move much in the polls, but that's OK.

* Memories: As you know, Saturday's game also honored the 1981 national championship team on the 25th anniversary of that momentous achievement. Read stories about the reunion here and here, and a story about Danny Ford, the Tigers' coach at that time, here.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Bowden to kickers: Drop dead!

OK, that's an exaggeration. But this story makes it sound like Clemson's coach is not a huge fan of the skinny guys upon whom so much is often riding in football.

* Offensive line's commitment to excellence: Just being great isn't enough for Clemson's veteran unit.

* Coleman contributes: Remember running back Duane Coleman? After a topsy-turvy couple of years, he's now the leading tackler on the team. Weird.

* Looking back to 1981: As Clemson prepares to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its national championship during Saturday's game against North Carolina, there are a few stories out there about that seminal event.: A look-back at the '81 game against UNC and a story about the reunion of the 1981 team.

* Tobacco roadkill: The ACC's North Carolina schools are really stinking it up this year in football. Well, except for Wake Forest.

* Happy birthday, rock: Apparently, this weekend marks the 40th anniversary of the placing of Howard's Rock at the top of The Hill in Death Valley. Who knew?

* A new Frank Howard quote? I found this on a political blog. I've never heard it before, but it's a pretty good one from the Tigers' legendary coach.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Gaines Adams leads defense, quietly

And our all-star defensive end is doing it even though he's injured. Here's to him getting healthy and realizing his full potential.
* What does ACC stand for? According to this column, it's Atrocious Coaching Conference.

* Flashback: Here's a look at Clemson's 13-3 victory against Georgia in 1981, the defining moment in the Tigers' march to the national championship 25 years ago. I was there that day with my father, and I still remember all the details: The "Kick the Mutt in the Butt" banner we saw draped across the balcony of a student apartment around 9:30 the morning of the game, a scene made complete by a massive pile of beer cans and a passed-out undergrad in a lawn chair; standing by UGA's bus as its players arrived hours before the game and having Herschel Walker smile at me and say, "What's up?"; and, of course, the game itself, in which Walker uncharacteristically fumbled three times, I believe. Good stuff.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Trust established for McElrathbey brothers

It's the story that captivated football fans everywhere, and now you can become part of it by contributing to the fund set up to provide living expenses for Ray Ray and Fahmarr.

Make checks payable to First Citizens F/B/O Fahmarr McElrathbey. Send the checks to:

Fahmarr McElrathbey Trust
C/O First Citizens and Olson, Smith, Jordan and Cox Attorneys at Law
PO Box 1627
Clemson, SC 29633

* Dean's list: Clemson kicker Jad Dean is hoping to leave his recent unpleasantness behind him this week.

* Tigers movin' on up: Clemson may be the second-best team in the ACC as of right now. I'd kinda agree with that.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Dean to work on his kicking stride

Clemson placekicker Jad Dean has to kick the ball quicker after it's snapped, says coach Tommy Bowden. That's probably the main reason he's had three kicks blocked in the past two games, one of which cost the Tigers the Boston College game.

* Rejuvenated Tigers: Man, winning sure cures a lot of ills, doesn't it?

* Memories of 1981: The national championship team will be honored at Saturday's game against North Carolina, and Jeff Davis and Terry Kinard recall the good old days.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Clemson 27, FSU 20: Another landmark win!

Apologies for the lack of posts until late Sunday. I just got back from out of town.

There's no way around it; Saturday's win in Tallahassee was one of our biggest road victories ever. I know, I know. Florida State's offense is pathetic. But to win in a place where we haven't won since Danny Ford prowled the sidelines is indeed heartening.

Much less heartening were the two kicks that were blocked and returned for points, a problem that now appears to be more the fault of kicker Jad Dean, who seems to be taking a little too long to get the kick off than he should. (I wondered the same thing after watching replays.)

Anyway, I feel much more confident about the season. The voters in the polls agree; we're back in the rankings at No. 19. But I hope we don't get complacent.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Linemen pay fines in watercraft death

Finally, some closure. Clemson linemen Roman Fry and Nathan Bennett have been fined $257.50 for a tragic Jetski accident over the summer that left assistant track coach Jarrett Foster dead.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Running game must carry us against FSU

Heck, it'll probably have to carry us the rest of the season, too.

* Clemson-FSU preview: Pretty straightforward.

* Noles hurting, too: FSU's defense sounds about as banged-up as Clemson's.

* Bowden Bowl is all business: The fun has subsided as the game looms large for both teams.

* Homecoming time: That's what Saturday's game will be for Clemson's Florida-based players.
Banged-up Tigers prep for FSU

The defense is really hurting, and now comes news that Gaines Adams and C.J. Gaddis could miss Saturday's crucial game against the Seminoles. That would mean five starters would be out because of injury.

* FSU looks very beatable: And there should be no excuses for not doing so, according to this piece.

* Can we bounce back? We've certainly done it before under Bowden.

* Ray Ray update: New York Times veteran columnist Ira Berkow parachutes in to write about Ray Ray McElrathbey and his odyssey. And here's some praise for the NCAA.

* Not-so-special special teams: Everybody's talking about it. Is anybody doing anything about it?

* Two-dollar bills catch BC's eye: After seeing an orange invasion last weekend, Boston College hopes it can travel as well as Clemson does. Good luck with all that.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

McElrathbey OK'd for financial aid

Clemson football player Ray Ray McElrathbey will be allowed to receive financial assistance to take care of his 11-year-old brother, whom McElrathbey has custody of because their mother has a drug problem and their father has a gambling problem.

All I can say is that there is still hope in this world. Thank you, NCAA.

* And now for the bad news: The injuries on the defensive side of the ball just keep mounting.

* FSU, you have a problem: And it could be Clemson's offensive line.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Boston College 34, Clemson 33: Hello, Tire Bowl!!

Here we go again. The special teams fell apart, and that's why we lost a crucial ACC game and fell out of the Top 25. The Sporting News has a good take on the meltdowns that have become so painfully common during the Tommy Bowden era.

I'm thoroughly disgusted, but I'm keeping hope alive. FSU, next week's opponent, looks pretty weak offensively, and after that, we should be in the clear until we face Virginia Tech in October.

* In better news: At least it looks like Boston is a great town to visit for a football game.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Clemson vs. Boston College: Game on

The Tigers tangle with the Eagles Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in a huge game for both teams. Here's a look at the game, with some added historical perspective. And here's Eagle in Atlanta on why BC will win.

*Focus, please: Clemson is trying to keep its eyes on the prize amid a season already rife with distractions.

* Proctor finds a home: Clemson quarterback Will Proctor is settling into his role as a leader on the team.

* Don't forget Reggie: Merriweather, that is.

* More on Ray Ray: The excellent UGA blog Hey Jenny Slater has a very nice post up about the Ray Ray McElrathbey situation. Thanks, Doug, for a nice reminder that there are more important things in life than football. Not many, but a few. And here's to your Dawgs beating the Gamecocks.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Tigers enter unfamiliar territory

Saturday's game in Chestnut Hill will be the first game for Clemson against Boston College since the Eagles joined the ACC the other year. And a lot will be riding on it.

* We're No. 12: At least according to College Football Resource.

* All things Boston College: Again, I commend Eagle in Atlanta to your attention. Here's something I completely forgot to link at the time it happened; my blog interview/season preview with ATL_Eagle from earlier this summer.

* Ray Ray update: No real change in his status, just another nice, in-depth feature story about Ray Ray McElrathbey raising his 11-year-old brother.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Web site owner in trouble with the NCAA?

Chris Ard, the proprietor of the popular Web site, is considered a "booster" under NCAA rules because he was formerly a member of IPTAY. Why is that a problem? Well, if you've ever visited Tiger Illustrated, you'll know that it's all about recruiting. He talks to potential recruits constantly, and writes about their chances of signing with Clemson.

The question that immediately leaps to mind is: how many other people running Web sites across the country are in a similar position?

* Tigers, Tigers, future bright: So sayeth Ron Green Jr., so you know it has to be true. (Kidding! If his dad had written it, then that would be in effect.)

* Tough road ahead: Clemson's next two road games, at Boston College (Saturday) and at Florida State (Sept. 16), could be the make-or-break stretch of the season.

* Waters looks ahead: Injured linebacker Anthony Waters, whose Clemson career is over, is looking ahead to the NFL.

* Ray Ray's day: Here's a look at a typical day for Ray Ray McElrathbey, probably one of the few Division I athletes who is raising an 11-year-old kid while he's playing sports.
Tigers stay strong at No. 18 in poll

We didn't move up, and we didn't drop. We'll see what happens after Saturday's crucial Boston College game. (Here are some SID-approved notes about the game.)

* Ray Ray update: Clemson's Ray Ray McElrathbey may get a break from the NCAA and get some financial assistance to raise his 11-year-old brother.

* Will BC QB play Saturday? Clemson is prepping as if he will.

* Life without Waters: Clemson needs to adjust to the loss of potential All-American linebacker Anthony Waters, and fast.

* For BC news: Be sure to check out the fine Boston College blog Eagle in Atlanta.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Waters suffers career-ending injury

Clemson linebacker Anthony Waters, the top tackler in the ACC in 2005, will miss the remainder of the season because of a torn ACL suffered in Saturday's 54-6 victory against Florida Atlantic.

This is sad news for Waters, and it's a huge blow for our defense.
Clemson 54, FAU 6: A solid opening win

There were many positives -- and a few negatives -- in Clemson's decisive victory against an overmatched Florida Atlantic team. One big negative was the excessive turnovers; another was a knee injury to linebacker Anthony Waters. A huge positive: the defense. Another plus: a great punt return for a score by speedy freshman Jacoby Ford.

* Game stories: Read about the contest here, here, here and here.

* Player profiles: Jacoby Ford's spectacular debut is the subject of this story. Quarterback Will Proctor's debut also gets good reviews. Super-recruit C.J. Spiller did OK in limited play. Receiver Chansi Stuckey had a good game. And whatever you do, don't forget about Reggie Merriweather.

* Bowden blows up:
Clemson's coach went absolutely nuts after a blown call by the referees.

* WestZone looks great: The reviews are in, and it's two enthusiastic thumbs up.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Clemson vs. Florida Atlantic: Game on!

Yes, the season officially begins on Saturday, if it isn't washed away by rain. And here's a straight-up preview of the game. And here's another season preview type thingee.

* McElrathbey update: Ray Ray's case is still in limbo. And I'm still pissed off about it. The link also includes some other football notes, so do click it.

* Clay will play: Linebacker Antonio Clay is back in the lineup after attending the funeral for his sister.

* All about the running game: Several stories out there about our talented backfield. Go here and here to read two.

* Memories: Here's a great column on the day Clemson hung 82 points on Wake Forest in 1981. My father and I were there that day, and yes, we left early.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Florida Atlantic: Trash-talking the Tigers?

Apparently so. Pretty brave for a team that's starting off the year in the bottom 10. For more previews of Saturday's season opener, go here and here.

* Two starters will miss game: Antonio Clay will be out because of a family tragedy; C.J. Gaddis is being disciplined.

* Season preview: Yet another one here.

* WestZone debuts: It should look fantastic on Saturday.

* Ray Ray's kid: Here's an overview of a brewing controversy involving the NCAA and its apparent inability to pull its head out of its ass. I would explain the link more, but I'm too pissed off. Just go read it, and lament over the jackasses who run the multi-billion-dollar world of intercollegiate athletics.

* More love for Clemson: The Sporting Gnomes find a couple of examples at

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Are the glory days about to return?

Maybe. This story takes an optimistic tack.

* Questions about the season: Can we answer them?

* Ricky 'Water Mocassin' Sapp: Find out why they call him that here.

* Jacoby Ford to motor on punt returns: The super-speedy freshman gets an important duty.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Are you ready for some football?

The season starts in less than a week, so here comes a batch of preview stories.

* Is another national title possible? Consider the possibilities.

* Position by position: Read the ratings here.

* Game by game: A quick look at Clemson's opponents in 2006. And in that same vein, here's a story on what to see and do in Tigertown.

* 10 questions: Clemson will have to answer these to have a good season.

* Punt makeover: Hopefully, fewer will get blocked.

* For the fans: Here's the obligatory story on Howard's Rock, and here's a piece on a longtime Clemson fan.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Slimmed-down Richardson ready to go

Clemson offensive tackle Barry Richardson lost 30 pounds over the summer. He still weighs 320 pounds. This on a guy who is 6-foot-7.

* Heard it on the 'X': There's a tough battle for the 'X' receiver position between Aaron Kelly and scary-looking superstud Rendrick Taylor. I'm pulling for Taylor.

* And finally...: The Sporting Gnomes have the perfect thing to get you keyed up for the football season. Be sure to turn your speakers up for this one.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Season previews just keep rollin'

The latest one is from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Check it out.

* Justin Miller makes the big time: The former Tiger is profiled in The New York Times.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Two-a-days end: Where do we stand?

That question, and others, were asked, and answered, by the Anderson Independent-Mail. Check it out.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Can Clemson win second national title?

That's the thrust of this excellent season-preview article from Well worth your time.

* Trailblazer profiled: Here's a great story about former Clemson standout Buck George, a Catawba Indian who played for the Tigers in the 1950s.

* Player transfers: Former Clemson tight end Paul Muse will play for Florida Atlantic. However, he'll have to sit out the 2006 season, so he won't be available for the Owls' Sept. 2 game at Clemson.
More preseason prognostication

The Sporting Gnomes point out a site that has the Tigers playing for the national championship this season. And here's a game-by-game prediction from the Anderson Independent-Mail.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Billie to miss 6-8 weeks, may redshirt

At last, some actual news to report from Clemson's training camp. Unfortunately, it's bad. Senior linebacker Tramaine Billie broke his ankle and will miss at least six weeks. And he's considering the possibility of a medical redshirt.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Proctor is ready for a season of attention

Ron Morris of The State writes about Clemson first-year quarterback Will Proctor.

* Rendrick Taylor = badass: Read about Clemson's "J-Back" receiver/tight end/running back here.

* Bright future: Thousands of fans turned out for Fan Appreciation Day on Sunday.

* No violations: You're probably familiar with this story by now, but in case not, here goes: There will be no NCAA charges stemming from the tragic jetski accident earlier this summer that involved two Clemson football players and led to the death of an assistant track coach.

* And finally ...: Clemson, the best school in the universe (h/t: EDSBS.)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Burton Burns has a big job this fall

Burns is Clemson's running back coach, and with the stable of great backs he has to work with, he should be quite busy.

* Lineman on Lombardi Watch List: Clemson defensive end Gaines Adams gets the honor. It's the fourth such accolade he's received this year.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

It's nice to have a deep O-line

The Greenville News takes a look at Clemson's experienced offensive line. This group will be the key to whether or not the Tigers have a great season or not.

* Camp for referees: ESPN examines the preseason training that refs in the ACC undergo. I wonder if they help them with their ability to make calls, because the ACC crews are the worst in the country, bar none.

* Kelvin Grant finds a new home: The former Clemson receiver, who was kicked off the team for academic and other reasons, will be playing this fall for Division I-AA Delaware State.

* Tigers 21st in Blogpoll: You can read the entire poll at EDSBS. Here's what they had to say about Clemson: "Tommy Bowden will vacillate between getting fired and getting a lifetime extension in the same year, meaning 7-5, 8-4, one victory beyond explanation and one loss beyond contempt, and the requisite thrill ride of a Clemson football season."

Well, I've seen enough of that crap from Bowden over the past eight years. If we pull it again with the team we've got, then I think there will be a lot of recriminations in Tigertown.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Tommy Bowden: A Q&A session

Clemson's coach sits down with the Charlotte Observer to answer questions about the upcoming season.

* Your basic season preview story: From Fox Sports. In that same vein, here's a story from Sports Illustrated that places us among a group of 16 contenders for the national championship. (Hat tip: State Fans Nation.)

Monday, August 07, 2006

All eyes on C.J. Spiller at training camp

The highly touted freshman running back is garnering plenty of attention as Clemson's fall practices get under way.

* More Proctor coverage: Here's another story about Clemson's new quarterback.

* Punter pressure: There could be intense competition for the punting job this fall. Returning starter Cole Chason is injured, and newcomer Richard Jackson looks pretty good.

* Bowden's youth movement: Here's a story about how Clemson coach Tommy Bowden is getting some great young assistant coaches.

* Bowden's recruit movement: And here's a story about what a great recruiter the coach has become.

* The notebooks: Here and here.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Clemson ranked 18th in coaches' poll

The Tigers are one of four ACC teams in the USA Today poll. Congratulations, guys. Now go out and prove you deserve to be ranked.

* Practice begins: And here are your obligatory preview stories.

* Gaines Adams, ACC's finest defender? He is, according to this story.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Football practice begins Friday

And that may be today by the time you're reading this. All the months of waiting and hoping and dreaming, of hard work in the weight room, will get their first tests today. Go Tigers!

* Another Will Proctor profile: This one is from The Sporting News.

* Willie Simmons returns: The former Clemson quarterback, who left school under what appeared to be bad terms when Charlie Whitehurst took his job in 2002, will come back to be a graduate assistant. Welcome back, Willie. Personally, I'll never forget your amazing performance against the Tar Heels in 2000, when we trailed 17-0 and Woody Dantzler got hurt. You led us to a 38-24 victory -- and I was there in Chapel Hill to see it.

* Watkins' job not secure: Clemson linebacker Nick Watkins, the team's second-leading tackler last season, may have to fight for a starting job this year; plus, an item on speedster Jacoby Ford.

* And finally ...: EDSBS discovers a piece of, uh, Gamecock "fan art" that simply has to be seen to be believed. EDSBS' deconstruction of the piece is brilliant.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

New, improved Death Valley almost ready

Construction is about to wrap up on the Phase I of the West End Zone Project at Clemson. Read all about it here.

* Will Proctor, marked man: Here's a story about Clemson quarterback Will Proctor.

* Scheduling issues: Clemson could play on Monday night in 2007, and Temple is looking to get out of one of its future games with the Tigers.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

State of the ACC: Weak or strong?

We'll let you decide after reading a couple of articles.

Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer says thank God for the newcomers, while league commissioner John Swofford says everything is hunky-dory and only getting better.

As for myself, I think they could both be right, to an extent.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

This year, Tigers should really run the ball

We've been promised a balanced offensive attack for a while at Clemson, but this year, we might actually have one. Read all about it.

* Bowden loves instant replay: As well he should.

* Pro-style training camp: Clemson may switch its fall workouts to one-a-day sessions to better prepare for a season that begins with 11 straight games before a break.

* Boston College a make-or-break game? That's what Bart Wright of The Greenville News says, and I agree.

* ACC now among the elite? Well, that's what this article says.

* New bowl process: The ACC has taken the much-needed step of improving the way league teams get assigned to postseason bowl games.

* A late Cumbiegate update: From the Sporting News.

* Looking back to 1981: Former Clemson coach Danny Ford still holds fond memories of the Tigers' 1981 national championship. This season marks the 25th anniversary of the momentous event.

* Clemson-FSU a game to watch: Well, it always is, but now it has the added cachet of being designated as such by Every Day Should Be Saturday.

* And finally ...: Check out the 2006 college football all-name team. Clemson's Ray Ray McElrathbey made the first team. (Hat tip to EDSBS.)

Monday, July 24, 2006

And now, genuine football preview stories!!

The ACC media confab is going on this week, and so there are some actual stories worth linking to for a change.

* Tigers picked No. 2 in Atlantic Division: Miami is expected to take the division. They're expected to face off against Florida State in the ACC title game.

* High hopes at Clemson: The Tigers could be poised for a great season, though we've heard that before. (More here, here, here and here.)

* Gaines Adams -- superstar: Clemson's highly touted defensive end is featured in stories here and here.

* Stuckey's ready to move: Receiver Chansi Stuckey is profiled here.

* Recruiting update: Clemson has apparently offered a scholarship to John Richt, the son of Georgia football coach Mark Richt. Maybe he can work to get the Tigers and Dawgs to play more often than once in a blue moon.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Cumbiegate: Um, like, never mind

Clemson freshman Jamie Cumbie has "clarified" his statements about negative recruiting tactics being used by Notre Dame.

Clarified, as in, basically denying what he told the Charleston Post & Courier.

OK, let's move on to football now, shall we?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

New recruiting shenanigans against Clemson?

First there was Spillergate, in which Clemson officials alleged some dirty dealing by Florida's football staff in the recruiting of C.J. Spiller. Now, there's, um, Cumbiegate?

It seems that Clemson signee Jamie Cumbie, who chose the Tigers over Notre Dame, kept getting the hard sell from the Irish even after he had verbally committed to Clemson. In fact, Notre Dame allegedly said some really nasty things about the little school from the Upstate.

I called B.S. on Clemson whining about the Spillergate nonsense, but to me, this seems to have a little more substance behind it, despite the fact that it's not even close to being an NCAA violation.

First of all, it's Cumbie talking to the media, not the coaching staff. (If you recall from Spillergate, it was the coaching staff who leaked the flimsy allegations, and Spiller had to step up a couple of days later and say the whole thing was much ado about nothing.) Secondly, it comes on the heels of Gamecock recruit Gary Gray suddenly backing out of his commitment so he could sign with the Irish, so chalk it up to one of those things that make you go hmmmm.

* Tommy Bowden, do something! That's the thrust of this column from The Sporting News on how Clemson's coach hasn't exactly been a world-beater during his time in Tigertown. Now, some commenters on Tigernet's message boards were upset by the comments from "an ACC coach," but who can deny that Bowden has been a serious underachiever during his tenure? And no, I don't think you can chalk that up to Clemson fans having unreasonable expectations. But when you lose to Wake Forest on a fairly consistent basis and have to scramble to make a bowl nearly every year despite having plenty of talented players, it kind of leaves a bad taste.

* We're No. 24: The Tuscaloosa News ranks Clemson's football program as the 24th best in college football history. That sounds pretty good to me.

* The smaller the Berry: Clemson offensive lineman Barry Richardson has trimmed down and bulked up. Kinda what I want to do.

* Tigers in the NFL: As of this moment, there are 25 former Clemson players on NFL rosters.

* Uniform rankings: The Sporting Gnomes find a site that ranks Clemson's uniforms fifth in the ACC. Our helmets get much love, but it seems that the rest of the ensemble left a bad taste.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

In memoriam of a great Tiger -- Bob Brooks

You're probably aware by now that Clemson graduate Bob Brooks, the founder of the Hooters restaurant chain, died the other day. And you're probably aware of Brooks' contributions to the world of men watching football, drinking beer, eating wings and ogling scantily clad women. But a lot of people might not be aware of Brooks' other contributions to the world. EDSBS gets the main part right, and here's a press release from Clemson University on other things Brooks did to make the world a better place.

* Clemson -- BCS bound? According to this article, it's possible, thanks to "BCS Summer" on campus. And here's a Clemson preview from a sharp-looking new website, Just College football. (Hat tip: College Football Resource.)

* Tiger transferring: Disappointing defensive end Xavier Littleberry, who last made headlines for waving his pee-pee at a woman prior to the Champs Sports Bowl, is transferring to South Carolina State.

* Catching up with ...: Former Clemson and NFL great Michael Dean Perry, brother of William "Refrigerator" Perry.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

And now, a post about the upcoming season!

I'm feeling lazy, so here are a bunch of links about Clemson's 2006 season.

* C.J. Spiller is ready to run for the Tigers.

* Whatever else we do this year, we certainly should be able to run the hell out of the ball.

* Yes, star prep quarterback Willy Corn really will enroll in Clemson early.

* Clemson is poised to be great this year. Read why. And read more here. And see what the AJC's Tony Barnhart has to say about the Tigers' chances. And Matt Hayes of The Sporting News likes us, too.

* Clemson coach Tommy Bowden answers some questions here.

* Mass hysteria! Tigers and Gamecocks, living together.

* Woody Hayes punching Clemson's Charlie Bauman in the 1978 Gator Bowl: See the video here, and see how it ranked among the all-time-worst moments in sports here.

* And finally, here are some of the most bizarre moments in Clemson football history. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

More on the NCAA angle in JetSki tragedy

The Anderson Independent Mail has a story on the possible NCAA penalties that could be handed down in the aftermath of the death of track coach Jarrett Foster and the involvement of two Clemson football players in a JetSki accident.

Again, I think that it is completely inappropriate to be writing about possible NCAA sanctions at this time. Even if it were judged to be a violation, I can't imagine that it would lead to anything stronger than a warning letter.

Why is the media pushing this story?

My one hope is that this tragic affair will push Clemson's football team to come together and resolve to make 2006 a truly special season. That could be happening already.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sweet Jesus: Fatal accident an NCAA VIOLATION?????

I was about to post something about this story, but the lads at Every Day Should Be Saturday beat me to it.

However, I disagree with the direction EDSBS seems to want to push this. As stated in the story, one of the boosters in question was good friends with the coach who got killed, and it has been widely reported that the coach was friends with one of the players involved. That would seem to satisfy the NCAA's "pre-existing relationship" requirement, and would invalidate EDSBS' comment about "message board gnomes pulling the 'best friend of hairdresser's third cousins' Clemson AD's pet' connection bit."

In other words, I don't think these boosters were walking around campus and inviting random Clemson athletes to take JetSki rides.

Either way, I question the timing of this story. A man is dead, and a young athlete will have to come to grips with a lifetime of guilt. Yanking a future scholarship, or putting a letter in someone's personnel file, seems petty at this point.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Football player involved in Jet Ski death

Some tragic news out of Tigertown. Assistant track coach Jarrett Foster was killed Saturday night in a Jet Ski accident on Lake Keowee, apparently after being hit by a Jet Ski driven by Clemson offensive lineman Roman Fry. Read all about it here.

My heart goes out to all the families involved in this tragedy.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Clemson: Bound for Jacksonville?

So opines The Greenville News, in a piece that carries no byline but looks to be the work of Bart Wright. And here's another piece that suggests the Tigers could be the team to beat in the ACC this year.

* Smokin': Seven Clemson athletes tested positive for marijuana last year. Is that all? Clearly, we can do better in this area, especially considering Clemson's proximity to the mountains of North Carolina.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Blog Poll Roundtable: Like Friday Five, but cooler!!

I saw this thingee on Every Day Should Be Saturday, and I guess I can participate. Here goes:

1. Education. List the region of the country you were born in, what universities you attended and at least one other you would have attended if your alma mater didn't exist.
I was born in S.C. but raised in N.C., and I graduated from Appalachian State University (yes, the same school with the crappy promotional video -- also the same school that reigns as I-AA football champs, so bite me). Obviously, I would have attended Clemson, but the out-of-state tuition was a killer for my family at that time. That, and the fact that I was a lazy, no-school-applying-to bastard my senior year of high school.

2. Sports Affiliations. List your top 10 favorite teams in all of sports in descending order. For instance, your alma mater's football team may be number 1, but perhaps there is a professional team that squeezes in before you get to your alma mater's lacrosse team.

Clemson, Carolina Panthers, Appalachian State, Pittsburgh Steelers, Alabama, Charlotte Bobcats (I know), Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, U.S. national soccer team, my high school.

3. Movies. List the movie you've watched the most, your favorite sports-related movie, the movie you secretly love but don't like to admit it (possibly a chick flick or b film), and the movie you were (or still are) most looking forward to from this summer's season.

Most? Probably Caddyshack. Favorite sports film? I gotta go with Rudy. Secret love? Clueless. Looking forward to? Talladega Nights.

4. Music. List your favorite band from middle school, high school, college and today. Also, as with the movies, include the song you secretly love but don't like to admit. If Nickleback is involved in any of these responses, please give a detailed explanation as to why, god, why.

Middle School: The Beatles or Lynyrd Skynyrd. High school? The Who. College? Still The Who. Today? I really like Fountains of Wayne. Song I secretly love? Rihanna's SOS.

5. Books. Favorite book you've finished, worst book you've finished and the book you really should read but haven't gotten around to it.

Favorite? Bonfire of the Vanities.  Worst? Probably The Confessions of Nat Turner. One I should read? Confederacy of Dunces. Heard it's great, I've actually read a couple of chapters and enjoyed it, but it's one of many that I set down and, for whatever reason, failed to pick back up. Maybe I'll do that on vacation.

6. Travel. Favorite city you've every been to and the one place you still must visit before you shuffle off this mortal coil.

Close call between New York and Las Vegas. I'll give the edge to Vegas, because I've been there many more times than NYC. Still must visit? Tokyo. It just seems so crazy.

7. What do you love most about college football in 20 words or less?

Pageantry, tradition, youthful imperfection, fan involvement, tailgating, drinking.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

SI caught up with 'The Fridge' in 2000 ...

And they're re-running the story about former Clemson great William "Refrigerator" Perry here.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Hershel Walker wanted to be a Tiger?

Strangely enough, that's also the headline of this fascinating piece from I'd always heard that Clemson had come close to signing the future UGA Heisman winner, but I never knew it came down to a coin flip.

Of course, there's also a longstanding rumor (I believe first aired in a Sports Illustrated article from the early 1980s) about a midnight meeting in a cemetery with a booster from an unnamed school in which a grocery bag stuffed with cash was offered to Walker in exchange for his signature on a letter of intent.

* Best ACC stadiums: Clemson ranks No. 2. Frankly, I think we're No. 1, and I would rank UNC's Kenan Stadium higher, too. Yeah, it's the wine-and-cheese crowd, but it is a beautiful setting for football.

* Yes, us and the Gamecocks really are trailer trash: EDSBS takes taunting to a whole new level by applying actual Census-type statistics. Clemson and USC don't fare too well.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

AD Phillips receives national recognition

Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips has been named AD of the year for the Southeastern region by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. Congratulations, Terry Don. What do you get, another orange blazer?

* TeamXbox, Tiger fans: The software developers behind NCAA Football 2007 for Xbox give Clemson much love in this press release touting their video game. It seems we are their "signature squad." Be sure to check out the video clips that show the virtual Tigers taking it to the virtual Gamecocks.

* Korn to rock Tigertown early: Clemson commitment Willy Korn, considered one of the top prep quarterbacks in the nation, has announced that he will graduate from high school in December and enroll at Clemson in January. That's awesome.

* More commitments: Speaking of prep stars, Clemson has grabbed a couple more in-state commitments: wide receiver Marquan Jones and linebacker Scotty Cooper.

* Preseason awards roundup: Running back James Davis is up for the Maxwell Award, Gaines Adams and Anthony Waters are up for the Bronco Nagursky Award, and Roman Fry is up for the Outland Trophy. Congratulations, guys.

* And finally: I was sorry to see that the Tiger baseball team was upended in the College World Series. Congratulations for your successful season.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Don't worry, I'm still here ...

I've just been taking some time off to enjoy the other football, the World Cup. And please, don't try to drag me into any "why soccer sucks" arguments. If you don't like it, that's fine. Me? I love it. I spent a couple of summers at Coach Ibrahim M. Ibrahim's soccer camp in the early 1980s, and I was tickled to death when Clemson won national championships in the sport in 1984 and 1987. And heck, there's even a Tiger on the national team: Oguchi Onyewu.

Anyway, I wanted to post something that longtime Tigerpundit reader Pink Lemonade Diva (she's a Clemson grad) sent me the other day. It's The Simpsons Cavalcade of College Football.


In other news, I again want to wish Clemson's baseball team the best of luck in Omaha this coming week. Again, you won't read a whole lot about it on this site, except in the news feed on the left side of this page, but if something special happens, I'm sure I'll post something.

OK, back to the futbol.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

ACC: Football super-conference?

There have been a few articles recently discussing the ACC's newfound status as one of the premiere football conferences in the country. Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel seems to think the league is just OK. As for myself, I don't think you can judge the league by last year's performances. Let's give it a few years and see how things are then, because the potential for greatness is certainly there. Florida State, Miami and Virginia Tech are clearly the league's elite, but programs such as Clemson, N.C. State, Georgia Tech and Boston College have tremendous potential to break through.

* Crosby waived: Former Clemson received Roscoe Crosby, who has been dogged by difficult times since he left Clemson, has been released by the Indianapolis Colts. Good luck, Roscoe. Hope you land on your feet somewhere.

* A team to watch: College Football Resource rates Clemson a team to watch. I'd go along with that assessment, too.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Are you ready for some football on TV?

Of course you are, and here's an early look at the televised games featuring Clemson. So far, we'll be playing Boston College on Sept. 9 at 3:30 p.m. on ABC, Sept. 16 at 7:45 p.m. on ESPN, and Oct. 26, a Thursday night ESPN game against Virginia Tech. Find out about more ACC TV games here.

* Preseason prognostication: The Greenville News rounds up Clemson's strong showing in some preseason polls, and fellow Clemson bloggers The Sporting Gnomes add some more.

* Will Proctor in the spotlight: Clemson's slated starting quarterback is profiled here, and The Sporting Gnomes turn up a list that features Proctor here.

* Catching up with: Former Clemson tight end Ben Hall, a talented athlete who was scandalously underused during his time with the Tigers.

* And finally: This blog is all about Clemson football, but I would be remiss not to extend congratulations to the Clemson baseball team, which is the No. 1 seed for the NCAA championships, which begin on Wednesday. Go Tigers!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Columnist to CU, USC: You're doin' it all wrong, boys

Gene Sapakoff of the Charleston Post and Courier offers some fundraising advice to both Clemson and the University of South Carolina; don't try to attract sugar daddies with big bankrolls, just put a good product on the field and you'll sell more tickets.

Well, how about a lot of each?

* CFR says CU is A-OK: College Football Resource lists its five best in the major conferences, and ranks Clemson third in the ACC. I always hope for more, but I'll take that.

* Stretching for wins: The EDSBS guys do what blogs do best: publish off-the-wall rumors. (Hey, they're no Anderson Independent-Mail!) This one says that Clemson will be using yoga as part of its conditioning drills. As I wrote in the comments, we don't need yoga to beat the Gamecocks, just a few minutes of some nice, gentle tai chi. The yoga playbook comes out when we're prepping for Florida State or Virginia Tech.

And hopefully this year, Wake Forest.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Clemson: We ain't so dumb now, is we?

So says the American Football Coaches Association, which has recognized Clemson's football program with an honorable mention in its Academic Achievement Award. That means that at least 70 percent of our student-athletes graduated. Congratulations, Tigers.

* WestZone photo update: It's making some nice progress. Check it out:

See more photos here.

* The Fridge ain't running: In fact, Clemson legend William "Refrigerator" Perry is not doing much of anything, apparently, except driving old white ladies around at charity golf tournaments in tricked-out golf carts:

"C'mon, I'll be back. It ain't like it's your cart. DAMN!"

Talk about being at the course wrong. As Cedric the Entertainer would say, I think Fridge is just borrowing this golf cart so he can run to the store, probably to pick up a dozen Slim Jims, 14 build-your-own hot dogs, 3 jumbo bags of Lay's salt-and-vinegar potato chips, a dozen glazed doughnuts and a 48-ounce Mountain Dew to tide him over until dinner. Let's hope he doesn't run into Cedric on the way.

You can't borrow Cedric's Escalade golf cart. Don't even ask.

* Bowden on video: Clemson coach Tommy Bowden was speaking in Florida on Monday, and a local TV station has some footage. Near the end, notice how the reporter completely wimps out on asking Bowden any tough questions about Spillergate.
Fry named to Rimington watch list

Clemson center Dustin Fry must be one of the top offensive linemen in the country. Why? Well, he was recently named to the watch list for the 2006 Dave Rimington Trophy. Rimington, if you remember, was a Nebraska center who is widely considered to be one of the best to ever play that position in the college ranks. He was also the center when Clemson defeated Nebraska in the 1982 Orange Bowl, which gave the Tigers their national championship.

* Delusional Gamecocks roundup: First, sample the detachment from reality evident in this exchange highlighted by Georgia blogger Dawg Sports. Then, compare it to this reality check from a Gamecock fan to his unhinged cohorts at Gamecock Central. It seems a sizable contingent of USC fans now consider the Clemson game to be unimportant, and some actually believe that a national championship could be possible even with the inevitable season-ending loss to Clemson. Now that you've finished laughing, just go read it.

Speaking of Gamecock fans, it seems that my little buddy the Cool Chicken has sold out. What gives?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Clemson football ranked 12th by Athlon

This is a bit of old news, but I thought it was interesting. The Rock Hill Herald is reporting that Clemson is ranked 12th in Athlon's preseason poll. And ESPN's Ivan Maisel ranks us 11th in his post-spring top 25.

* Wanna go camping? The State has a long but informative story on how Nike football camps operate. Clemson landed one of these, and it seems like it could be a recruiting tool.

* ACC expansion -- it worked: That's kind of the thrust of this Tony Barnhardt piece from last week.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Spillergate: Bowden, Anderson paper owe UF an apology

It turns out that star running back and Clemson signee C.J. Spiller was NOT being unduly influenced by University of Florida signee Tim Tebow on the eve of National Signing Day.

Turns out, the two friends were just watching "American Idol."

So I guess we can call off the NCAA investigation of the University of Florida football program that Clemson coach Tommy Bowden and the Anderson Independent-Mail were calling for on Monday.

Why? Because it's already taken place. The Gators self-reported the issue and were cleared of any wrongdoing. As I predicted yesterday, Tebow was not sent by UF officials to entice Spiller to become a Gator; he went on his own. In fact, Spiller asked Tebow to come for a visit.

Don't believe me? Just ask Spiller. That's what this Gators fan site did. It went to about 200 percent more effort than the Anderson Independent-Mail, which apparently called the UF athletic office and spoke to SID Steve McClain, who told them that coach Urban Meyer was unavailable.

Maybe the Anderson Independent-Mail could have asked McClain about the Tebow situation, at which point McClain could have transferred the call to Florida's NCAA compliance director James McCloskey (no relation to Gator McKluskey).

That would be the same James McCloskey who is quoted here and here as saying the matter was self-reported to the SEC and is basically a non-issue.

So, was this whole thing payback for the Gators nabbing Mike McIntosh out from underneath the Tigers' noses at the last minute, as Fanblogs reported on Tuesday?

Could be. And if it is, that really, really sucks. As the headline says, Bowden and the Anderson Independent-Mail should apologize for this mess.

I only hope this sorry incident has not dealt Clemson's future recruiting efforts a crippling blow in the talent-rich state of Florida.
Spillergate: Story advances, with a real story

The Anderson Independent-Mail has a detailed follow-up to the published rumor about Clemson declaring shenanigans on Florida for trying to steal star prep running back C.J. Spiller from the Tigers. Clemson coach Tommy Bowden even stepped up to the handheld tape recorder for a quote or two.

We now know that the player who went to visit Spiller in order to persuade him to sign with the Gators was hot-shot quarterback Tim Tebow. And, apparently, contrary to a comment I left at Everyday Should Be Saturday, this incident, if true, would, indeed, be an NCAA violation, because Tebow had already enrolled with the Gators when he made his visit. That makes him an official representative of the school.

Now, I think it's entirely possible that Tebow did this on his own without realizing the implications. Does the Gators coaching staff conduct an in-depth seminar on the intricacies of the NCAA's labyrinthine recruiting rules with its brand-new signees? Doubtful. What's more likely is that Tebow, who had apparently developed a friendship with Spiller during the recruiting process, took it upon himself to visit Spiller.

Of course, something more nefarious is possible as well, and if Urban Meyer or any other member of the UF coaching staff ordered this move, then the Gators deserve whatever penalties they'd get, which, in this day and age, would probably not be too severe.

But the more I've thought about this, the more I don't like this whole story. First, it's a fairly serious charge, but it just kind of popped up as a throwaway item in the middle of a three-dot column, the lamest, most hackish set piece in the sportswriter's arsenal. Five days later, it gets the imprimatur of a bylined, straight-news story.

I don't know who comes off worse: Clemson's coaching staff, for letting this accusation regarding a player who signed with the Tigers anyway slither into the public square when they should have just let the NCAA go about its business, or the Anderson Independent-Mail, for running a self-serving rumor and then waiting five days to do an actual news story with, like, facts and quotes and stuff.

One more thing, and I think this is kind of important: Clemson's recruiting record under Bowden has been on the up-and-up, and he is to be commended for that. In fact, the Tigers haven't been busted for a major recruiting violation since 1992.

Well, it sure as hell better stay that way. He's just invited every school in the South that Clemson competes with for recruits to do to the Tigers what he did to Florida.

UPDATE|: Welcome EDSBS readers. An update to this post is here.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Did UF play dirty pool to keep Spiller in-state?

In his latest three-dot column, the Anderson Independent's John Brasier has an interesting tidbit about shenanigans being declared on the University of Florida with regard to the signing of C.J.Spiller:

On to college football, where the Clemson coaching staff is perturbed about an alleged last-minute recruiting heist Florida tried to pull with CJ Spiller, who signed with the Tigers anyway.

As the story goes, Florida sent one of its top players on a lengthy drive to see Spiller and keep him busy on the eve of signing day. If the story is true, Florida could be in for some trouble with the NCAA. ...

Hmm. "Keep him busy." That sounds like it could involve all kinds of Fulmer-Cup-worthy activities. ...

* Post-spring depth chart released:
A few surprises, but not many. It'll be interesting to see how that chart changes in the fall when our outstanding recruiting class hits campus.

* ACC - officially a football conference? The Charleston Post and Courier seems to think so, based on the league's performance in this year's NFL draft. Myself? I thought it became one the minute Virginia Tech and Miami joined the league.

* Sweet memories: Tigernet blogger Mickey Plyler looks back to Clemson's rise to prominence in the late 1970s. I remember many of the same things, but I had forgotten about Notre Dame coach Dan Devine flipping the bird to the Clemson crowd during that tense game in 1977. I was there that day, 11 years old and bursting with excitement, so maybe Devine's terrifying middle finger was so traumatic that it warped my fragile little mind, causing me to forget about it -- until now!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

C.J. Spiller: Clemson signee, TV star?

C.J. Spiller, one of the top prep running backs in the country who stunned everyone by signing with Clemson, is one of the finalists to appear on an ESPN reality series called "Summer House." The show would have six of the nation's top signees living together prior to enrolling in college.

Also, the article reveals that Spiller is writing a book about his senior year. How well will it sell? I dunno.