Tuesday, December 27, 2011

DeAndre Hopkins injured in car crash

Sophomore wide receiver DeAndre "Nuke" Hopkins suffered a mild concussion after a car crash on Tuesday.

According to Clemson officials, Hopkins crashed his car and did not make Clemson's flight to Miami for next week's Orange Bowl. It is unclear if he will play in next Wednesday's game against West Virginia.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Clemson losing money on Orange Bowl trip

That's right: The Tigers' high-profile journey to Miami to face West Virginia will actually end up costing the school money. The reason? Poor ticket sales.

Travis Sawchik of the Post and Courier continues his series looking back to Clemson's 1981 national championship. This week, he focuses on the dark side of the title -- the allegations of improper recruitment that led to NCAA probation.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Former Tiger All-American Jackie Calvert dies

Sad news: Jackie Calvert, who was a star back for two of Frank Howard's undefeated football teams, died Sunday.

Calvert played on the undefeated 1948 Tiger squad and was the captain of the unbeaten 1950 team.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Javis Austin finds new life after suicide attempt

Here's the remarkable story of Javis Austin, a former Tiger running back who has made an incredible comeback from a suicide attempt and, despite being blind, is now an educator.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Individual honors roll in for Tigers

It's been a big weekend for individual accolades for members of Clemson's football team:

• Tight end Dwayne Allen was named first team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America.

• Receiver Sammy Watkins is starting to pull in a boatload of honors.

Congratulations, guys.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Dwayne Allen wins Mackey Award

Congratulations to Clemson's Dwayne Allen, who was named the nation's top tight end on Thursday. He'll likely make a bigger splash in the NFL than another former Tiger tight end, longtime Pittsburgh Steeler Bennie Cunningham.

Danny Ford, CEO? Sounds like he was back then.

• Dabo Swinney's Gamecock-baiting rant  prior to the ACC title game was actually a brilliant motivational move, says Post and Courier columnist Gene Sapakoff.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Clemson in Charlotte: One year, many differences

The Charleston Post and Courier's Travis Sawchik has a good piece on Clemson playing in Charlotte in 2011 vs. Clemson playing in Charlotte in 2010.

Dabo Swinney to Texas A&M? God, I hate the Internet. It's not surprising that this rumor is out there, though, considering that Swinney is one of five finalists for national coach of the year.

• Clemson center Dalton Freeman is a Rimington Award finalist.

•  Tight end Dwayne Allen faces a "difficult" NFL decision. Let me make it easy for you, Dwayne -- don't go.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Whew: Chad Morris is staying at Clemson

That's a relief. Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris signed a new contract with Clemson on Sunday. Morris' inventive offensive schemes have attracted lots of national attention this season.

• You probably already knew this, but Clemson will face West Virginia in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 4.

• Clemson's ACC title boosted the Tigers to No. 14 in both major polls.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Clemson 38, Virginia Tech 10: ACC champs at last

After 20 seasons in the wilderness, and a month in which it seemed the Tigers had run off the rails, Clemson responded to the ultimate challenge with a resounding 38-10 victory over Virginia Tech in the ACC championship game. The victory gives the Tigers their first league title since 1991, and they'll go to the Orange Bowl for the first time since the national championship season of 1981.

The State's Ron Morris says Clemson has wiped out decades of frustration with the big win.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Dabo vs. Spurrier: The Swinney rebuttal

This is pretty good right here. (Correction: Steve Spurrier didn't say it.) The slow-motion rant starts at 1:50:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Former Clemson standout Chester McGlockton dies

Sad news: Former Clemson All-American defensive lineman Chester McGlockton has died.

McGlockton, 42,  apparently suffered a massive heart attack on Tuesday at his home in California. He had spent the past two years as an assistant coach at Stanford.

After he left Clemson, McGlockton spent 12 years in the NFL and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Complacency led to Tigers' slump

• A "poor job of handling success" explains Clemson's season-closing 1-3 slump, according to The Charlotte Observer, and it has "added to a time-honored idea that Clemson -- with its top recruits and excellent facilities -- somehow always manage (sic) to underachieve."

• Can Clemson keep Chad Morris? The whole country seems to be interested in the Tigers' whizbang offensive coordinator.

• Quarterback Tajh Boyd has been rattled a lot over the past few weeks. Can he regain his confidence before Saturday's ACC championship game?

Sammy Watkins is the ACC rookie of the year. Congratulations, Sammy.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Five Tigers named first-team all-ACC

Hey, some good news for a change. Read on.

• Five Clemson players -- quarterback Tajh Boyd, receiver Sammy Watkins, center Dalton Freeman, defensive end Andre Branch and tight end Dwayne Allen -- made the All-ACC first team. Running back Andre Ellington, defensive tackle Brandon Thompson, kicker Chandler Catanzaro are on the second team.

• Would an ACC title erase a horrible month for Clemson? You'd better believe it.

Chad Morris rumored to possibly be joining Urban Meyer at Ohio State. Please, no.

• You need to follow @its_dabo on Twitter.  Clearly a Gamecock. Also, clearly funny.

Monday, November 28, 2011

We've still got the ACC title game

Following Saturday's horrible 34-13 loss to South Carolina, is there anything left to play for? Yes -- the ACC championship. The Tigers will face Virginia Tech in Charlotte with a chance at their first league title in 20 years.

• Despite Saturday's loss, Clemson remains ranked in both polls. How'd that happen?

• The headline says it all -- "Tigers' promising season has gone off the rails."

 • The Tigers are limping into the ACC title game. Yes, they are.

Friday, November 25, 2011

One day until the big game

We're a little more than 24 hours from the Clemson-South Carolina showdown. Here's some of the top headlines today:

• The big game goes beyond bragging rights this year. It's a season-salvaging contest for both teams.

• Here are the 25 best individual performances by Clemson players against USC.

• Can Clemson's innovative offense keep its edge over the long term?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Play Clemson /Carolina on Thanksgiving?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Here are a couple of items as anticipation builds for Saturday's Clemson-South Carolina game.

The Post and Courier's Travis Sawchik floats a question I've often pondered myself: What if the Tigers and Gamecocks faced off on Thanksgiving Day? It's a good idea. I'd also like to see the schools ponder a Friday game as well, though that could clash with prep football playoffs around the state.

Brent Breedin, a former sports information director at Clemson, shares his memories of the rivalry.

The State's Bob Spear looks back at the 2000 Tigers-Gamecocks game, a 16-14 Clemson victory that's best remembered for Rod Gardner's controversial catch that set up the game-winning field goal.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Clemson vs. Carolina: News and views

We're getting closer to the big rivalry game on Saturday. Here's what's going on:

The cousin connection to the big game: Clemson's Andre Ellington and South Carolina's Bruce Ellington.

• Will a night game favor Clemson against USC? History says it will.

• Clemson's recent slide could be blamed on the lost recruiting class of 2009.

The Post and Courier's Gene Sapakoff says this has been Dabo Swinney's best year at Clemson, and Steve Spurrier's best year at South Carolina.

• Here's another good review for State of Disunion, the new book about the Tigers-Gamecocks rivalry that I highlighted on Monday.

• Did you know that in 1952 the South Carolina State Legislature passed a bill requiring Clemson and USC to play annually? Now you do.

• Athlon has good look at the history behind the rivalry.

• And finally, hip sports website Grantland invites the editors of the student newspapers at Clemson and USC to write about Saturday's game.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Prepping for the Gamecocks

It's South Carolina week, and there is more football news than you can shake a turkey leg at. Here's some of the best:

• Clemson's season -- not so bad after all?

• There's a new book out about the Clemson-USC rivalry. Check out State of Disunion.

• The Tigers and the Gamecocks have come a long way since the 1998 game. Hey, I was at that one.

• The ancient Clemson-USC rivalry is even more important this year.

• Tight end Dwayne Allen is a Mackey Award finalist, one of three in the country.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tigers face gut-check time

A national championship is gone, but can Clemson salvage what has been a remarkable season? We'll see.

• The Tigers are limping into the defining stretch of their season.

• Clemson is taking a long look in the mirror.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

N.C. State 37, Clemson 13: Not helpful

On a day of many upsets that could have helped the Tigers make a serious move in the BCS rankings, they went to Raleigh and played like chumps. Here are some reactions to the travesty.

• The game stories: Here and here.

• The loss drops Clemson all the way down to No. 17 in the USA TODAY poll and No. 18 in the AP poll.

The State's Ron Morris says the Tigers were poorly prepared. Really?

Sammy Watkins will play this week against South Carolina. Thank God.

• Speaking of Watkins, here's another profile of the amazing freshman.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Clemson-N.C. State: A colorful series

We're a day away from the Textile Bowl, and here's the news:

• The Clemson-N.C. State series has featured orange shoes, purple jerseys and record-breaking performances.

• If Clemson wins Saturday, Coach Dabo Swinney will receive a $20,000 bonus for getting 10 victories in a season.

• Here's the AP preview of the game.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dwayne Allen has grown up a lot at Clemson

Here's some Clemson football news for Thursday:

• All-star tight end Dwayne Allen was once a very immature player. Not anymore.

Orange and White scouts N.C. State here, here, here and here.

• Here's a nice feature on the history of Death Valley.

• Will Sammy Watkins play Saturday? Only he knows.

• CBS Sports has a great profile of Watkins. Watch the video:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sammy Watkins could miss N.C. State game

Here's some news of note as Clemson preps for its ACC finale against N.C. State on Saturday.

Sammy Watkins' sprained shoulder could keep him out of Saturday's game, unless there's an emergency.

• Speaking of Watkins, he's one of 15 semifinalists (and the only freshman) in the running for the Walter Camp Award, which is presented to the national player of the year.

• "Go play like a champion": That's Coach Dabo Swinney's admonition to his team.

• Columnist Greg Wallace looks ahead to the Clemson-South Carolina game, which should draw more national interest than usual.

• And finally: Bill Murray was tailgating at the Wake Forest game last weekend?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Tigers clinch division title, climb in polls

Apologies for the lack of posts over the past few days. I've been out of town. Let's try to catch up.

• Following the thrilling 31-28 victory over Wake Forest that clinched the Atlantic division title, the Tigers rose to No. 7 and No. 8 in the major polls. Clemson is also No. 7 in the BCS standings.

• Clemson kicker Chandler Catanzaro is the Tigers' new hero after his game-deciding last-second field goal against the Demon Deacons.

• Receiver Sammy Watkins is questionable for Saturday's ACC finale at N.C. State. That game will kick off at 3:30 p.m.

Clemson's resilience, as evidenced in the game against Wake Forest, is changing the perception of the Tigers as a team that can't seal the deal.

• Clemson's offense? Call it "wide-open chaos."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Clemson has shot at perfect home record

We're a couple of days away from the game that could clinch the Atlantic Division title for the Tigers. Here's what's going on.

• Clemson's seniors have a chance to finish the season 7-0 at home, something that's never happened before.

• Wake Forest has the tools to challenge Clemson, according to ESPN.

• Coach Dabo Swinney says the Tigers' defense is "complex," "dominant," but "inconsistent."

• Will Saturday's game be superstar tight end Dwayne Allen's final home game? Let's hope not.

This week's feature in the football program that will be sold at Saturday's game is a profile of 1981 national championship hero Perry Tuttle.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Clemson's future looks blindingly bright

Whatever happens over the remainder of this season, Clemson looks like it's got the foundation for a great future.

• Two years from now, the Tigers could be a real juggernaut.

Unique leadership is fueling Clemson's current rise.

• Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele says the Tigers' D made big progress during the off week.

• Despite its recent slide, Wake Forest is still in position to win the Atlantic Division.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Tigers aim to cut down on turnovers

Clemson preps for Saturday's game with Wake Forest, blogger preps for another post.

• The Tigers will have to hold on to the ball better if they want to defeat the Demon Deacons.

• Clemson isn't going to reinvent the wheel in the wake of the Georgia Tech loss. 

• Running back Andre Ellington is expected to play Saturday.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Tigers rise to No. 10 in poll

Despite being idle, Clemson climbed back into the top 10 in this week's USA TODAY Coaches poll. Here's some more news as the Tigers prepare for a big ACC showdown on Saturday with Wake Forest.

• Clemson again has a shot at a top-10 finish after rising in the polls.

• Here are five reasons for optimism for Clemson fans.

• Commence Operation Keep Chad Morris.

• Clemson-Wake Forest will kick off at noon on Saturday on ESPNU.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Who eggged Tajh Boyd's house after GT loss?

More crazy stories and rumors are surfacing during Clemson's bye week.

• According to a tweet from Clemson beat writer Travis Sawchik,  Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd's house was egged on Saturday night following the Tigers' loss to Georgia Tech. Was this the work of "extremist" fans? Hard to say. Eggings aren't exactly unheard of in college towns.

• Freshman safety Desmond Brown has been dismissed from the team.

• Here's a great profile of Homer Jordan, the Tigers' quarterback on the 1981 national championship team.

• Remember Roscoe Crosby? He's now a counselor at a camp for troubled youth.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Dear Clemson: Spend whatever it takes to keep Chad Morris

It's an off week, so it's time to crank up the off-field rumor mill. Here we go.

• Can Clemson afford to keep hot shot offensive coordinator Chad Morris on the staff? Let's hope so.

• Clemson's bye will will allow tight end Dwayne Allen's turf toe to heal.

• Looking ahead, ESPN sees Clemson in the ACC title game facing off against either Virgina Tech or Georgia Tech.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Off week offers chance to heal up

After nine straight weeks of games, the Tigers get a break this Saturday. That's the good news. What other news is out there today?

• Clemson running back Andre Ellington, who did not play against Georgia Tech, could be ready to go against Wake Forest on Nov. 12.

• Speaking of the Wake Forest game, it will start at either noon or 3:30.

Monday, October 31, 2011

All is not lost, Clemson

Clemson's devastating loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday certainly knocked the Tigers out of national-championship contention. But is the season now ruined?

• Dabo Swinney says Clemson "must flush" the loss to the Yellow Jackets as the team heads into a bye week.

• Clemson has had a great season, and an ACC title and BCS bowl berth are still well within reach, says CBS Sports.

• Saturday's win was great for Georgia Tech but bad for the ACC, says ESPN.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Georgia Tech 31, Clemson 17: Perfect season evaporates

Our ancient nemesis from Atlanta did it again -- thwarted our chances for a perfect season. Here's the reaction to the loss.

• Game stories: Post and Courier; Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Dabo Swinney: "They just flat-out whipped us." 

• Georgia Tech simply out-physicaled Clemson, says Orange and White.

• With the defeat, Clemson slipped to 12th in the USA TODAY Coaches poll.

Sammy Watkins had another big night -- 10 receptions for 159 yards and a touchdown.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Andre Ellington won't start against Georgia Tech

Some news and notes on the eve of Clemson's critical game against Georgia Tech:

• Clemson's top running back, Andre Ellington, won't start on Saturday night against the Yellow Jackets. (DJ Howard gets the nod.) Georgia Tech center Jay Finch won't play at all.

Georgia Tech's special teams have struggled this season.

• The Clemson-Georgia Tech rivalry has long been a roller coaster. It's also rich in history.

• Here's a good profile of Clemson Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

How can Clemson play for the national championship?

The big game with Georgia Tech is just two days away. Here's the news leading up to the showdown.

Orange and White lays out the various scenarios that could propel Clemson to a national championship. (As you might have guessed, a lot of other teams have to lose.) My old colleague Keith Jarrett of the Asheville Citizen-Times also explores some scenarios. (Hi, Keith.)

• Georgia Tech fears the Tiger, especially on offense.

• Speaking of the offense, it converts third-and-long situations at one of the best rates in the ACC.

• ESPN says Clemson has something to prove against the Yellow Jackets.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dwayne Allen battles turf toe

Some of Clemson's key players are nursing injuries as the Tigers head into a key ACC game on Saturday at Georgia Tech:

• Tight end Dwayne Allen, who has had a stellar season so far, is coping with turf toe, and running back Andre Ellington has a sore ankle.

The Post and Courier's Gene Sapakoff has a good column on the fiercely contested Clemson-Georgia Tech rivalry.

• Georgia Tech's offense throws a lot at you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Georgia Tech: Dangerous despite setbacks

The much-anticipated game with Georgia Tech has lost some luster, but it's still a big game. Here's what people are saying about it and other things Clemson-related:

Dabo Swinney says the Yellow Jackets are still "talented, dangerous."

• The key to offensive coordinator Chad Morris' success? Communication.

• Clemson fans are snapping up tickets for the Dec. 3 ACC title game in Charlotte.

• How can the Tigers defeat Georgia Tech? The answer is right here.

• Clemson has a real shot at the national title, says The Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tiger rise to fifth in new BCS poll

Clemson has now reached its highest ranking ever in the BCS poll. The Tigers are up to No. 5 following upset losses by Wisconsin and Oklahoma.

• BCS mania: Orange and White (and more here on how the computer is helping) and another story on how they got there;  Post and Courier.

• There's not much difference in the talent level between Clemson's best young players, and that includes superstar Sammy Watkins.

Orange and White has a nice feature on DeAndre "Nuke" Hopkins, who had a huge game against the Tar Heels on Saturday.

• USA TODAY says Clemson's Nov. 12 game with Wake Forest, and not this week's showdown with Georgia Tech, now looms as the Tigers' most important game.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Clemson 59, UNC 38: Tigers jump in polls

Clemson defeated North Carolina 59-38 on a picture-perfect Saturday in Death Valley (I know, because I was there for the first time in several years). Here's a quick look at reactions to the game and its aftermath:

• With Wisconsin and Oklahoma losing on Saturday, Clemson moved up to No. 6 in the USA TODAY coaches poll.

• Game story: The Charlotte Observer.

Ron Green Jr. says Clemson is daring to dream the dream.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Clemson vs. UNC features efficient quarterbacks

We're one day away from squaring off with the  Tar Heels for the first time in a couple of years. Here's what's news out there:

Tajh Boyd and UNC's Bryn Renner rank as two of the most efficient passing quarterbacks in the country, according to NCAA statistics.

• Speaking of Boyd, his quick release when throwing the ball makes him an attractive target for the NFL.

• Saturday's game is a must-win for North Carolina, says ESPN.

The dreaded noon kickoff for Saturday's game won't be a problem for Clemson's players.

The Tigers' 7-0 start helps out on the recruiting trail.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Clemson's offensive line is shaping up

A quick look at what's shaking out there on the Internet today:

• Clemson's offensive line is making great progress as the season moves along.

• Freshman linebacker Tony Steward tore his ACL and will miss the remainder of the season.

• Can the Tigers put all the pieces together for a stellar run through the remainder of the season?

Tajh Boyd has been added to the Manning Award watch list.

Sports Illustrated names Sammy Watkins a midseason All American, and Heismanpundit names him the player of the week.

• CBS Sports has a video preview of Saturday's game with UNC:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Everybody's talking about Sammy Watkins

As Clemson climbs in the national rankings, its players are soaring into the national spotlight, and none more so than freshman Sammy Watkins.

• ESPN says Watkins plays above his age. Bleacher Report calls him a "human highlight reel." (Watkins is also a supportive roommate to running back Mike Bellamy, who is not happy with his lack of playing time.)

• Running back Andrew Ellington, who rushed for more than 200 yards against Maryland, is revving up the Tigers' offense.

Orange and White examines which players are getting the most snaps this season.

• There were 14 "sickening" plays Maryland ran against Clemson on Saturday. Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele describes them.

• Pre-Snap Read, a fine college football blog that I just discovered, looks at Clemson's season so far.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Heels' defense faces huge challenge in Tigers

Here's what's happening now as the Tigers prepare for Saturday's game with North Carolina:

• The Tar Heels' defense has lost starting linebacker Ebele Okakpu for disciplinary reasons.

• ESPN's Heather Dinich says the Tigers should get a shot at the national championship. I hope she's right.

• Offensive coordinator Chad Morris says Clemson's offense is only going to get better.

Clemson's top Heisman candidates? Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins are outsiders right now, says ESPN. Watkins is also on ESPN's Heisman watch list.

• Running back Mike Bellamy has been frustrated by his lack of playing time.

The Post and Courier has an interesting story about long snappers.

• Recruiting news: Clemson has received another high-profile commitment  -- defensive tackle Josh Brown of Aiken, S.C.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Seven may not be lucky for Tigers

The first BCS poll of the season is the big news in college football, and Clemson comes in at No. 7 in the first poll.

• ESPN says Clemson may face a tough climb to No. 1 from No. 7. And here's Clemson's BCS history.

• Some computer models have ranked the Tigers as high as No. 3 in the BCS.

Orange and White examines this season's parallels with the national championship season of 1981. 

Is Sammy Watkins human? The Charlotte Observer investigates. Also, Watkins wins the Paul Hornung Award for his superhuman efforts against Maryland. (More on Watkins here.)

Dabo Swinney sees lots of lessons from the big comeback against Maryland.

• USA TODAY says Clemson showed some vulnerability on Saturday, as did Georgia Tech.

O&W takes a quick look-ahead to North Carolina.

Clemson-Georgia Tech will kick off at 8 p.m. on Oct. 29, possibly as the big national game on ABC.

• And finally, Deadspin notes that an unidentified Clemson assistant coach may be keeping vital game notes inside a Michelle Obama commemorative trapper-keeper. Is somebody taking the first lady's Let's Move! campaign a little too seriously?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Clemson seventh in first BCS poll

The Tigers are ranked seventh in the initial BCS poll. Who's No. 1? LSU. (NOTE: Corrects earlier erroneous post.)

That's all for now. There'll be much more tomorrow.

Clemson 56, Maryland 45: The postmortems

Here's all the news that's fit to link in the aftermath of Clemson's thrilling 56-45 win over Maryland. Coming later tonight: The season's first BCS poll. I'll post an update when it comes out.

• Here are the game stories: Baltimore Sun, The State, Orange and White, The Washington Post, Post and Courier

• Clemson stays at No. 8 in the USA TODAY coaches poll. They also remained at No. 8 in the AP poll.

What worked for the Tigers on Saturday night? And what didn't?

• ESPN says Sammy Watkins, who racked up 345 all-purposes yards, is the new C.J. Spiller.

• Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele takes the blame for Clemson's defensive problems against the Terps.

• Meanwhile, offensive coordinator Chad Morris wants the Tigers to enjoy their impressive outing -- 576 yards and 56 points.

The State looks ahead to this weekend's 30th reunion for the 1981 national championship team.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Clemson 56, Maryland 45: Wild win

What a game. Clemson's 56-45 victory over Maryland on Saturday night has to rank as one of the wildest wins in Tiger history. Down 18 points, Clemson outscored the Terps 39-10 to remain undefeated. Receiver Sammy Watkins had a record-breaking night, and quarterback Tajh Boyd overcame a sluggish start to have another impressive outing.

I'll post more news and reactions on Sunday. Right now, I'm going to celebrate.

Clemson vs. Maryland: Game on

The Tigers and Terps kick off at 7 p.m. this evening. The game will be televised on ESPNU (do we get that here?). Quickly:

Dabo Swinney sees danger in Maryland. Also, Swinney details 10 things it'll take to beat the Terps.

Questions and answers regarding today's game.

• A game preview from Maryland's perspective.

• CBS Sports' Tony Barnhart lists the Tigers in his Tony's Top 10 column this week.

• And speaking of CBS, here's a video preview of the game:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Carlos Watkins is Clemson bound

Just in: Defensive tackle Carlos Watkins, a standout at Forest City (N.C.) Chase High School, has chosen to play college football at Clemson instead of Florida, Shakin' the Southland reports. The 6-4, 290-pound Watkins is rated one of the top 100 players in the country.

Clemson to the SEC? Not so fast, Barker says

Lots of Clemson news out there a day before the game with Maryland. Let's hit the highlights.

• Clemson University President James Barker refutes a Boston Globe report earlier this week that Clemson would join the Southeastern Conference as its 14th member. I'd welcome a move to the SEC myself, and I think a lot of Clemson fans would, too.

The Washington Post predicts a narrow victory for the Tigers over the Terps on Saturday. Narrow? Clemson Girl sees a 31-20 win for Clemson.

• The Clemson-Maryland series has been a streaky one through the years.

• Here's an injury update for both Clemson and Maryland heading into Saturday's game in College Park. The big news: Maryland's leading tackler, Demetrius Hartsfield, will miss the contest.

• The Terps could play two quarterbacks on Saturday -- Danny O'Brien and the speedy C.J. Brown.

It's down to the wire in the recruiting battle for North Carolina prep star Carlos Watkins. Will he choose Clemson or Florida? We'll find out later today.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tajh Boyd's hip injury? Blame 'swag reasons'

Here's what people are talking about this morning as the Tigers zero in on the Terps:

• Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd is catching a lot of grief for admitting that he wasn't wearing hip pads for "swag reasons" when he went down with a hip injury against Boston College. (How long until #swagreasons is trending on Twitter?) I'm going to go out on a limb and say he'll be wearing them Saturday against Maryland, and the "swag" factor won't have anything to do with it.

The Charleston Post and Courier examines the trend of flashy, gaudy, ever-changing college football uniforms. Maryland figures prominently, of course.

• Here's video of Tony Barnhart interviewing Dabo Swinney for CBS Sports.

Orange and White discusses Clemson's youth movement -- 29 freshmen have played for the Tigers so far this season.

O&W also has a couple of pieces on receiver Sammy Watkins, who is tearing it up this year.

• Who will start at quarterback for Maryland on Saturday?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

For Clemson, speed kills

Here's what's shaking out there on the Interwebs today:

• Clemson may have the fastest group of players assembled on one team since the Miami squads of the early 2000s.

• CBS Sports previews Saturday's game at Maryland.

• Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele says the Terps have a dangerous offense.

• Recruiting news: The Tigers are looking to land top prospect Carlos Watkins of Forest City (N.C.) Chase High School, and they're looking forward to welcoming Clemson Daniel product Shaq Lawson, a defensive end whose prep team has shut out five straight opponents.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tigers rate well in mock BCS poll

It's Tuesday. What's going on with Clemson football? Let's check it out:

The Tigers are seventh in a mock BCS poll conducted by ESPN.

The Washington Post examines the personnel issues for both Maryland and Clemson ahead of Saturday's game.

• Offensive coordinator Chad Morris is still fine-tuning the Tigers' offense.

• ESPN hands out its midseason report cards. Here's Clemson's.

• Backup quarterback Cole Stoudt comes from a football background -- his dad, Cliff Stoudt, played in the NFL for eight seasons.

• Quarterback Tajh Boyd is on the Maxwell Award watch list. Other players are on the awards-season radar, too.

• Redshirt freshman running back Demont Buice will transfer.

Monday, October 10, 2011

For Clemson, a long October has barely begun

Football, football and more football. That's all we get around here, 24 hours a day:

• Clemson has enjoyed possibly its greatest string of football success ever since late September, but there are many more road blocks ahead in this rare, five-Saturday October.

•  Tajh Boyd will likely play against Maryland. Maybe they should rest him? Cole Stoudt did a great job filling in Saturday against Boston College.

• ESPN ranks Clemson No. 1 in the ACC power rankings.

Orange and White has a nice profile of young receiver Charone Peake.

Orange and White also examines the stellar play of defensive ends Malliciah Goodman and Andre Branch.

Anderson Independent-Mail columnist Greg Wallace says Clemson's greatest enemy at this point could be itself.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Tajh Boyd's MRI negative; QB questionable for next game

Clemson's star quarterback Tajh Boyd's hip injury doesn't appear to be too serious, though there's a chance he could sit out or see limited action in next week's ACC game at Maryland. However, Tigernet reports that Boyd could practice on Tuesday, and Travis Sawchik, the Clemson beat writer for the Charleston Post and Courier, tweeted that Boyd's father told him that Tajh "should be fine for next week at Maryland." Fingers crossed.

Here's a roundup of coverage from Saturday's 36-14 victory over Boston College.

• Game stories from Saturday's victory: The State, Spartanburg Herald-Journal.

• Backup quarterback Cole Stoudt did a fine job filling in for Boyd on Saturday.

• Here's a great lineup of postgame coverage from Orange and White: A breakdown of what worked for the Tigers and what could have worked better; offensive coordinator Chad Morris' thoughts on his squad's execution; defensive coordinator Kevin Steele sees progress on his side of the ball; and a player-by-player look at who stepped up on Saturday.

• The Tigers didn't get much bounce from Saturday's victory -- they're still No. 8 in both polls.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Clemson 36, BC 14: Solid win, but Tajh Boyd injured

Clemson looked good in nearly every facet of Saturday's 36-14 victory over Boston College. However, star quarterback Tajh Boyd went down with a hip injury. As of this writing, his status is uncertain, but message-board chatter indicated that the injury wasn't a season ender.

The win improves the Tigers to 6-0, their best start since 2000. Clemson travels to Maryland next Saturday.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Struggling BC faces a tough stretch

A little over 24 hours to kickoff against Boston College? Check. Time for some Clemson football news? Check.

• Boston College, which enters Saturday's game with a 1-4 record, begins a strech of three straight road games Saturday at Clemson.

• Buried in this notebook is an interesting item: Clemson is currently second in the computerized BCS rankings

Dabo Swinney says now is not the time for the Tigers to lose their focus.

Tajh Boyd is still perfecting the offense's tempo.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

BC running back Marcel Harris won't play Saturday

Getting ready for some football? Here's some news that'll help you out.

• Boston College's top running back, Marcel Harris, won't even dress for Saturday's game at Clemson.

• Meet the six players who've made a big difference in the Tigers' season so far.

• Can Clemson defeat "the Clemson stereotype"? Let's hope.

• ESPN has a nice profile of Clemson center Jay Guillermo.

• Former coach Danny Ford talks Tiger football at his dentist's office.

• More from the Clemson wayback machine: Here's an interview with William "Refrigerator" Perry, a star from the 1981 national championship team.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Tigers toughen up, shift perceptions

Here's what folks are writing about Clemson football this morning:

• The Tigers aren't going to be perceived a soft, unphysical team anymore, says the Orange and White.

•  Also, Orange and White profiles defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, whose squad turned in an impressive performance against Virginia Tech.

•  Too early? Clemson's current odds of winning the national championship are now 12-1. (They were 100-1 at the start of the season.) But the Tigers have a lot of elements of past national champs.

• The Clemson-Georgia Tech game on Oct. 29 is shaping up to be one of the biggest games in ACC history.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The whole country -- even Hawaii -- hyped about Clemson

Here's some news about the Tigers from around the Web:

• A radio station in Hawaii (!) contacted the Charleston Post and Courier to talk about Clemson's surprising season.

• ESPN says Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd is now a serious Heisman contender.

• Defensive end Andre Branch and defensive coordinator Kevin Steele have received national awards from Rivals.com.

• Vital special-teams player Spencer Benton will miss six to eight weeks after suffering a shoulder injury against Virginia Tech.

• The hype machine leading up to the Nov. 26 game with South Carolina is already running at full speed.

The Boston Globe looks ahead to Saturday's game against Boston College in Clemson.

•  The Clemson-Maryland game on Oct. 15 in College Park will kick off at 7 p.m. It'll be televised on ESPNU.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Tiger Nation is getting pumped, and deservedly so

Enthusiasm is overflowing among Clemson fans following Saturday's 23-3 victory over Virginia Tech. The Tigers are 5-0 and ranked No. 8 in both major polls. Here's some news and notes in the aftermath of the win.

About 1,000 fans greeted the Tigers when the team returned to Clemson around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Clemson's physical style of play on Saturday greatly pleased coach Dabo Swinney. I'm sure it greatly pleased a great number of people.

Orange and White hopes Clemson's fast start doesn't set fans up for a big fall.

• Orange and White also looks ahead to Boston College here, here and here.

• ESPN wonders if Clemson can stay undefeated until the Oct. 29 showdown with Georgia Tech.

•  USA Today says Clemson looks like the class of the ACC this season.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Tigers hit the top 10 after win

Clemson's 23-3 victory over Virginia Tech on Saturday night propelled the Tigers into the top 10 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. They're also in the top 10 in the AP poll.

• Game stories from Saturday: Orange and White, The State, Spartanburg Herald Journal, The Roanoke Times, Charlotte Observer.

• ESPN says Dabo Swinney has the Tigers believing. He's got me believing, too.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Clemson 23, Virginia Tech 3: Landmark victory

Clemson's 23-3 win over Virginia Tech on Saturday night could be a program-defining victory for the school. It was the Tigers' third victory in a row over a ranked opponent, which the ESPN announcers said was something that no ACC school has ever done.

It was also Clemson's first victory over Virginia Tech since 1989.

The win puts the Tigers in the hunt for the national championship. They should be ranked in the top 10 when the polls come out on Sunday.

I'll post more links tomorrow, but tonight I'll be savoring this one.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Virginia Tech: A pivotal moment for Clemson?

Here's a quick evening update less than 24 hours before kickoff in Blacksburg:

The Orange and White's Greg Wallace says Saturday's showdown with the Hokies is a season-defining game: "Think about it: if the Tigers can take down unbeaten, No.11 Virginia Tech in their own house, is there a game they won’t be favored in the rest of the way, save a potential regular season-ending showdown at South Carolina?" In a separate piece, Wallace breaks down the game's key points.

• Game prediction from Tigernet's David Hood? Clemson 27, Virginia Tech 23.

Tiger punter Zimmerman listed as probable, more news

With one day to go to the big game at Virginia Tech, here's some news and notes from hither and yon:

• Clemson punter Dawson Zimmerman is listed as probable for Saturday's game. Zimmerman, who is averaging 43 yards per kick, was hurt in last week's victory against Florida State.

The Washington Post's Hokies Journal breaks down Saturday's key matchups and offers a prediction: Virginia Tech 31, Clemson 28.

USA Today rates Saturday's game as one of the week's biggest.

• The Tigers will be looking to snap a long losing streak against the Hokies, a team they haven't defeated since 1989. 

• Here's a good column from The Augusta Chronicle on how Dabo Swinney has turned Clemson around with one move -- hiring Chad Morris as offensive coordinator.

Orange and White says it's been a good week of practice at Clemson. Will it pay off on Saturday? (A note to the Orange and White: You have one of the slickest-looking Clemson-themed websites out there, but its stuff doesn't appear in Google News when you do a search for "Clemson." You might want to get that fixed.)

The Charlotte Observer's Tom Sorensen writes that between Clemson and USC, the state of South Carolina is in a football frenzy. He even floats the possibility that both teams could be undefeated when they play on Nov. 26. He also has this great line: "I moved South in 1981. To an outsider, Clemson felt mythical. Nothing I had seen prepared me for the manner in which the team and the town came together."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hokies' top receivers should play Saturday

A couple of late-night notes leading up to Virginia Tech-Clemson:

• Virginia Tech's top two wide receivers, Jarrett Boykin and Marcus Davis, who have been battling injuries, are expected to play against Clemson on Saturday.

•  CBS Sports has a video preview of Saturday's game.

• Former Clemson offensive coordinator Mike O'Cain should have mixed emotions on Saturday. He played at Clemson in the 1970s, and now he's Virginia Tech's quarterbacks coach.

Chad Morris, Tajh Boyd: Match made in heaven

As the showdown with Virginia Tech gets closer, here's some more Tiger news from around the Web.

• ESPN's Mark Schlabach says Clemson's new offensive coordinator Chad Morris has the perfect weapon for his spread offense in quarterback Tajh Boyd.

• Speaking of Morris, the Richmond Times-Dispatch has a nice profile of the offensive mastermind.

• And speaking of Boyd, he's won a national honor for the second week in a row.

The Anderson Independent Mail's Kerry Capps (a byline I haven't seen in a long time) looks at the Tigers' problems in short-yardage situations. It's an issue that needs to get fixed, and soon.

• What do you want on your tombstone, Tigers? How about a victory over Virginia Tech to add to the team's tombstone collection of wins against ranked teams?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tajh Boyd gets a hometown profile, more

A few Clemson-related stories of note from the P.M. cycle:

 • Tony Barnhart, CBS Sports' top college football analyst, says the spread offense is powering Clemson's recent good fortunes.

• How much has Clemson's offense improved since last season? It's among the top five most-improved teams in the country, according to this analysis from the Anderson Independent Mail. (Georgia Tech is No. 1 in that category.)

• There's a nice profile of red-hot Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd in Virginia's Hampton Roads Daily Press (Boyd grew up in the Hampton Roads area). Here's another great profile of Boyd from the Anderson Independent Mail. Also, Saturday's game will reunite Boyd with an old friend: Hokies QB Logan Thomas.

• And here's still more on Boyd, this time focusing on how Clemson is successfully recruiting players -- like Boyd and Florida-raised receiver Sammy Watkins -- who are from our rivals' back yards.

• Virginia Tech's offense isn't lighting up the board thanks to "self-inflicted mistakes," says the Washington Post's Hokies Journal blog.

• Also, the Hokies' vaunted special teams haven't been playing up to their usual stellar standard.

• Here's the transcript of Dabo Swinney's weekly ACC teleconference. (Via Tigernet.)

• Also from Tigernet: Mickey Plyler says Saturday night's game in Blacksburg is "big boy football."

• And here are the official pregame notes from the Clemson athletic department.

Virginia Tech: A tough challenge, as usual

A quick spin through the A.M. cycle of Tiger news online:

• Saturday's game in Blacksburg against the No. 11 Hokies will bring the Tigers into contact with a tough defense and a hostile crowd.

• Virginia Tech's long-term success is strongly linked to its success at keeping its coaching staff together for the long term. It's something Clemson would love to replicate.

• Clemson looks to be Virginia Tech's toughest opponent of the season, according to this Tech-centric preview story from Bleacher Report.

Eye on the Tigers note that it's been an explosive season in the ACC so far on the offensive side of the ball.

Shakin' the Southland does an informative Q&A with Gobbler Country, its SB Nation counterpart.

• Will Virginia Tech's injured ace receiver Jarrett Boykin suit up for Saturday's game? The Washington Post's Hokies Journal says it's definitely a possibility.

• ESPN's Heather Dinich makes a point many others have been making today -- Clemson will be the Hokies' biggest test so far this season.

Five-year blogging hiatus ends

Has it really been five years since I last wrote in this space?

Yes. Yes it has.

During that time, Tommy Bowden has departed and Dabo Swinney has taken over as head coach. The Tigers won the ACC's Atlantic Division in 2009. Amazing players such as C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford, some of the best ever to wear orange, have come and gone.

And now, in 2011, the Tigers have had one of their most successful streaks ever -- back-to-back victories against nationally ranked teams, including defending national champions Auburn. They're undefeated at 4-0 and ranked 13th and 15th in the national polls.

Coming up this week: A showdown with league powerhouse Virginia Tech at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg.

I can't say if I'll post as often as I did back in my heyday, but it's good to be back.