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.

Monday, May 01, 2006

More on draft day and Clemson

The St. Louis Post Dispatch takes a look at new Ram Tye Hill. And here's an update on other Clemson-related draftees/free agent signings.

* Recruiting update: Hey, why not?