Thursday, November 27, 2003

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'll resume regular posting next week. In the meantime, enjoy this essay by Andrew Sullivan on the meaning of Thanksgiving. Have a great holiday!

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

(UPDATED at 1:06 p.m.)

Bowden contract negotiations continue

Clemson is still working out the details of a contract extension for coach Tommy Bowden. (More here and here.) I hope they can sew this thing up quickly. It's time to move on and get ready for the Peach Bowl.

CONFIDENCE GAME: Clemson's players view the Peach Bowl as a chance to build for the future.

STRONG WORDS: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Tony Barnhart takes Clemson fans to the woodshed for clamoring to fire Tommy Bowden. He makes some good points about the unreasonable expectations of a lot of the fan base, but he loses it by suggesting that a lot of Tiger fans are OK with cheating. All in all, though, I agree with his sentiments. And here, Barnhart says an Ole Miss-Clemson game would be interesting.

D'ANDREA STAYING PUT: Clemson associate athletic director Bill D'Andrea won't be pursuing the athletic director's job at East Carolina.

STEP INTO THE DEN: Jim Brown has updated his Tiger Den Web site with his personal take on the Clemson-South Carolina game. Check it out.

YEAR IN REVIEW: College Football News, which is not always a reliable source of information, nonetheless has a nice game-by-game rundown of Clemson's season. Give it a look.

STATS WATCH: We're still No. 2 in kickoff returns. We're also 17th in passing offense and 20th in pass defense. Charlie Whitehurst is 14th in the country in total offense.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

(UPDATED at 4:31 p.m.)

I go away for a few days, and the whole world changes

Wow! I thought we'd beat the Gamecocks, but I didn't know we'd destroy them. Coach Tommy Bowden is now a fan favorite, and he's currently in the process of negotiating a contract extension with athletic director Terry Don Phillips. (More here.) And, we are going to the Peach Bowl.

I'm very happy. We are set to have a great season next year. We've got 57 lettermen returning, the most in school history. Eighteen of those lettermen are starters, which, if it's not the most in school history, has got to be close. (And again, I think we can thank Bowden for that. He's been redshirting players since 1999.)

On a personal note, the trip to Dallas was great. Unfortunately, the Panthers lost, but we had a good time. All the Dallas fans we encountered were very friendly, and let me just say this: I love Shiner Bock (I'd never drank it before).

Texas Stadium is a bit schizophrenic. The concession areas are really crappy, reminiscent of the dying days of old Fulton County Stadium. But the seated area is really nice. There are literally no bad seats anywhere, and the semi-dome cut down a very cold wind that was blowing outside. The old stadium may not be around for long, though. The Cowboys want to move to a new state-of-the-art stadium in a few years.

We also took in a Dallas Mavericks game at the new American Airlines Center. What a space!

ALL-ACC PICKS: Here's one I'm just now catching up on. Clemson had four All-ACC performers: Leroy Hill on the first team, and Donnell Washington, Derrick Hamilton and Gregory Walker on the second team.

And quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, who was an honorable mention All-ACC pick, was named the league's offensive back of the week for his outstanding performance against South Carolina.

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Tigernet has posted some video from the defeathering of the Gamecocks. Check it out.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

(UPDATED at 1:12 p.m.)

Bobby Bowden sticks up for son; paper says Tommy's staying

Florida State's coach says that Clemson is hurting recruiting by dragging their feet about Tommy Bowden's future. (More here.) And this story reminds us that Bowden will get a $25,000 bonus if he beats USC Saturday. It also features Bowden denying his lower lip was quivering during Tuesday's press conference.

Early Friday afternoon, Tigerpundit reader Jason alerted me to a story from the Jacksonville Times-Union stating that Bowden will be back for a sixth season...if he wants to come back. SID Tim Bourret and former Auburn coach Terry Bowden are quoted.

And if you love Tommy, you can let him know at this Web site.

UP AND RUNNING: The State takes a look at Clemson's big improvement in the rushing attack over the course of the season. The story includes a chart that marks the team's progress.

THE D IS DOING IT: The Anderson Independent-Mail examines Clemson's defense, which has not fallen apart in the late stages of the season.

DOMINATING DERRICK: The Greenville News has a couple of stories about receiver Derrick Hamilton. The first is a straight-ahead profile; the second examines how Hamilton was recruited.

ELLIOTT PROFILE: The AP has its version of the life story of receiver Tony Elliott. The Greenville News did their own version last month.

FACTUALLY CHALLENGED: Someone on the Tigernet message board has posted a column from Ron Green Jr. of the Charlotte Observer. It urges Clemson to retain Tommy Bowden, but it also bungles some simple facts. Plus, it's absolutely dripping with condescension, both toward Clemson and the state of South Carolina.

ALL DRESSED UP: The Greenville News looks at the Clemson-South Carolina game from the perspective of what folks will wear to the game.

WHAT A DEAL: The folks behind Bragging Rites, the documentary about the Clemson-USC football rivalry, have produced playing cards featuring the athletes who have graced the series over the past 100 years.

CU-USC MEMORIES: The official Clemson site has posted video highlights of the 1989 Clemson-South Carolina game, a 45-0 victory for the Tigers in Williams-Brice Stadium. Check it out.

SITE NEWS: I regret to inform my readers that I will be out of town this weekend, and this will probably be the Tigerpundit's last update until Tuesday. Me and three buddies are flying out to Dallas to see the Panthers play the Cowboys. It's shaping up to be a huge game, and it should be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I will be unable to blog about the South Carolina game.

Until then.......GOOOOOO TIGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BEAT THE CHICKENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

(UPDATED at 6:47 p.m.)

Speculation about Bowden's future runs rampant

There was a remarkable moment at Tommy Bowden's weekly press conference on Tuesday. Responding to something like the 249th question about his job future in a half-hour, Bowden reacted emotionally. (You can see a video clip of it here.) That prompted a statement of support from athletic director Terry Don Phillips.

We all know Bowden has been under pressure to win for the past two seasons, but weren't a lot of those doubts put to rest two weeks ago after he scored one of the biggest victories in school history? I hate to blame the media, because I'm not one of those people who measures column inches to compare which team gets more coverage. But I listened to the entire press conference, and the tone was unrelenting.

Please, media and fans; give the man a break. We've got a solid chance for a nine-win season with the second-youngest team in the ACC. We've got 18 starters returning next season in an expanded league that will truly be among the nation's best.

Let's see what happens.

Here's the media coverage of Tuesday's incident: The State (here, here, here and here); The Anderson Independent-Mail (here and here); The Greenville News (here); the Associated Press (here).

Meanwhile, Gregg Doyel, everyone's favorite sports columnist, urges Clemson to hang on to Bowden. He writes this while still managing to denigrate Clemson's past football accomplishments (i.e. the Tigers' success from the late 1970s through the 1980s doesn't count because Charlie Pell and Danny Ford were "cheaters.") By that standard, one could revoke any clams to greatness of a great many sports programs that have gotten into trouble with the NCAA. And here's Caulton Tudor, who I believe writes for the Raleigh News and Observer, saying essentially the same thing.

ROTATING RUNNERS: The State examines Clemson's rotating running backs.

FIRED UP: Clemson's players are ready to play the Gamecocks. Well, that's good to know.

HAT TRICK: USC's Syvelle Newton explains why a hat-switching trick he pulled when he announced which college he would attend was really a tribute to former Clemson assistant Rick Stockstill.

BANGED-UP RECEIVERS: The Tigers will lack depth at the receiver position this week. Airese Currie and Kelvin Grant are doubtful.

TIGERDEN IS BACK: After a few technical difficulties, Jim Brown of the Tiger Den is up and running again. Check out his commentary on the Wake Forest loss and the Florida State win.

CU-USC MEMORIES: I'm a little late catching up with this, but the official Clemson site is posting video highlights of great Clemson performances in USC's Williams-Brice Stadium. Here's Part I, Part II and Part III.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Where will Clemson go bowling this year?

The Gator and the Peach look like the most likely candidates, according to this and this. Either one would be fine with me.

IT'S FOR THE FANS: Clemson's players say the rivalry game with USC is more important for the fans. A bowl game is what matters most to the guys who play every week.

BEATING LOU: Clemson's players are also looking forward to another triumph over coaching legend Lou Holtz. Speaking of Holtz, he says the CU-USC rivalry, uh, rivals any other he's been involved with.

CLEMSON VS. USC -- THE CAMPUSES: The State takes a look at what each campus has to offer in the way of scenic amenities. I think Clemson wins this one hands down.

Monday, November 17, 2003

(UPDATED at 1:03 p.m.)

We could keep the Gamecocks out of a bowl with win

Well, it's Chicken Kickin' Week, and for the second year in a row, a Clemson victory over South Carolina would keep the Gamecocks out of a bowl game.


In a similar vein, the Greenville News examines the importance of the game to both programs.

SHOW HIM THE MONEY: If Clemson wins Saturday against South Carolina, coach Tommy Bowden will get a $25,000 bonus for reaching the eight-win plateau.

COMPARE & CONTRAST: Clemson-South Carolina is similar to Auburn-Alabama, says Bowden.

COACH TALK: This AP story says the focus of this year's game is the coaches.

CU-USC NOTES: The voluminous pregame notes for the Clemson-South Carolina game have been released.

STATS WATCH: We're still No. 2 in kickoff returns. We're also 18th in passing offense. Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst is 14th in total offense.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

(UPDATED at 2:04 p.m.)

Clemson 40, Duke 7: We're no worse than third in the ACC

Clemson's big win assures that the Tigers will finish no worse than third in the league. That's a little better than most preseason predictions for this team, and it means we're still in contention for the Gator or Peach bowls.

On to the coverage of Saturday's game.

GAME STORIES: "Seniors inspire Tigers," says The State; "Tigers maul Duke, 40-7," says the Greenville News; "Clemson gets big win over Blue Devils," says the Anderson Independent-Mail.

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

OTHER STORIES: The Anderson Independent-Mail explains how the bowl picture is shaping up for Clemson. Short version: We need Maryland to lose at least once more in its final two games, which are against N.C. State and Wake Forest. (Virginia beating Georgia Tech would also help a little bit.)

Regarding the bowl scenario, a dedicated Tigernet poster has worked out all the scenarios for Clemson. Here goes:

Right now, this is what the race looks like:

1 Loss: FSU Done
2 Losses: MD vs. NC State, Wake
3 Losses: NC State vs. MD
3 Losses: GT vs. UVA
3 Losses: Clemson Done

With the remaining ACC games left of interest to Clemson, there are 8 possible scenarios. Some seem improbable, but they are all possible. Here they are...

SCENARIO 1: Clemson finishes tied with MD for 2nd
MD beats NC State
UVA beats GT
Wake beats MD

1 Loss: FSU
3 Losses: MD
3 Losses: Clemson

SCENARIO 2: Clemson finishes tied with NC State for 2nd
NC State beats MD
UVA beats GT
Wake beats MD

1 Loss: FSU
3 Losses: NC State
3 Losses: Clemson

SCENARIO 3: Clemson finishes tied with MD and NC State for 2nd
NC State beats MD
UVA beats GT
MD beats Wake

1 Loss: FSU
3 Losses: MD
3 Losses: NC State
3 Losses: Clemson

SCENARIO 4: Clemson finishes tied with MD and GT for 2nd
MD beats NC State
GT beats UVA
Wake beats MD

1 Loss: FSU
3 Losses: MD
3 Losses: GT
3 Losses: Clemson

SCENARIO 5: Clemson finishes tied with NC State and GT for 2nd
NC State beats MD
GT beats UVA
Wake beats MD

1 Loss: FSU
3 Losses: NC State
3 Losses: GT
3 Losses: Clemson

SCENARIO 6: Clemson finishes tied with MD, NC State, and GT for 2nd
NC State beats MD
GT beats UVA
MD beats Wake

1 Loss: FSU
3 Losses: MD
3 Losses: NC State
3 Losses: GT
3 Losses: Clemson

SCENARIO 7: Clemson finishes 3rd
MD beats NC State
UVA beats GT
MD beats Wake

1 Loss: FSU
2 Losses: MD
3 Losses: Clemson

SCENARIO 8: Clemson tied with GT for 3rd
MD beats NC State
GT beats UVA
MD beats Wake

1 Loss: FSU
2 Losses: MD
3 Losses: GT
3 Losses: Clemson

The Greenville News celebrates Clemson's great defensive effort against Duke. (There's also a notebook here.)

The State also praises Clemson's defensive effort, and offers up its usual post-game package; grading the keys to victory, the quarter-by-quarter highlights, a notebook, and the high five thingee.

The SID's office released some post-game notes after the win against Duke.

Finally, the Anderson Independent-Mail chronicles the fan reaction to Saturday's victory.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: It was tough, but Florida State held off N.C. State in overtime to claim the ACC title, the Seminoles' 11th league championship in 12 years. (Fanblogs has more.) Georgia Tech defeated North Carolina, and Connecticut whipped Wake Forest.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

(UPDATED at 5:41 p.m.)

Tigers pummel Duke, 40-7

That was a big win for Clemson. Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst had a great day, as did receiver Derrick Hamilton, and the defense shut down Duke's powerful rushing attack.

And how about those purple jerseys with orange pants?

Next up: The Chickens, who put a real scare into Florida before losing.

I'll post more tomorrow. I'm going to enjoy tonight's win with the obligatory Bass Ale or three.

Go Tigers!!


We've gotta win today against Duke

I know, I know. We've gotta win ALL of our games. But our bowl hopes hinge on defeating Duke.

Kickoff is at 1 p.m. There is no television. Go Tigers!

GAME PREVIEWS: The Greenville News looks back at last year's Clemson-Duke game, as does quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. (There's also a game capsule.) The Anderson Independent-Mail wonders which Clemson team will show up today. The Durham Herald-Sun examines the long-term relationship between Tommy Bowden and Blue Devil interim coach Ted Roof.

The State has its usual pregame package, including the keys to victory, the top matchups, a look at how Clemson will stop Duke tailback Chris Douglas, and a Q&A with defensive tackle DeJuan Polk.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Here's a capsule look at today's other ACC games, and here's a preview story.

Friday, November 14, 2003

(UPDATED at 4:42 p.m.)

Hamilton endangers Clemson record book

Receiver Derrick Hamilton is on pace to break a lot of the school's offensive records. Not only that, but he amazes teammates and fans alike with his athleticism.

TED ROOF, TED ROOF, TED ROOF IS ON FIRE: I love this headline on a story about Ted Roof, Duke's interim head coach who has found a way to win. (More here.)

TIGER FRIENDS FOREVER: The official Clemson site has a nice story up about former Clemson players Chuck O'Brien and Stacy Long, who do a lot of work for cystic fibrosis. Give it a read.

ELLIOTT HONORED: Clemson receiver Tony Elliott is a candidate for Academic All-American honors. Congratulations, Tony.

COSTLY GOAL POSTS: The removal of the goal posts at Death Valley following Clemson's huge upset of Florida State cost the school $6,200.

ISN'T THAT SPECIAL: The official Clemson site has a profile of former Clemson linebacker Keith Adams, who is busting heads on special teams for the Philadelphia Eagles.

THE NOTEBOOK: From The Greenville News.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Well, we didn't get the help we needed from the Cavaliers Thursday night. Maryland defeated Virginia 27-17, so now we have to hope that N.C. State and Wake Forest can beat the Terps, and hope for FSU to beat N.C. State. Also, Georgia Tech needs to lose to UNC or Virginia. No matter what, we'll only be able to tie for second place.

Of course, all of this is based on the assumption that we beat Duke this week.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

(UPDATED at 1:32 p.m.)

For Tigers, Duke is eerily reminiscent of Wake Forest

The Blue Devils run a similar misdirection-type offense, and that has Clemson worried. Here's another reason I'm worried: 1989. We went down to Tallahassee and kicked FSU around the field, then lost to Duke two weeks later.

WHITEHURST MEMORIES: Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst looks back at his first start. It was last season against Duke.

BOWLS COME CALLING: The Gator and the Peach are interested in Clemson. Goodie.

NOTEBOOK: From the Greenville News.

HISTORY BOOK: The Greenville News' Dan Foster looks back at some of Clemson's greatest wins.

NOTRE DAME TO THE ACC? That's kooky talk. The ACC has already expanded to 12 teams; how would a 13-team league work? Would we pull in another team for a monster 14-team league? (I know. I spent most of the summer advocating a 16-team ACC. I now see the error of my ways.) The Irish should now do what they didn't do in 1999; join the Big Ten (actually 11) and make it a 12-team league.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

(UPDATED at 1:01 p.m.)

All eyes on Bowden in wake of FSU victory

Everybody's talking about Clemson coach Tommy Bowden today. Ron Morris of The State says Bowden now holds all the trump cards for any career decisions that may be made at the end of the season. Bart Wright of the Greenville News says the pummeling that Bowden has taken in the media from people like Bart Wright will help make him a better coach. No, really, that's the thrust of his column. This from a guy who just a couple of weeks ago was writing that Bowden didn't take his job seriously.

The Greenville News has another story about Bowden that says he's not sure last Saturday's huge win -- his biggest ever -- validates his career. And here's an AP story from Bowden's weekly press conference.

'USA TODAY' ON CLEMSON: Alert reader Jason turned me on to this piece from USA Today on Clemson's big win against Florida State.

NOTEBOOKS: The Greenville News; The State.

CU-DUKE MEMORIES: The official Clemson site has posted video highlights of the 1999 Clemson-Duke game, a 58-7 victory for the Tigers. Check 'em out.

MORE NOTES: Two days later, the SID's office has released the voluminous pregame notes for the Duke game.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

(UPDATED at 4:26 p.m.)

Don't discount the Dookies, Clemson

I started saying that right after I saw that the Blue Devils had ripped Georgia Tech last Saturday, and there are a couple of stories out there that say the same thing. We're all excited about the big win over FSU, but this is NOT the time for a letdown. Then again, there really isn't a good time for a letdown, is there?

WHERE THE TIGERS MIGHT BOWL: The Gator or the Peach are looking likelier. And here's the breakdown:

How Clemson can secure a spot in the New Year�s Day bowl as the ACC�s No. 2 team:
-Clemson beats Duke on Saturday

-N.C. State loses one of its two remaining ACC games (vs. Florida State, Saturday; vs. Maryland, Nov. 22)

-Maryland loses two of its three remaining ACC games (vs. Virginia, Thursday; vs. N.C. State, Nov. 22; vs. Wake Forest, Nov. 29)

Note: Under this scenario, Clemson and N.C. State would be tied for second-place with a 5-3 ACC mark, possibly along with Georgia Tech or Virginia. Clemson would own tiebreakers against the Yellow Jackets and Cavaliers; ultimately, the selection committee has the upper hand � it can choose N.C. State even if the Wolfpack win one less conference game than the Tigers.

That's a little more concise than yesterday.

HAMILTON LEAVING? Receiver Derrick Hamilton is considering declaring himself eligible for the NFL draft after this season. God, I hope he reconsiders. He would be an important part of our offense next season.

HILLS HONORED: Clemson defensive players Tye Hill and Leroy Hill were among those named ACC players of the week.

NOTEBOOK TIME: From the Greenville News.

TERRY DON PHILLIPS SPEAKS: The Greenville News covers a speaking appearance by Clemson's athletic director.

REMEMBERING COOPER: Tigernet has a nice story about former Clemson receiver Gary Cooper, who was paralyzed in a tragic car accident several years ago.

DULY UNNOTED: For whatever reason, the voluminous pregame notes for the Duke game haven't been posted. Until they are, here are the post-game notes from the victory against FSU.

STOP SPREADIN' THOSE RUMORS AROUND: Frequent Tigerpundit commentor Jason has noticed a story that smells like a steaming pile of bullshit: A certain Richard Cirminiello writes the following in his "Quick Hits" column at College Football News:

Are we to believe that a single Clemson victory against Florida State miraculously makes Tommy Bowden a head football coach that should be retained? That somehow Florida State laying an egg washes Bowden�s string of mediocrity and seven-win seasons? Gimme a break. It was a great victory for the Tiger program, but many Clemson fans�and more important AD Terry Don Phillips�are still skeptical. Phillips has his eye on former Clemson coaching icon Danny Ford. The Clemson board voted 9-3 on Friday to can Bowden at season�s end. Whether Saturday�s win changes sentiment at the university remains to be seen.

WTF? How in the hell did he get his information? This guy doesn't even credit any "anonymous sources" for this blockbuster. He just kind of slips it in halfway through his collection of notes WITH ABSOLUTELY NO ATTRIBUTION AT ALL, and pretends it's a "fact." That's damn shoddy journalism. Thanks for pointing that out, Jason.

STATS WATCH: We've slipped to No. 2 in kickoff returns, but we're 20th in passing offense. Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst is 20th in the nation in total offense.

Monday, November 10, 2003

(UPDATED at 4:17 p.m.)

At Clemson, confidence is high, repeat, confidence is high

And why shouldn't it be after Saturday's huge win over No. 3 Florida State? Besides being the Tigers' first big win in many, many years, it also gives them a chance to finish second in the conference (they are already guaranteed no worse than a tie for third). Second place would mean a better bowl game, possibly the Gator or Peach. A Tigernet commenter has already worked out the scenarios we need, including the teams we need to pull for:

Right now here's what we have in the ACC:

1 Loss: FSU vs. NC State
2 Losses: MD vs. UVA, NC State, Wake
2 Losses: NC State vs. FSU, MD
3 Losses: GT vs. UNC, UVA
3 Losses: UVA vs. MD, GT
3 Losses: Clemson vs. Duke

Take it one weekend at a time. First let�s look at who can be put away (4 losses).

* Clemson must beat Duke to secure a 3-loss season and we�re done.
* If UNC can beat GT, GT goes to 4 losses and are out. If not, UVA needs to beat them the next week for them to be gone.
* For MD to be gone (4 losses), they have to loose 2 of 3 vs. UVA, NCS, and Wake. My guess is they stay at 2 or move to 3 losses on the season.
* For NC State to be gone, they need to go 0-2 vs. FSU and MD. So if FSU beats NCS, FSU stays at 1 loss and NCS goes to 3.
* This leaves UVA. I think we want UNC to beat GT and UVA to beat MD. If so, UVA goes to 4 losses, MD goes to 3, GT is out.

It�s confusing, so take it one week at a time. Recap:

Pull for Clemson to beat Duke (duh...we're done at 3)
Pull for UNC to beat GT (GT out)
Pull for UVA to beat MD (UVA stays at 3 losses, MD joins us at 3)
Pull for FSU to beat NCS (NCS joins us at 3 losses)

If these happened, it would look like this:

1 Loss: FSU done
3 Losses: MD vs. NC State, Wake
3 Losses: NC State vs. MD
3 Losses: UVA vs. GT
3 Losses: Clemson done
4 Losses: GT vs. UVA

If this is what it looks like next Sunday, then it goes:

Pull for MD to beat NCS (MD has another shot at a loss with Wake, NCS out)
Pull for GT to beat UVA (UVA out, GT already out)

That would make it look like this:

1 Loss: FSU done
3 Losses: MD vs. Wake
3 Losses: Clemson done
4 Losses: NC State done
4 Losses: UVA done
4 Losses: GT done

If this is what it looks like in two weeks, we pull for Wake to beat MD and we are sole 2nd place in the ACC!

Yeah, it�s a dream, but that�s the order to get there.

At least that�s what I think I think about the ACC race.

I think you're about right.

DOMINATING DEFENSE: The Greenville News takes a look at Clemson's outstanding defensive performance Saturday against Florida State.

RECRUITING BOOST: Clemson had nearly 100 potential signees in the house Saturday night, and many of them liked what they saw.

GAME BALL FOR BOWDEN: Clemson's players awarded the game ball to embattled coach Tommy Bowden after the win against FSU. That's a classy gesture.

CLEMSON/USC GAME TIME SET: The Nov. 22 contest will air on ESPN2, and it will kick off at 7 p.m.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

(UPDATED at 6:41 p.m.)

Clemson 26, Florida State 10: Who are these guys?

I still can't believe we defeated No. 3 Florida State a week after getting creamed by a Wake Forest team that lost to North Carolina yesterday. Obviously, it's a great win for the program and embattled coach Tommy Bowden, but what a schizophrenic team we are. At least we got a big win on national TV, as opposed to our usual routine of getting slaughtered.

Anyway, on to the coverage.

GAME STORIES: "Son knows best," says The State; "Tigers take down FSU," says the Greenville News; "FSU left son-burned," says the Miami Herald; "Down goes Dad," says the Tallahassee Democrat.

The Anderson Independent-Mail has nothing posted on the game, and it's almost noon on Sunday. Hmm.....

Ah, here we go. A game story, a column, a sidebar and a notebook.

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

OTHER STORIES: The State says this was a "must win" for the Tigers, and columnist Ron Morris says the victory saved Tommy Bowden's job -- for a week, anyway. The Greenville News writes about the great day quarterback Charlie Whitehurst had. And lookie: Bart Wright likes us again! (There's also a notebook.)

Columnist Bob Spear of The State interviews Ann Bowden, Tommy's mom and Bobby's wife. The State also has a notebook, grades the keys to victory, provides the quarter-by-quarter highlights, and posts that high five thingee.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: To paraphrase Robert E. Lee, God bless the Tar Heel boys. UNC's surprise victory over Wake Forest helps Clemson in the ACC standings. And thank you, Duke, for beating Georgia Tech. That helps us as well.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Clemson 26, Florida State 10: Biggest win in school history!

Holy cow. I can't believe we beat Florida State! It's the highest-ranked team the Tigers have ever defeated in football, and it's the first time we've beaten the Seminoles since a memorable smackdown we laid on them in 1989 in Tallahassee -- the year after the "puntrooskie" defeat in Death Valley. I'm busting. I'm absolutely busting. I'll post more on the game tomorrow. In the meantime, Bass Ale for everybody!!!!! GO TIGERS!!!


The Bowden Bowl is today -- yawn

It's hard for me to get excited about the game after last week's debacle. Sure, I want the Tigers to beat Florida State, but I don't see it happening.

Kickoff is at 7:45 p.m. The game will be shown nationally on ESPN2. Go Tigers!

GAME PREVIEWS: The Greenville News calls tonight's game a "gala spectacle." Huh? (Here's a game capsule.) Meanwhile, Greenville News columnist Bart Wright reminds fans that they shouldn't pin their hopes on a victory against Florida State, because Florida State is so much better than every team in the ACC.

The Anderson Independent-Mail says Clemson will have to shut down FSU's rushing attack, and also says the Tigers' chances to win aren't as bad as many think.

The State has its usual preview package, including the keys to victory, a look at how Clemson will try to stop Seminoles receiver Craphonso Thorpe, and a Q&A with Clemson fullback Clifford Harrell.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Here are quick previews of the other ACC games Saturday.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Trickeration: It's a Bowden family tradition

There is a lot of coverage today of the trick plays which have been a hallmark of the Bowden Bowl since the first game in 1999. (Here's a list of the tricks Tommy Bowden has pulled on his dad.)

RECRUITING WOES: The Anderson Independent-Mail has a very good story on the top-notch recruits Clemson has lost to Florida State, and the impact that has had on the program.

DON'T YOU CARE? DON'T YOU EVEN CARE? The Augusta Chronicle looks at the declining enthusiasm for the Clemson football program in, of all places, the town of Clemson. And here's an AP story that looks ahead to the big game. There's also this story about how the Bowden Bowl ain't as fun as it used to be.

WELL RECEIVED: The Miami Herald says Florida State may have a hard time stopping Clemson's tall receiving corps. I hope they're right.

THANKS FOR SHARING: The State examines shared information among coaches.

McCLEON RULES: Former Clemson defensive back Dexter McCleon is having a great season in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

The Bowden Bowl V: This year, a soap opera

The Anderson Independent-Mail has a nice rundown of why this year's Bowden Bowl may not be much fun for either side. In that same vein, former Auburn coach Terry Bowden says his brother Tommy should continue coaching at Clemson. And here's another story about athletic director Terry Don Phillips waiting until the end of the season before making a decision on Bowden's future.

And finally, here's a column from the Anderson Independent-Mail's Jon Brasier that essentially says it's time for Bowden to cut the excuses and produce in the last three games.

COMPARE & CONTRAST: The Rock Hill Herald's Gary McCann compares Tommy Bowden's record in his first years at Clemson with Frank Beamer's record during his first four years at Virginia Tech. Guess what? Bowden's doing a lot better.

FICKLE CLEMSON FANS: The Tallahassee Democrat's Randy Beard has a column about the often unreasonable demands of a vocal segment of Clemson fans.

THAT'S SPECIAL: One bright spot for Clemson's mediocre season has been improved play on special teams.

TURNING THE CORNER: The Greenville News examines the defensive challenges that will face Clemson cornerbacks Tye Hill and Justin Miller in Saturday's game. (More here.)

HAPPY WHERE HE'S AT: The State profiles Florida State linebacker Michael Boulware, one of many South Carolina natives who have chosen to play for the Seminoles.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

(UPDATED at 11:47 a.m.)

Reports: Bowden won't be fired in midseason

The State is reporting that Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips will wait until the end of the season to evaluate coach Tommy Bowden's job status.

"You let the cards be played and at the end of the season, regardless of what sport it is, (and) you sit down and visit at that time," Phillips said. "And until that time, we're going to encourage and support these coaches, and we're going to encourage and support our team."

This is a sensible approach. I've always thought firing coaches before the end of the season was a bad idea.

Meanwhile, columnist Ron Morris of The State makes a point that's certain to anger a lot of Clemson fans: Bowden ain't done that bad, folks. True, but does his slightly above average record justify his big paycheck? Apparently not, according to this guy.

Finally, here's a hard-to-read chart of other Division I coaches who are on the hot seat.

LOOKING AHEAD: Here's an AP story that's spun off of Clemson's weekly press conference.

SPEED KILLS: The Greenville News has an interesting story on the evolution of speed in college defenses and what that means for Clemson. And speaking of the defense, Clemson defensive coordinator John Lovett says Wake Forest had a great game plan going in, which is why the Deacs rushed for 321 yards in Saturday's 45-17 victory.

BOWDEN BOWL NO FUN: Here's a good story on the internal family strife that the annual Clemson-FSU game causes for the Bowden family.

FEELING BETTER: The Seminoles will be healthy for Saturday's Bowden Bowl.

CU-FSU MEMORIES: The official Clemson site has posted video highlights of the first Bowden Bowl, the 1999 game in Clemson that drew a record crowd to Death Valley. I was there that night with my father, and it was an unforgettable atmosphere. Unfortunately, we lost 17-14.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Bowden Bowl won't be a bash this year

With Tommy Bowden's job in jeopardy, it's not a happy time around the Bowden family household as the annual father/son game between Florida State and Clemson looms. (More here.) Rumors swirling around Tigernet's message board last night indicated that athletic director Terry Don Phillips offered Bowden a chance to resign today, because he's going to fire him at the end of the season. It sounds phony, but stories like that are nothing but another distraction for a team that's reeling. (More here.)

FANS ON THE RUN: The Greenville News says Clemson's players have been getting an earful from the fans in the wake of Saturday's loss.

HOLDING THEIR HEADS UP: Meanwhile, the players are expressing confidence that they can defy the odds and beat Florida State. (More here.)

McCLINTON BACK: Defensive end Todd McClinton, who has missed most of the season because of unexplained seizures, will practice today.

STATS WATCH: We're still No. 1 -- in kickoff returns.

Monday, November 03, 2003

(UPDATED at 3:50 p.m.)

Pressure building on Bowden after loss

Man, the Tiger Nation is in full meltdown following the devastating loss to Wake Forest. The Tigernet message board has gone insane. I posted something last night questioning whether former coach Danny Ford actually turned water into wine and made the blind see, and was promptly labeled a "stupid POS." (POS is apparently Internet shorthand for "piece of shit.") The poster did apologize, but, man, it's getting ugly over there.

Anyway, on to what the media has to say.

HOT SEAT WATCH: Wake Forest fans taunted coach Tommy Bowden during Saturday's game. Ouch. Poppa Bowden of FSU, the winningest coach in Division I history, urges patience. (More here.)

And here's an interesting column from John Brasier of the Anderson Independent-Mail. He says it's too early to call for Bowden's head, and urges the university to let him finish out the season.

PREPPING FOR FSU: Clemson's Tommy Bowden says the Tigers have got to get ready to take on Florida State. Uh, you think? Also, Bowden says running back Yusef Kelly could play this Saturday. Finally, a little good news.

CU-FSU NOTES: The voluminous pregame notes for Saturday's game against Florida State are posted. And the Duke game on Nov. 15 will kick off at 1 p.m. There is no TV coverage.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Wake Forest 45, Clemson 17: The aftermath

Well, here goes the media bloodletting. It makes me sick just to post this mess.

GAME STORIES: "Wake routs Clemson," says the Anderson Independent-Mail; "Wake zaps Tigers," says the Greenville News; "Deacs crank up heat on Bowden," says The State; "Deacs maul Tigers," says the Winston-Salem Journal.

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

OTHER STORIES: Here's where it gets interesting. Bart Wright of the Greenville News says Clemson football is now officially irrelevant. Jon Solomon of the Anderson Independent-Mail describes a team that is lost.

The Greenville News nicely captures the anger of the fans. The State looks at the costly turnovers that doomed the Tigers. The Greenville News examines the big day that Wake Forest running back Chris Barclay had.

And finally, The State has the quarter-by-quarter highlights, grades the keys to victory and the high five thingee.

NOTEBOOKS: The State; The Greenville News; The Anderson Independent-Mail.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: N.C. State edged Virginia, Maryland crushed North Carolina, Florida State blanked Notre Dame, and Duke hung tough at Tennessee before losing.

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Wake Forest 45, Clemson 17: We officially SUCK

Words fail me. I can't even post a link to this mess. I'm going to have to drink a lot of vodka or tequila or something to get over this.

I wouldn't have been upset if we'd lost to Wake Forest by a field goal or something. But that didn't happen. We were absolutely demolished today. By WAKE FREAKIN' FOREST!!!!!

Unbelievable. I think it's safe to say that Tommy Bowden is in deep, deep doo-doo. It's a sad day to be a Clemson fan.

I'll post the media's reaction tomorrow, after I get through throwing up. It should be very interesting. The media bit, not the throwing-up bit.

Must cry now...

Today's game against Wake Forest is huge

I guess it goes without saying, but I said it anyway. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. There is no television. Go Tigers!

GAME PREVIEWS: The Anderson Independent-Mail says Clemson coach Tommy Bowden hopes to avoid the "Wake Forest jinx." A loss to Wake Forest has sealed the fate of a couple of Tiger coaches. The Greenville News examines Clemson's slim chances of earning a tie for the ACC title:

Here's what has to happen:

--The Tigers (5-3, 3-2) must win their remaining conference games, including the one against the Seminoles, who are 6-0 in the conference.

--Virginia, North Carolina State, Georgia Tech and Maryland must lose another ACC game. They each have two conference losses.

--N.C. State has to beat the Seminoles for the third straight year in a Nov. 15 game in Tallahassee, Fla.

Hey, you never know. And here's a game capsule.

Meanwhile, The State has its usual pregame package. There's the keys the victory, the matchups, a look at how Clemson will try to stop Wake Forest running back Chris Barclay, and a Q&A with Clemson defensive end Mo Fountain.

BEANIE BABY UPDATE: Remember this guy selling his ex-wife's Beanie Babies on eBay? Well, the plot has thickened. Also, check out one of the guy's other auctions. Hilarious.