Friday, October 31, 2008

Ryan comments about Clemson

The Greenville News posted this today-link. Where Matt Ryan gave some nice thoughts about the rivalry with Clemson.

You might think that be would be Ryan's most memorable game against Clemson, but he retains a special place for the first game in 2005.

"That game when I was a sophomore stands out for me," he said. "What an awesome place that is to play. I'll never forget that atmosphere (at Memorial Stadium), and I know for a fact I've never seen so much orange in one place at one time. If you've never been there, going out on the field for the first time at Clemson is incredible."

The first impressions of Death Valley were enough to override a vicious hit Ryan took from Clemson's David Dunham early in the game.

"Remember it?" Ryan said. "How could I forget? They got me real good, knocked my helmet off, the whole thing. I got to the sidelines and had a couple minutes to sort of take inventory, but we were able to win the game, so that's what I remember most, winning in that atmosphere."

I want winners

At least Dabo has the right idea here (or here), to talk to God himself about how to coach football.

“If you’ve got a guy like that, that has been in the same situation I am, you use him. He understands Clemson and the people and the dynamic, and he lives right down the road, so it was pretty much a no-brainer for me to speak with him.”

The P&C has an article about our late-game defensive breakdowns, here, but this D has held us in every game except Alabama. Look, when youre on the field all damn day because the offense can't do anything, you're going to falter late in games.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Coaching Candidates: Bud Foster

Well we've all seen Clemson play VT, and get manhandled by Bud Foster's defenses, so we all know how good a Defensive Coordinator he is. In 2006 we didnt think we could be stopped, but he put 8 in the box and forced us to pass, and we couldnt. We could hardly block after one of our starting linemen went down. Last year, we were similarly throttled in a horrible loss.

Recently it appears he has been contacted about the head job at Clemson, as reported by Rivals.

A few weeks ago he said this when asked about interest in the Clemson vacancy.

"I'd be...stupid" not to be interested, Foster said. "You guys have all asked me for the last five years, six years. Who wouldn't be (interested)? ... That'd be one I'd be jumping through hoops to try to get. "

But have you heard his name? I can't recall when he's been a frontrunner for a job anywhere. He has said that he only wants a BCS-conference job. Foster has come up in searches for jobs elsewhere in the past, and had this to say...

"I've had some opportunities; it just hasn't worked out," Foster said. "That's a goal of mine. But at the same time, that's one of those deals I can't control. Hopefully I get an opportunity at one of these places to at least show who I am."


His agent, Bob Lattinville has said the guy's primary difficulty is that he doesnt promote himself. He believes the top programs see your record and will come for you based on that.

He is a 2006 Frank Broyles award winner (nations top assistant) and has been with Frank Beamer his whole career. He was with him at Murray State as a player, and followed him up the ranks to his now 13th season at VT as Defensive Coordinator, 22 overall. Under Foster, the Hokies have been one of the nation's top five defenses in eight of 12 years. Without him, considering how pitiful VT's offense has been in recent years, where would VT be? Probably in the tank. Other VT fanblogs are worried about losing him, as are many sports writers in The Washington Post and local Virginia papers.

For as long as I can remember aggressive, rattling, stout defense has been the one constant of Hokie football. Our defense has been the major reason for all of our post M Vick I successes. The wizard behind it all has been Coach Bud Foster and every Hokie’s nightmare is the day he decides to take a head coaching job outside of Blacksburg. I hate to say it, but that day is approaching soon.


It could also be a good bet that UVA will go after him if they decide to finally fire Al Groh. They offered him before when they hired Groh. Frank Beamer will not stay forever at VT either, and he could get a 'coach-in-waiting' deal like Jimbo Fisher did at FSU. West Virginia would eventually go after him if UVA didn't, in my opinion.

He keeps a comprehensive plan for how he would run his own program, so detailed it includes how he would respond to a medical emergency during practice and what food he would serve in the team cafeteria. He has also outlined what assistant coaches he would hire and what his academic policy would entail.
(same source)

He also runs his own website, Lunch Pail Defense.

Hes a good recruiter, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. What VT does now is what Clemson used to do under Ford, in that they go out and recruit speed and athletes and put them on the defensive side of the ball. This hampers their offense of course, but it keeps the best players on the defense. VT's ties are in the Virginia area, Maryland, and North Carolina. There are tons of athletes in the "Tidewater" area where VT gets their best players from. Clemson used to make inroads there, but VT has since closed it off to all comers, and his ties in NC would be great to getting us back ownership of that state or at least to challenge.

Like many defensive coaches, expect him to try to keep a balanced offense or a ball-control like VT. The latter might not sit as well today, but if the man wins I dont care what he runs.

In my opinion Foster would be a solid coach, and he already has his plan for a team ready to go.

Clemson's NCAA Infractions and the truth about Ford-1982.

I will first preface this post by saying that nobody worships Danny Ford more than myself, in my mind he remains on a pedestal no matter what he does. I just think some people should take a long realistic view of what happened in 1982.

I'm doing this post as a clarification of the record for Clemson fans who grew up in the 90s and who continue to spew nonsense about our violations in the 80s that they hear from cockfans and other stupid people. If you want to know, you'll read. If you were there and can give me proof otherwise or as clarification of some points, I welcome your post and will edit accordingly.

We fully deserved the punishment handed out by the NCAA. As to whether we actually shouldve gotten the extra year of penalties from the ACC, I dont know. I think that was bitch move.

However, if it was a "bought and paid for championship," as you would hear from detractors and especially Sakerlina fans, then Clemson certainly didn't get its money's worth.

There were two prospects at the heart of the 1982 scandal, James Cofer and Terry Minor. These two guys never enrolled at Clemson. Neither even got into a Div 1 program. We wouldve never heard of them had they not taken gifts, signed with CU, and then try to back out to sign with Tennessee.

In 1980, they were two prep football stars in Knoxville who were allegedly offered cash, cars and other gifts by an overzealous Clemson booster (Buck Breazeale) who lived in the Knoxville area, as well as by Clemson recruiters. One of whom we know was Billy Ware, former letterman under Frank Howard who was a defensive coach on the Clemson staff before moving into the Athletic Department. The other was Willie Anderson, who got Oklahoma State put on probation 10 years later.

They also include the "gave a prospective student-athlete a T-shirt/hat/cheeseburger/ride down the street" crap.

Taken as a whole, it's damning, but does it add up to a "bought and paid for championship"? Not even close, especially considering that most of the really bad violations seem to have taken place prior to 1980. Pell departed in 1978 for Florida, another school he led to NCAA sanctions, so it's unclear if the contact with Cofer and Minor began then, when the players were likely sophomores in high school, or later.

In December 1981, with the Tigers ranked No. 1 in the country and prepping for the Orange Bowl game that would give the school its first national championship, Cofer and Minor, with the help of John Mark Hancock, a lawyer who happens to be a UT Booster seeking a $12 million sum from Clemson.

(another TIME article is here)

The suit was filed after the NCAA had been sniffing around Tigertown; this story, dated Nov. 10, 1982, says the ACC had just wrapped up an 18-month probe, which means it would have begun around May 1981, a few months after Cofer and Minor had committed to Clemson. Nonetheless, the timing of the $12 million lawsuit was interesting, nearly one year before NCAA penalties came down.

The lawsuit was dismissed. and Cofer and Minor, viewed as damaged goods by Tennessee and the SEC, ended up much further down the ladder, at some 1-AA school.

The infractions Clemson was found guilty of were awful; the athletic department fully deserved the punishment it received, which included steep reductions in scholarships (from 30 to 20) and a ban on TV appearances and postseason bowls for two years.

But if you read the summary (linked below and analyzed to an extent) of the infractions and penalties, you'll see that it does not include forfeiture of any games from 1981. Had these two players actually taken the field, it may not have been the case.

There is no proof that players who may have been given favors or cash were in any way responsible for the Tigers' success in 1981. If there's any out there, please post the link or a source of some kind. Cofer and Minor are the most obvious examples of that and they never even enrolled in Clemson.

Clemson boosters and 2 assistant coaches did do things to convince players to sign, then apparently got "turned in" to the NCAA because they may have out-sleazed another school's alumni and coaches. Many of our problems were recruiting-related. All rumor points to Monte Kiffin, then head coach of NC State (1980-1982), and current DC of the Tampa Bay Buccanneers. This is, of course, similar to the rumor of Phil Fulmer ratting out neither case will we ever truly know. We do know that at that time Clemson pretty much owned NC and SC in recruiting.

The full infraction report from 1982.

Was the probation of 1982 Danny Ford's fault? If so, how much?

The answer is yes, I think its reasonable to put some blame on Danny Ford. Contrary to my own prior beliefs, the major infractions did not all occur under Charley Pell. In fact, a majority of them occured under the early part of Ford's tenure. A large majority were actually perpetrated by Boosters around the program, particularly cash payouts, rides, meals and free gifts of some sort (T-shirts, hats, shoes, etc.). In some cases, the assistant coaches provided their cars for transportation to or from summer camps and recruiting visits.

I'm going to go through the report of 1982 and 1989 separately, beginning with 1982 in this post.

1982: Two assistant coaches that were on the DF staff were named in the 1982 report and put on probation themselves. One was Billy Ware that I can confirm, the other Willie Anderson. At least 4 Boosters were also indicted, one was TN booster Tom "Buck" Breazeale who owns a State Farm Agency, and is a large WEZ donor now who lives in Clemson on the Lake (he's now retired). I am unable to find proof of the names of these people beyond those three. Danny Ford was named twice in the report, but he himself was not put on a probation by the NCAA.

I'm now going to list the infractions that occured directly under Ford, starting from 1979. The biggest violations are the first few, and while some did occur in the 77-78 seasons, the same violations did occur in 1979-1982. Most of which involve the two players, Cofer and Minor, from 1980. I'm separating the infractions by coaches from those by Boosters. Some occured by former assistant coaches, I take this to be either people who were not on the staff in 1982 during the investigation, or coaches who were at Clemson with Pell and left with him or left period (or fired), but had Clemson's interests in their minds.

-During 1980-81, representatives of the university's athletic interests directly assisted a prospective student-athlete and his family in paying four telephone bills.

- a former assistant football coach and a representative of the university's athletic interests offered to provide the mother of a prospective student-athlete transportation to attend the university's football games during her son's enrollment.

Representatives of the athletics interests seems to be the terminology for Boosters in legal parlance, although it could also imply members of the athletic department not on the actual coaching staff. From now on i'll substitute 'booster' for this term. Prospective student-athlete=recruit.

-In December 1979, an assistant football coach provided a recruit local automobile transportation, a meal and made remarks that were reasonably interpreted by the young man to be an offer of an automobile, clothing and cash.

Giving a ride to a recruit anywhere, even from his HS to home, is a violation. This is one that has occurred at Clemson and SC in recent memory.

-During the 1980-81 academic year, a former assistant football coach and a booster gave two recruits cash on numerous occasions.

- In February 1981, the head football coach offered to help find a job for a recruit's mother.

This is the first instance of direct accusation of Danny Ford.

-In the spring and summer of 1979, a former assistant football coach arranged for a recruit to receive medical examinations and treatment for an ankle injury at no cost to the young man.

Horrid. He could've been from a poor family and unable to pay for adequate care.

-During January or February 1981, a former assistant football coach mailed a pair of basketball shoes to two recruits.

- During the 1978-79 academic year, a former assistant football coach gave a recruit cash to pay the necessary fee to take a college entrance examination

- In November 1980, an assistant football coach provided a recruit several articles of clothing at no cost to the young man.

- In the fall of 1979, a former assistant football coach gave a white sport shirt to a prospective student-athlete, and numerous recruits have been provided T-shirts, football jerseys or souvenir photographs during visits to the university's campus.

-April 1980, the head football coach, director of athletics and dean of student affairs arranged for the university to pay the cost of a dental bill on behalf of a student-athlete.

Again, horrid. This is the only other mention of Danny Ford directly.

-In the fall of 1981 and again in late February 1982, an assistant football coach telephoned the father of a recruit, which were reasonably interpreted a being request to provide the NCAA false information concerning his son's recruitment by the university.

Somebody lied and tried to cover it up by getting the father to lie to the NCAA.

-In the fall of the 1980-81 academic year, an assistant football coach provided a recruit's father round-trip automobile transportation between his home and the university at the time he accompanied his son on an official paid visit to the university; further, the coach filed a false mileage reimbursement receipt with the university concerning this transportation.

I believe this is stupid, the University can only pay for the recruit on the stay, not the parents who accompany him.

-November 1980, an assistant football coach gave cash to a recruit during his official paid visit to the university for entertainment purposes and later filed a false expense report with the university regarding a meal provided to the young man during this visit.

It couldve been something as simple as the recruit didnt want to eat the supplied food for the official visit, and wanted to go out to a bar instead.

In spring of '79, an assistant football coach contacted a recruit for recruiting purposes at the young man's high school outside the permissible period for in-person recruiting contacts. Again it happened in 1980 several times and in Sept. 1981.

Happens quite often still today.

- During his employment in the university's summer football camp in 1980, an assistant football coach provided local automobile transportation and a meal to approximately 10 recruits; further, following the camp, the coach arranged for two student-athletes to utilize his automobile to travel home for a visit while also providing five recruits transportation home.

Nevermind that they may have lived within 5 miles of his home, or whether the ride provided to the 10 recruits was to or from the meal halls. And it gets sillier...

-In the fall of 1979, an assistant football coach provided round-trip automobile transportation for a friend of a recruit to accompany the prospect on his official paid visit to the university.


-In the summer of 1981, an assistant football coach and a high school coach arranged for a recruit to be provided automobile transportation to attend the university's summer football camp.

- In the fall of 1979, a recruit was timed running the 40-yard dash by a former assistant football coach.

Good Lord.

-In December 1978, a former assistant football coach arranged for a recruit to be employed by a booster prior to the completion of the young man's senior year in high school.

Likely someone who left with Pell.

During the 1980-81 and 1981-82 academic years, the university's football coaching staff entertained prospective and enrolled student-athletes off campus at a restaurant located outside of Clemson, South Carolina.

Oh dear! the coaches took the team out to eat with their recruits on official visits! Nevermind that if they have it on campus, paid by the University, its not a violation of the NCAA rule.

-In July 1980, an assistant football coach gave cash to a high school assistant football coach to reimburse the coach for expenses incurred while transporting two recruits to the university's summer football camp.

I dont really see the problem with some of these things.

- In January 1981, an assistant football coach permitted a student-athlete to use his automobile to transport a recruit during his official paid visit to the university.

This continues to happen everywhere. A recruit is assigned a host, and if he has no car of his own, he must borrow one.

- In December 1980, a former assistant football coach permitted two recruits to use his personal automobile during their official paid visits to the university

They likely were flown in and had no car of their own.
-In November 1979, an assistant football coach provided his automobile to a student hostess in order to transport a recruit during his official paid visit.
-During the 1980-81 academic year, individuals who were not enrolled in the university served as hosts for recruits on their official paid visits to the university.

-During the 1980-81 academic year, a recruit was provided four official paid visits to the university's campus.

-In July 1980, two recruits attended the university's summer football camp for one day at no cost to either young man.

Oh no, they got one free day. This continues to happen at many schools' summer camps.

-During the 1980-81 academic year, one recruit was provided two official paid visits to the university's campus, another was provided three visits and a third was provided two visits.

Booster violations.
-In January 1981, a booster offered to provide a recruit the use of an automobile, and transportation home during his attendance at the university; further, the booster provided local transportation and a meal to the prospect on this occasion.

I'll give you a hypothetical. You're a recruit, you have a friend of the family who is in IPTAY. You live a couple hundred miles from Clemson, and he offers you a ride home every once in a while, while you are at Clemson since he would be coming or going himself. And, at least once, he offered to pay for your McDonald's meal.

-In December 1980, a booster gave a recruit a substantial amount of cash in return for his signature on a letter of intent, as well as several other gifts.

-In December 1980, a booster arranged for a substantial amount of cash to be given to a recruit and provided the young man and his mother other gifts.

-A booster paid the cost of numerous long-distant telephone calls made by two recruits during December 1980.

-During December l980, a booster gave the friend of two recruits a briefcase.
The FRIEND of two recruits? a fucking briefcase?

- In January or February 1981, a booster employed a recruit's mother and his sister for one day.

Make no mention as to whether said booster figured out he fucked up and let them go.

-In January 1982, a booster cosigned a promissory note to arrange a loan for a student-athlete to finance the purchase of an automobile.

I should mention that if a family member is a booster, then they are permitted to cosign for you as a student-athlete.

-In September 1980, following one of the university's football games, a booster gave a student-athlete cash.
-On three separate occasions during the fall of the 1979-80 academic year, boosters gave a student-athlete cash as a reward for being selected "special team player of the week."

-In December 1980, a booster paid the costs for a recruit to be lodged for three nights at a motel and provided the young man cash, two meals and the use of a rental automobile.

- On three occasions during the 1980-81 academic year, a booster entertained a recruit for a meal.

- During the 1980-81 academic year, four recruits were provided improper automobile transportation by boosters.

-In October 1980, a booster gave a student hostess cash for her gasoline expenses to transport a recruit from his home to the university's campus.

Now this one really is stupid. A booster repaid a broke college girl for gas.

- In the summer of 1980, two recruits were employed by a booster in order to assist the young men in paying the costs to attend the Clemson football camp.

So he gave them a job so they could pay Clemson to attend?

Now, onto 1989...

"Comfortably numb"

I read a column today by Bart Wright here, where he talks about how this thing all went into the toilet.

I can see where he is coming from in this argument. Bowden was once a decent offensive coordinator, under Terry in his undefeated season at Auburn, where he coached current Miami OC Patrick Nix (Auburns QB) in essentially the same offense. He was once more hands-on, it seemed to me, with Rodriguez and to some extent with O'Cain. I think the deal with O'Cain was his interjection in some of the play-calling when things went south with the offense. Bowden, as Wright suggests, might have once had more fire in his belly.

But I disagree with Wright. In reality, this team has had a myriad of problems that continued to take place since 2000. It has always been one issue after another. Its not just that Bowden lost his passion, he never saw problems and fixed them from the start.

Lets review a few...In 2000, it was our pass defense that caused us to blow games. We gave up tons of yards and points to Duke, barely held against NC State, and then GT burst the bubble and FSU spanked us. This was not a secondary laden with underclassmen either.

Now I'm not going to nitpick every game we lost, I'm just going to point out trends.

Starting in 2001, our Defense got worse again statistically and people like Cris Ard started calling for Herring's head. We blew up late in nearly every game, a problem Bowden could not fix. The offense became so infuriatingly predictable under Brad Scott that I could actually call the plays myself based on formation. I should not be able to do that.

In '02 Herring was gone, Lovett came in, and the offense was still infuriatingly predictable. Bowden fixed one and not the other, probably because Brad ran a successful offense at FSU. Special teams gaffes started to pick up.

Then Bowden replaced Scott with O'Cain, since apparently he had a rapport with Whitehurst. The offense was up and down until FSU in 2003. Lovett had improved the defense for the most part, it appeared.

In 2004, the D went back in the tank. After the season Lovett was gone. The offense was woefully inconsistent, the special teams were awful. Remember Georgia Tech and the blocked punt that caused the loss?

In 2005 the special teams werent fixed, they got worse and worse until Bowden finally hired a special teams coach (Andre Powell after 2007). The offense and defense improved through 2006, but at crunch time, all faltered, even through last year. The offensive line, falling apart in 2006 at the end, still hasnt been fixed this season. Sure we've been slammed by injuries, but as I said in an earlier post, that problem is ultimately laid on Bowden and Scott.

So you see, from my point of view, its always been something, if one problem appears fixed, an old one comes back to bite us. There are some things that are correctable on a football team, and all these things were correctable within a season, but for the most part they werent corrected within one season or even the offseason following unless a coach was moved around or fired.

So I dont believe it was that Bowden lost his fire, not totally, I think the man couldnt run a football team from the start.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Today Vic Koenning made a few comments in his part of the Tuesday press conference that really caught my attention.

When asked whether a sense of normalcy had returned...

"That’s a question that I can’t answer in the right way. I can’t be right, because in one respect, if I say 'Well things are doing this and we’re headed in this direction,' it’s going to show lack of loyalty to Tommy. Which I’ve never and will never do. The people that claim he lost the team and stuff are just outright not accurate.

"But yet if I go the other way with it, then it’s going to be perceived that I’m not ‘All In.’ So I can’t answer that in a right way. Your motivation for doing things, they’ve taken away one motivating factor – trying to do things for Tommy because he deserved it. He did so many good things for this program and for these players. Contrary to what Cullen said, he didn’t deserve that. So you have a loyalty towards that. So they’ve taken away that.

"Well, you have other loyalties now: professionalism, doing things for the players. Now coach Swinney becomes a factor in there and you’re trying to help him boost his opportunities up. And the old J-O-B thing comes in, too. You want to sit there and say, 'Hey, you’ve had three of the top five defenses in the school’s history the last three years. You’ve got a bunch that’s gotten better every week. You’d like to say you’d like to think you’re doing a good job and you shouldn't have to worry about stuff, yet you have to. But that’s the nature of this profession."

3 of the Top 5? Huh? I'm not the only one who thought the same. Don't tell me that Coach Harper and Coach Oliver's defenses werent better. Larry Williams went through the statbook and found at least 30 instances of defenses that were better, but not in the 4 categories of rush defense, scoring defense, total defense and pass efficiency defense. Fact Checking Koenning I and II.

Some are saying that if Dabo got the job, David Blackwell would get promoted to DC and VK would go. Personally I'm not too high on Blackwell, because although he was so highly touted as a recruiter and position coach at Pittsburgh, he hasnt developed our LBs all that well here and he's barely the 3rd best recruiter on staff.

The most interesting article I've seen is this one "Clemson is a hot job", which tells you pretty much what you already knew if you were a demanding diehard like myself, much to the chagrin of those dimwits on TNet who always ask "Well who would Clemson get thats better? Who would ever come to Clemson?". I just disagree with him that Butch Davis will stay at UNC for a long time, I think he's gone in 5 years.

And recently an article comparing Clemson to Washington here, with both sides represented.

Butch Davis speaks to rumors about his having contacted Clemson for the open job. This pretty much shows me that though talk radio seems to think his agent contacted Clemson, he's not interested in leaving. I dont see why he would be right now, but in 5 years he's gone from UNC. As soon as he wins the ACC or the NC, which he will the former.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Coaching Candidates: Bobby Johnson

Although I really do not want him at Clemson, I'm going to try to objectively review him.

Born in Columbia and worked the stands at Billy Brice as a teen. Went to Clemson and graduated in 1973 after playing Cornerback under Hootie Ingram, he lead the team in INTs in 1971 and 1972. Hootie went 12-21 while at Clemson, immediately following Frank Howard. After that he got a Master's from Furman in 1979, while also a defensive coach.

In 1980 he was a academic athletic counselor under Ford for one year. So dont make a big deal out of those who say "well he worked under Danny Ford, so I want him here" year is not long. He immediately went back to Furman where he rose to Defensive Coordinator, before coming back to Clemson under Ken Hatfield as the same in 1993. When West came in, he left for Furman again.

He had two losing seasons at Furman, between 1994-2001. Twice won the Southern Conference, and in '01 he took them to the 1-AA Title game. At Furman, he went 60–36.

Vandy hired him that offseason, his records the first 3 years were 2-10, 2-10, and 2-9. Yes, Gerry DiNardo got the job at LSU after 7 seasons at Vandy without a winning season, but a school like LSU would almost certainly not come calling on a Vanderbilt coach today if they had an opening. He abolished the Athletic Department at Vandy, embracing the idea of a true "student-athlete". He's never had a winning season at Vandy. His teams have beaten those they should beat for the most part, but they dont have the athletes to compete weekly in the SEC. So they tend to collapse down the stretch because of the competition in conference, getting to 5 wins twice, and losing many of their games by a TD or less. Most SEC teams now hate to play them. If you ask the coaches in the SEC they will tell you that week in and week out that Vanderbilt’s Bobby Johnson does more with his talent than anybody in the league. This year, they should get to 6 wins and make a bowl. They've been ranked for the first time since 1984. Under his direction, nine Vanderbilt Commodores have earned All-SEC recognition. He has produced 11 freshmen All-SECs, including SEC Freshman of the Year in 2002.

He has upset highly ranked Georgia, SC, and Tennessee teams while at Vandy. They beat Auburn earlier this year, but apparently Auburn sucks. He thumped the Chickens at home and at Vandy, but we know that doesnt help him since we already had a coach that could thump the Chickens. This leads me to one big upset over a Georgia team that played awful that day (as they tend to do at home sometimes in the early season) and finished 9-4, and Fat Phil's ability to fuck up anything at Tennessee.

He has improved recruiting, and many have been brought in and redshirted ala Jim Grobe, though notice above he had 11-ALL-Frosh. The standards at Vandy are far higher than other SEC schools, and they wont admit the partial qualifiers that the rest do. They do tend to be fundamentally very sound and they force turnovers well. The offense is more ball-control oriented as you would expect.

With the abolishment of the athletic department, football now comes under the whole budget at Vandy. This frees up more resources and their administration, if they commit to winning, might make it tougher for Clemson to get Johnson. If he wants the money, he'd come here, but at Vandy he is apparently wanting to prove that smart kids can win and play football in the SEC, and I'm not sure Clemson is what he wants for himself. Here many of us dont give two shits about whether they graduate so long as they win.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Coach candidates: Gary Patterson

Head Coach at TCU, was the DC under Francione from 1998 until Coach Fran left for Alabama in 2000. In that time, he's gone 62-25 with 4 bowl wins (not counting this year). He has pulled off upsets over 4 Big XII opponents including a huge win over Oklahoma in Norman, and has had 4 10-win seasons with 2 conference championships.

Patterson is a defensive minded coach, and like most he's going to put together an OL that can run the damn football and keep his defense on the sidelines. The offense he's had at TCU is a run-oriented pro-style, designed to have some balance but concentrated on the rushing attack. Despite that, in 2004, the Frogs finished in the top 20 in the nation in scoring offense, passing offense and total offense.

His defense (DC Dick Bumpas) is an attacking 4-3/4-2-5 that does very well against the run, and leads the MWC in takeaways, and have been ranked in the Top 10 of national total defense several times.

He is from Kansas State, and if that job opens, as it might, you can expect him to be offered. He turned down a $2 million per annum job offer from Minnesota last year. He founded a non-profit organization for disadvantaged children as well, here. Why Texas A&M didnt go after him and picked Sherman is beyond me.

His philosophy and the things he sayson his website are not that different from what you could say about Clemson as well.

Recruiting? In Texas even the also-rans are good. The pickings left over from A&M, UT, OU, Nebraska, T. Tech, etc. are better than what we have here in S.C., but he has pulled in a few gems, and several of his young players have made national all-freshman teams and all-conference in the MWC. It would be beneficial to Clemson to strengthen ties and create a base in TX.

I’ve heard that Patterson is thought of highly by Terry Don Phillips and Patterson would be interested in coming to Clemson.

Some articles have made mention of it, and some believe its his time for a bigger stage.

Patterson seems to be a good guy and coach, so he would be in my Top 3 for the job.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dabo the Man?

I was reading TNet this morning, getting royally pissed off at the stupidity of most posts, as usual, (especially about Bill Cowher and Paul Johnson coming here...are you people stupid?) when I saw that TDP was giving an informal presser and then someone posted a new Larry Williams blog about Dabo remaining as head coach. This, on top of the usual lovefest from TNet sucking off the coach, drove me crazy. The fact that our recruits that have remained committed have begged that we keep the same staff just proves to me further that 18 year old kids are stupid. Particularly Ben Axon, what idiot would ever pick SC?

Now, I like LW, he usually has things close to spot-on, but he is premature here. While I would certainly love to keep Dabo on-staff, along with Napier, I don't see it happening. I'm torn as to whether we should keep our two best recruiters versus cleaning out the house and changing the culture around this team. Is Dabo taking the right steps? Yes. Has he proven he can win? No. Will he? maybe, but its a tough road. If our OL gets healthy, and we block better, people will instantly believe Dabo is the answer, write it down.

What should make Clemson fans decide on a coach is his resume and facts, and not your emotional perception of the way things are around here.

I was encouraged by this from LW:
Phillips went on to say that he prefers someone who has ties to the area.

"They would have an edge, because Clemson is a lot different than Los Angeles," he said.

Phillips said he's working with a sense of urgency on this, and he said he'd like to have something done within the first 10 days of December -- "as quick after the regular season as possible."

He didn't rule out something happening before the end of the regular season.

This indicates to me that guys beyond TX are not in the short list for the job. No Kiffin, no Whittingham, Petersen, etc. Muschamp, Swinney, Johnson (crap), and perhaps Patterson or Bud Foster could be there at the top of the list. The truth is that all those coaches will still be employed in December and probably working. We will need him to come in and set up his staff immediately and get to recruiting. However, if Muschamp is playing for the national title, he'll be in the same boat Richt and Pelini were previously. I wouldnt fault the guy for staying at TX to win the title and coming here afterwards.

Spiller staying or leaving?

Today Spiller commented on staying if Dabo kept the job, versus possibly leaving if he didnt. If Spiller leaves after this season, he's as big an idiot as Derrick Hamilton.

Taking shots downfield?

While we took a few against GT, we didnt take enough to satisfy me. Tell me why we don't send Jacoby on a fly route? What team's DBs can run with him outside of FSU?

LW's practice tidbits echoed some of that:
-- Judging from his statements over the past week, it's probably not a stretch to conclude Swinney thought the Tigers should've been throwing downfield a lot more this year.

Spence drew a lot of criticism for his reluctance to take shots. Swinney clearly sees the merit of throwing deep -- even if the throws are incomplete.

"We’ve got to take shots," he said. "First half, second half. Even if you don’t complete it, you send a message. The greatest weapon that a wideout has is the threat of running by somebody. If you don’t have that threat, there’s no fear in the secondary. And so they can sit heavy on you. So if you have the threat of running by people, then it creates space and allows opportunities to throw underneath."

Something tells me this is music to Clemson fans' ears. Because a lot of them had been making these precise arguments when Spence was running the show.

At least TDP was right when he said Dabo had his finger on the pulse of the Clemson nation. I just dont buy into the platoon at QB idea, the season is lost now, so you might as well play Korn the majority of the time if healthy.

A reason to love Dabo

One of Swinney's new mandates: If you're hurt in a game, don't collapse on the field and wait for the trainers to arrive.

"I can’t stand to see a guy laying on the field," he said. "Get off the field unless you need an amputation or there's a stretcher coming out there or you're unconscious."

Well you cant help but like the guy after that.

Dumb shit

Some dumb fuck picked Harper as a semifinalist for the Johnny Unitas Award?

Clemson, SC—Clemson quarterback Cullen Harper has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the Johnny Unitas Award. The honor is presented each year to the top senior quarterback in the nation and is named after all-time great Johnny Unitas who played quarterback at Louisville as a collegian, and for the Baltimore Colts in the NFL. Last year’s winner was Matt Ryan of Boston College.

The 10 remaining candidates for the 2008 award are Tom Brandstater of Fresno State, Chase Clement of Rice, Chase Daniel of Missouri, Cullen Harper of Clemson, Graham Harrell of Texas Tech, Brian Johnson of Utah, Curtis Painter of Purdue, John Parker Wilson of Alabama, Pat White of West Virginia and Drew Willy of Buffalo.

What the fuck do these writers do with their time?

Probably the same idiots that made this shit that I saw on Block-C.

Coach candidates: Brian Kelly

Coaching records:
10-3 in one full season at Cincinatti, 5-1 so far this year.
19-16 at Central Michigan for 3 years with one MAC Championship his final year there.
118-35-2 in 13 seasons at Grand Valley State, with 2 Div II national championships.

Records by year...CFB Warehouse

Was a candidate for the Michigan job, along with Nebraska last offseason. He turned down the offer from Michigan (though its debated whether he was offered) but wasnt offered at Nebraska since their sights were dead on Pelini. Kelly is actually a defensive-minded coach, his OC has been with him wherever he has gone.

Having watched Kelly's Cincinnati team a couple of times on Thursdays usual crappy Big Least game, I can tell you that they dont look at all different from Clemson (when we play well). They run almost the exact same offense that Spence ran. Its a spread with tons of screens and a 2-pt OL stance. They are accused of being soft up front offensively just as we are now, although this season they have run the ball well the last couple of games that I saw (Marshall Their defense is also very close to Koenning's except that it has a different blitz pattern with the LB's.

If history is any indication, any coach who wins at Cinci will eventually leave. Mark Dantonio left after an 8-4 year to take the Michigan State job (he was former DC of Ohio State in Tressel's first years, and wasnt at UC long). The only question is who will come for him and when. I don't think his offense will do well in the Big Ten, but a spread is working at Penn State, and that area of the country tends to send coaches straight to that conference. Kelly is obviously a winner, and is a fiery coach on the sidelines, both good qualities needed here. I predict he would leave for money, since his new deal is kinda light.

We know a little about their recruiting, Rivals has them doing well (for Cincinnati). Obviously he can do well with little talent after winning 2 titles in Div. II and getting 10 wins in his first year in the Big East.

However, given that he's not the genius behind their offense, and that his ties are in the midwest, I dont think he'd be a great fit here at Clemson.

Monday, October 20, 2008

That Chicken Curse is a bitch aint it...

During the LSU-SC game....

When I saw it live it didnt look like he was actually running into Garcia.

EDSBS has an article on the forearm shiver.

Why the LSU defense couldnt handle The Streak during the first half was beyond me, they had no spy on him and ran a basic cover-2 package with no blitzes. The LBs were back in deeper coverage leaving the middle of the field open. Les Miles actually makes halftime adjustments, unlike Bowden, and a few simple stunts up front and blitzing LBs tore Garcia's ass up.

If LSU could catch there wouldve been another TD in LSU's favor. If Miles wasn't a pussy and had taken it in on the 1 yd line at the end, it wouldve ended up 38-17. I recall watching Bowden do the same thing during our 27-20 victory in 2002. People just dont understand that you have to crush the hopes of all cockfans everywhere by demoralizing them as much as possible....

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Coach candidates: Chris Petersen

The 44 year old Head Coach at Boise State will soon get a big job somewhere after winning the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma in his first season and going to the Hawaii Bowl last year. At Boise State he is currently 29-3 in 3 seasons. He is an offensive guru judging from these statistical rankings via the BSU athletic site:

From 2001-05 he was the OC under Dan Hawkins (Colorado). As Boise State’s offensive coordinator from 2001-2005, he was twice (2002 and 2004) a finalist for the Broyles Award, which honors the nation’s top assistant football coach. During Petersen’s stint as offensive coordinator, Boise State featured one of the most balanced offenses in the country, averaging 41.3 points per game while also finishing as the nation’s top scoring team twice (2002 and 2003). The Broncos also finished second (2004), eighth (2005) and 18th (2001) in the nation in scoring while Petersen was running the Broncos’ offense. During Petersen’s five seasons as offensive coordinator, BSU finished in the top 15 in total offense four times, including three top10 finishes – first in 2002, fourth in 2004, and seventh in 2003. The Broncos also had four top 20 finishes in passing during that time, including a high ranking of fifth in 2003.

At the end of the 2007 season, Boise State ranked fourth in scoring offense (42.38 points per game), sixth in passing efficiency (152.93), 12th in total offense (467.38 yards per game), 23rd in passing offense (282.46), and 33rd in rushing offense (184.92).

Their special teams were 22nd in punt returns (12.25 yards per return), 20th in net punting (37.31 yards per punt), 10th in kickoff returns (24.65 yards per return) and blocked 11 kicks in ’07. The latter two would really be great to have at Clemson considering our special teams' record the last 10 years (however Powell has shored up many problems).

Boise State runs a spread attack, unlike any other team we see in the south, with alot of shotgun and both single and double back sets. They are very balanced and can run and throw the ball well. The QB is generally a pocket passer and not a runner, though Cody Hawkins at Colorado (same offense) is a good scrambler and they do have designed zone reads and QB keepers for him. Although BSU hasnt made any NFL recievers lately, they have developed QB's and RBs fairly well.

Of his recruiting we can't judge very well, the players you get at BSU are not what you'd get at a major conference school. All we can say is that he develops and motivates what he does have to play at a high level.

An intangible: He's part of Scientology. That wont fly at Clemson.

Of mention is his salary, a mere 825K at BSU, so basically anybody who ponies up will get this guy. However, being from California I would suspect he is another name for the Washington job and will stay a left-coaster....but who knows, this guy will not be at Boise State much longer.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dabo's first game-Georgia Tech

Well, I was there for Tammy's first game, and I was in the stands today to see Clemson play Georgia Tech. I had hoped to get there early enough to see the TigerWalk but traffic was just awful coming in. I also missed them running down the hill thanks to the fact that TD North has 2 people taking tickets and 35,000 trying to get to the upper deck.

But anyway...

My overall impression is that we finally battled for a whole game, a first this season. I could see some intensity from the sidelines that wasnt there before.

-INT from Grisham was a play where he had no business throwing the football.
-Korn's INT was caused by him getting creamed...then he was out of the game. My impression early was that he looked nervous.
-Aaron Kelly actually caught passes for once.
-Thank God they only called 2 or 3 screens the whole game. If Spence was there we'd have run 10. The one on Kelly was actually a good call.
-Dabo made halftime adjustments! He quit the tricky shit and decided to play mostly Gun with Zone Read as the main running play....but I do hate the Zone read.
-Unfortunately those adjustments did not include running the football any better. JD 8 carr-26 yds for the game. J. Harper ran well, but he cant hold onto the fuckin ball. I hate players that cant hold the ball or catch....see Aaron Kelly.
-Our OL still sucked. Its a fucking sad state when Hutch is your best OL.
-T. Austin should be benched, snap the football properly please. There is no excuse for not executing snaps well after week 1.
-The holding call at the end of the game was total bullshit.
-The 'running into the kicker' was just as awful. Refs really blew this game for us. I hear from those watching the game on TV that the announcers felt likewise.

And my main gripe, was not Cullen's weak arm or imprecision with the passes he threw on some cases, but the WRs....THEY NEVER GET OPEN. You dont see on TV how the WRs play, but these guys get NO separation, whatsoever. Yes, Cullen didnt see at least 2 or 3 plays where the receiver did get open, but they were rarely open for the time Cullen had to throw the ball. WHY cant Ford just run a Fly? You cant tell me he cant get beyond the CB on his ass, get him the ball more of this handoff at LOS shit, or 2 yd pass shit.

Its not that GT is bad, they are a talented D. Our guys run bad routes, all of them. The cuts our WRs made are slow and predictable.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Coaching Candidates: Lane Kiffin

The only coaching W-L record he has is with the Raiders, 5-15.

Kiffin has a degree from Fresno State in 1998, and is only 31 years old. While there he lettered in football, baseball, and basketball. His dad is Monte Kiffin, DC of the Buccaneers. One thing you may not remember is that Monte was HC of NC State and reported us to the NCAA in 1982, then he was run off for Tom Reed and then Dick Sheridan to come in. He joined Pete Carroll's staff at USC in 2001, and rose to Offensive Coordinator in 2005-2006 (going 23-3) after Norm Chow (made Phillip Rivers, Carson Palmer, Leinart's early years) left for the Titan's OC job. USC did not win a national championship while he was OC, perhaps because some of the play-calling duties were shared with Steve Sarkisian (current USC OC) and Carroll.

From Wikipedia...
During the previous four years under Norm Chow’s play calling, the Trojans achieved 41 wins and 9 losses (82%). Under Kiffin in 2005 the USC offense produced school records in virtually every dimension, averaging 49.1 points and 579 yards per game. USC’s potent offense that season became the first in NCAA history to have a 3,000 yard passer (Matt Leinart), two 1,000 yard rushers (Reggie Bush & LenDale White), and a 1,000 yard receiver (Dwayne Jarrett). Steve Smith fell a few yards short of also surpassing 1,000 yards in receiving. With an all new offensive cast at the skill positions and in what was generally viewed as a rebuilding year for USC the offensive totals fell off to 30.5 point, and 391 yards per game, and 11 wins overall, he was promoted to offensive and recruiting coordinator while continuing as the wide receivers coach. In Kiffin’s three years as recruiting coordinator at USC, the Trojans had the No. 1 ranked recruiting class in college football every year.

That pretty much makes him qualified. His recruiting ties are to California, not Clemson's market. We generally stick to GA, NC, SC, AL, FL. It would be nice to get as far west as Texas, but we arent going to attract talent from CA. He certainly could form ties here however.

The offense he would run is the USC offense, a pro-style balanced attack. Likely his father would recommend a coach to him as DC, which means we'd run Tampa 2.

He's young and walked into a bad situation in Oakland. He may not be ready for a job here or HC job anywhere, but my gut instinct is that Washington will go after him bigtime and cut Willingham loose. I do not believe he would take the Clemson job unless it was the only one offered, and I'd put money that if he built Clemson into a national power, he'd bolt to the NFL fairly quickly. This wouldnt bother me, as the program would be elevated enough to bring in a big name.

A different take... (Bear in mind this writer is a douche sometimes).

The first Bring Back Danny article I've seen....

Today in the Charlotte Observer I saw this Sorenson article.

Separated from the Clemson campus by a few two-lanes and a lot of dirt is a farmer. He spends his days with bulls and he spends as little of his money as possible at the local diner, where he argues with his buddies about whose turn it is to pick up their $4.25 tabs.

Danny Ford probably is a heck of a farmer. But he was a better football coach. In 11 seasons at Clemson he went 96-29-4 and in 1981 won a national championship.

Ford's not a young man anymore, of course. He will turn 61 in December. He's only a year younger than the very successful Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech and only 17 years younger than the formerly very successful Bobby Bowden at Florida State.

If I'm Clemson, I embark on a national search to identify the mid-major coach or major college coordinator on the cusp of greatness. I meet secretly with the candidates in nondescript hotels.

When I finish, I take the two-lanes to Ford's farm, driving slowly as I approach to avoid destroying my axles, and ask the questions that need to be asked:

You still burn to coach?

You have five seasons left in you?

Will you at least try to get along with the administration?

Do you promise to beat Steve Spurrier at South Carolina?

If he says yes to each, I hire him.

Since Ford left after the 1989 season, three coaches have attempted to replace him.

The first was Ken Hatfield. The Clemson fans all changed their name to McCoy.

After Hatfield came Tommy West. He lasted five seasons, one more than Hatfield. Nobody remembers them.

Then came Tommy Bowden. His 10-season run ended Monday morning when he stepped aside as coach.

Bowden was scheduled to meet the media early in his reign and I asked if we could talk alone for 10 minutes. Where, he asked? Since he was going to be at a restaurant, and there was a bar next door, I suggested we could find privacy there.

He said he had never been at a bar and was not going to walk into one for me.

I remember thinking he'll be a great fit – at Brigham Young.

Ford was a great fit at Clemson (but not at Arkansas, where he finished his career).

Ford's Tigers teams were not terribly imaginative, but the offensive lines were better than your defensive lines and their defensive lines were better than your offensive lines.

Tommy Bowden's teams were soft. Don't get me wrong; he is a good coach, creative and clever. He had great recruiting classes. But he never had a great team.

He'd win just enough to give fans hope. And then he'd lose the game he had to have and the Tigers would finish the season in some National Invitation Tournament Bowl.

To be fair, Bowden did go 72-45. That's good enough to keep a job at North Carolina or N.C. State, but not at Clemson.

Clemson fans are entitled to more.

They're entitled to a coach whose teams are as tough as he is, a coach who understands the significance of Clemson football and a coach who is capable of returning the program to its rightful place.

I know just the guy.

I would shed tears of joy, but it won't happen.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I get a call this morning to hear the GREATEST NEWS EVER!


Dabo promoted to head man, hopefully he shitcans Spence and takes over playcalling. Thankfully the Administration decided to NUT up and use that IPTAY revenue for good use. $4 million payout to Bowden after the firing.

Clemson will hold a press conference today at 5:15PM EST to announce the changes.


So after watching the conferences in their entirety, I can write down the facts of what we find out. They spun things their way after Danny Ford too, remember.

-TDP says Bowden put the option of his resignation on the table. TDP accepted it, and denies he was fired.
-All of it was decided in their usual meeting this morning.
-They (Dabo and TDP) declined comment on what Cullen Harper said today.
-TDP admitted he was the one who went to Barker and asked for the current contract Bowden is under, giving him the buyout.
-Bowden gets his salary for the rest of the season, then the $3.5 million payout. This basically amounts to $4million and it comes from the contingency fund.
-Dabo's first decision was to fire Spence. He and Billy Napier will share playcalling duties, with Napier in the press box. No defensive staff changes were made. Brad Scott stays at OL.
-At the end of the TDP conference, he was asked whether Danny Ford was a candidate. He replied that he was not.


The press conferences will be available online for a bit, and have them.


Dabo's first decision was the right one. He did exactly what I wouldve done in the situation. I still have questions about whether this is the right man for the job longterm, or even interim as I posted in a previous entry. But, it cant get much worse than we saw the last 2 weeks. This offense was pitiful, and judging from the player comments coming out, Bowden had lost them after the way Harper was treated when Spence got no blame.

Dabo talks alot like Ford used to, he said "If its a bad call (offensive play), its my bad call." Perhaps we have someone who will take blame when its on him. His press conference was vanilla, but refreshing to hear.

Harper, I believe, should be benched permanently. He's a senior, so let him finish the season on the pine. The things he said, while true, are devisive and while I hate Tommy as a coach, Harper is on the team and should keep his damn mouth shut. His dad, well he can say what he wants, thats his dad and I expect him to be upset and defend his son. Tommy did him wrong by benching him via voicemail, of course, but Harper is the one who doesnt play worth a shit. If you ask me, Harper shouldve been pulled 3rd Q of Alabama, and at the least the 4th Q of Maryland...Tom stuck by him longer than I wouldve. He suddenly lost his ability to read defenses, check down, and properly throw a football (throws off his back foot).

While I could see Tommy taking the path less trodden and offering his resignation unsolicited, I doubt I would see the conversation with TDP that way if I was in the room. I suspect it really went down that TDP told him if they couldnt go to the ACCCG, he'd be fired, at which point Tommy gave up.

I've been highlighting candidates so far, and Pedersen (Boise State) and Lane Kiffin are next.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Harper thrown under the Bus, Korn to start

So instead of any firings, we got a little dingleberry from Bowden in his postgame teleconference.

"We're making a change at QB, Korn will start next week"

"We feel like we have struggled a little bit (offensively), and we need to find a spark," Bowden said to the media. "We have some injuries, and we need to evaluate our plan of attack. A mobile quarterback gives you a different look and more options.

"He runs better, so if the protection breaks down, you still have a chance to make a positive play. We have to find that spark."

A SPARK? we need a whole fucking culture change here Tom. A SPARK won't get the damn job done.

-Did you inform Cullen of this?

"Yeah we called him, Rob (Spence) called him and left a message. The players went home." = I'm too gutless to get a hold of my QB and tell him in person before letting him find out from TigerNet.

-What about the play calling?

"Rob hasn't forgotten how to coordinate an offense in six weeks. He's got a 3 year track record here."

What? he knew in the first place?

-Has Korn taken any 1st string snaps in practice?

"No, well, maybe a couple."

Why the hell not? even in practice?

-Did you think of making the change last night?

"No, just going by his performance last year, I just didnt want to make a decision on that during the game when I havent looked at the tape."

Dumbass. You say you need a spark, and you didnt think we needed one last night? Worst gameday coach ever. So basically instead of taking any blame for the shitty performance last night, you toss Cullen under the bus and protect Spence for the time being. I give you 2 weeks before you toss Spence under too. If the players aren't at all prepared to play the game, its YOUR FAULT.


I disagree with her that Korn will do very poorly, but I expect Paul Johnson to throw the kitchen sink at him and the love affair with Will Korn will end soon enough at Clemson.

Could it be?

I first saw this on TNet this morning....

Is it over? Plyler Blog

Plyler has said, and this is mere rumor and speculation, that the Board of Trustees has been called together for a meeting today in Clemson to possibly discuss the future of the coaching situation.

Here is what I know at this point:
*Several key players in this decision understand that a change has to be made. It is now not a matter of if but has now become a matter of when.

*I was told by a very good source that one of the board of trustees cancelled an important business meeting this morning because he had to head to Clemson. I do not know the nature of his visit to Clemson and it may be a sheer coincidence. It is not fair to assume that this concerns football but I think it is fair to be intrigued by the timing.

*I have some information about Clemson’s interest in replacement candidates and information about potential candidates’ interest in Clemson. However, until a change is made I think it is inappropriate to discuss. I hope you will agree on this policy. Believe me, the blog will discuss in detail potential candidates as soon as an opening occurs but this is not the appropriate time.

*I have been told that several key boosters, former members of the board and top university officials have been in contact with the athletic department. These contacts obviously started last week but have continued throughout the early part of this morning and more are scheduled this afternoon.

*I have been in contact with a couple of college coaches this morning (none of the Clemson staff) as they have called to see if anything is happening today.

At this point it would not surprise me if they do something this afternoon or later this weekend. It also would not surprise me if they waited until after the season to announce the decision because at least one official thinks that is the way to handle this.

The Tigers have practice scheduled for Sunday afternoon. If an announcement is coming before the Georgia Tech game, I was told it would come before that practice.

Bowden's usual teleconference is still scheduled for this afternoon. I dont expect news out of this conference on a coaching future. If its going to be done it would need to be done this weekend, to get things settled enough for practice next week. Waiting until the middle of next week would be silly. Will it happen? No, we're not that lucky.

Other fallout after the WF game....strangely ironic, 5 years later...
'The Tommy Bowden fan club arrived in a minivan and left in a Toyota Corolla.'

Will you consider firing Rob Spence before next week's game against Georgia Tech?


How about replacing quarterback Cullen Harper with redshirt freshman Willy Korn?

"I don't think that was the issue in this game. If that's the problem, I would (make a change). But I'd have to make sure that's the problem."

A fake punt call on fourth-and-1 from the Clemson 46 with less than five minutes left in the first half made little sense.

But it was only slightly worse than the short third-down passes to Aaron Kelly that Wake Forest pounced on like a kindergartner on a funnel cake.

Glad to see I wasnt the only one freaking out over the punt....

The State's Pawsitive Press Blog

And a Ron Morris gem.

After the game, Clemson offensive coordinator Rob Spence appeared to be fighting back tears as he attempted to explain his unit’s ineffectiveness.

“I don’t understand that, OK,” Spence said. “That’s something we’ve got to just keep working on.”

You'll be crying big time soon enough.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wake Forest Game Live Review

1st Wake Drive-Defense looks like they are on their heels, WF is blowing holes but calling very good plays and using most of the field. That is, until WF gets inside the 5 and goes 3 & out, that shows weakness on their OL. I can't believe they fucked up the hold, WF is usually great at the little things. Why did he even kick it?

After the first two Clemson drives- Spences new enhancements we have yet to make positive yardage!

1st Q-2nd WF Drive, more of the same. Why they wont line up and run right at us is beyond me. A good job to hold to a FG though.

WF is playing 8 men in the box to stop the run, and Clemson tests the Safeties by hitting the TE in the hands and he cant catch the damn ball. Clemson's offense is so impotent that a whole bottle of Viagra wouldnt fix it.

2nd Q-What idiot called that fake punt! Line up in the fucking I-formation and run the ISO play you ass.

8:02 Halftime-1st half is the worst example of Clemson offense I've seen in the last 10 years. Mark May was actually right at halftime, no physical or mental toughness up front.

2nd half

I honestly think Korn should be in the game now, why not? Harper cant do a fucking thing. He cant sell play action and doesnt even try with the fake.

3rd Q-Clemson calls a timeout early, then get a false start penalty right after and a personal foul. First show of emotion all night from the OL, but does them no good.

If we didnt have the DB play we do, we'd be down by 35 points. This Defense is going to be so worn down from being on the field that they wont be able to keep up in the 4th Q.

Late 3rd Q-Our only drive in the game so far and we look like retards humping a doorknob. Cullen throws off his back foot all night. Clemson got a generous spot on the 3rd down run by Harper, very generous, and a miracle happens to get the TD. We get more yards on one drive than we did the whole first half.

4th Q- Harper's INT on pass to Jacoby was the 2nd time its happened on the exact same play to Jacoby this year. Defense again holds to a FG.

4th Q drive by Wake shows how tired the Defense is getting, but they wont line up and run right at Clemson. Boldin's TD was just a good play, one of few allowed by the secondary all night.

I cant BELIEVE we went for that 4th & 17 with 4:30 left and Dye made a play. Leave the 2nd team WRs in the game, Kelly ain't gonna do anything.

Anytime Kelly needs to make a catch, he's not going to do it (see BC last year). I count 4 passes tonight that have hit his hands and not been caught.

4th Q, after the 4th down play: I really wish Harper would look off his designed screens, he throws right at black jerseys. He barely glances another direction before throwing to a spot where the Clemson player AINT and in triple coverage.

We really shouldnt have been in this game at all, Wake's poor OL and our good Secondary play is the only reason it was close. #9 to start and 3-3 now, and we wont beat Georgia Tech next week.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Auburn fires theirs....

after 5 games where they barely beat Mississippi State and choke against Vandy.Fans called for his head previously, and Tubs listened.

Tony Franklin fired.

But does Tom fire his? nope. Why didnt Tennessee take him?

Bowden's Press Conference Quotes for today....

Q: Do you have a different approach since the Maryland game?

"I don’t think we changed.” = We didn't do anything any different than we always have, so we're going to keep doing it this way.

Q: Your approach after losing the conference game to Maryland.

“You treat all the conference games the same" = everybody has 85 schollies and everybody has a good coach, so we won't do anything different than we did against Maryland.

"Like I said, it creates a situation where the need to win is magnified. But, you treat them all the same. As the season progresses, the significance of a loss is magnified depending on how many you have.” =I'm not changing anything I've done in the past, because I know you idiots will give me an extension for 8 or 9 wins, but I know my job is on the line again and I can get them to win when that happens.

Q: On preparing for Wake Forest’s offense

A: “They ran a lot of option-type plays when Coach Grobe first came to Wake Forest. They still do, but not as much as they used to. It’s a different preparation. They put a lot of burden on their quarterback (Riley Skinner), who is an excellent player. He’s been a proven player for a long time. Their skill guys are good.” =We're going to prepare for one, and theyre going to throw the other at us and we wont be able to stop it. I'm softening you guys up for the loss by saying they are good.

Q: On running back James Davis.

A: “As he has gotten older and more mature, he has practiced better. He surely came out last Saturday with a lot of energy and emotion. He has had a good performance in practice. His performance was a good indication on how he has been at practice. If you get your offensive line to stay healthy and be cohesive, then a running back increases his comfort zone.” =I'm going to see if he gets 10 yards a clip thursday, and then I'm going to take him out and put Spiller in.

Q: On both teams coming off of a loss.

A: “They are going to be focused and we are going to be focused. The team that goes out there and executes the best is going to win. Whoever practices the best today and tomorrow and from an execution standpoint and repetition standpoint will win the game. It won’t be who is the maddest or who lost last. It simply comes down to a matter of execution.”=Jim Grobe has less talent than me, and he's going to outcoach me to beat us.

Coach candidates: Jim Leavitt

Career record: 79-47

Leavitt has been the only coach in USF history, coaching there since their program started in 1997. Despite the difficulties of starting a new team from scratch, he has had only 2 losing seasons (5-6 his first year, and 4-7 in his second year of CUSA play in 2004), and one 6-6 season. USF started in 1-AA and moved to 1-A in 2001.

He has never won more than 9 games and is 1-2 in Bowl games, his only bowl victory coming against ECU.

Leavitt played at Mizzou in the '70s, and his coaching background is on the defensive side, where he spent the early 90's coaching the Kansas State defense under Bill Snyder. There he helped make them into one of the best defensive teams in the country. Looking at the scoring defenses of his South Florida team here, it appears he continues the same defensive toughness at USF.

If you've never watched USF, its a 4-3 scheme with very skilled LB's just like Kansas State that tackle very well. LB and Corner blitzes happen quite a bit in KSU's scheme, but the DL talent at USF is letting them just drop them into coverage and rush with the front 4. His offense is more pro-style, but slightly pass-oriented to take advantage of the speed they have over other Big East teams.

Will he leave? Alabama (twice) and Kansas State and Miami tendered contracts to Leavitt, and he declined. Right now he's being paid $1.5million per year. I dont see Clemson offering more than Alabama offered him.

Recruiting? He gets the leftovers from Miami, FSU, and Florida, in a state where many of the leftovers are better than what South Carolina produces. His school has lax academic standards. However, he has motivated those leftovers to play well and looking at their records and considering they havent had a team for 15 years, you'd have to say he can recruit fairly well.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Coach candidates: Will Muschamp

-image credit to Solid Boom.

"Stats are for losers. I like winning games." Will Muschamp

Saban has called him the best defensive coach he's ever coached with.

Currently the Defensive Coordinator at Texas, and has already been credited by some writers as introducing a new intensity to the Texas defense that has been absent since Gene Chizik left for the Iowa State coaching job after their National Championship. In particular a Pass Defense that has been very bad for years. TX is still bad at the pass even with Muschamp, as they have no depth and start two freshmen safeties. They have, however, become much better at forcing interceptions.

The scheme Muschamp runs is a variation of what Saban runs right now at Alabama. Its a scheme that I've watched every week since I moved to Louisiana 5 years ago. Its also not very different from what Pelini runs at Nebraska now and what he ran at LSU, though Pelini blitzed less. Its a 4-3 scheme with a base Cover-2 package but with alot of Combo coverages and its heavy on the Zone Blitz. Rarely more than 5 will ever rush the passer, and the DE's will drop off into coverage on a LB blitz. The Combo coverage is a mix of Zone and Man, but very difficult to read because of where the DBs line up. The Safety is always a big tackler in the scheme, as they tend to move him all over the place.

This guy walked on at Georgia in 1991 and played Safety, then after graduation worked under Bill Oliver at Auburn (Oliver is the man who shouldve gotten the Clemson job after Ford was fired).
After bouncing to a few positions at I-AA schools he went to LSU in 2001, where he became DC in '02, and they won the National Title in '03. He went with Saban to the Dolphins, when many LSU fans wanted him to stay on staff, and then went back to Auburn last year before taking the Texas job this year. LSU and Auburn led the SEC in defenses every year he was at either. I suspect he'll greatly improve the statistics of a Texas D which was awful against the pass, the only question is whether he'd leave right now. Tennessee may be after him, but would he want to play UGA every year? Auburn does and he worked there, but he wouldnt take the GT its an open question.

What offense will he run? Likely a pro-style not unlike Al Borgess' at Auburn or Jimbo Fisher at LSU or Greg Davis at Texas. I generally expect an defensive-minded coach to make sure his offensive line is solid and they can run the football, and this guy is about as tough and intense as you are going to find in the country. All the things Clemson needs.

Recruiting? He's been a great recruiter at Auburn and pulled in many of the starters that were on last year's LSU National Championship defense. He will come in with plenty of connections we dont have currently.

Another take...
Tennessee wants him too...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Quotes for the week...

First the Bowden...

-- Bowden was asked to reflect on the criticism that his teams always seem to lose to a team they shouldn't.
His response:
"That’s the way it is with most teams. Southern Cal. Ohio State. Usually all of them lose to a team that they shouldn’t have. LSU lost to Kentucky. I wish I could win them all. But Maryland’s a good team that gives full scholarships. Coach Friedgen is a good coach. They've got good players."

Bowden said Wednesday that he'd had no conversation with offensive coordinator Rob Spence about the team's playcalling and admitted that he has no desire to begin calling offensive plays himself.

"Why do you think (USC coach Steve) Spurrier's getting rid of it and (Georgia coach Mark) Richt's getting rid of it?," Bowden said. "There's so many other things to do. You just don't have time. You get so involved with other aspects of your job -- you're held accountable for so much more academically, off the field, discipline and all that stuff, you'd better be on top of your P's and Q's."

Then Mike Eppley...(GNews)

“The way things shook out in general Saturday in college football,” he said, “Clemson had a great opportunity to move up in the polls and establish themselves as a more credible team.”

“It’s really hard to watch guys who are so talented,” said Eppley, a member of the 1981 national championship team and a two-year starter. “I don’t know if underachieve is the word to use here, but they do seem like underachievers because they’re not producing what on paper the talent says they should be producing.”

“They seem to be a physically soft team,” he said. “And from a Clemson standpoint, that’s very frustrating because Clemson teams were always physical and always became more physical as the game progressed. So that’s hard to watch. It really is.”'

This whole OL problem

So this week it looks like Hutchinson has been moved to backup at center, after Bowden just mildly praised his play here. while Lambert (a 4th year Jr now) has been moved to LG now that Hairston is coming back, when he couldnt cut it at RT. Perhaps they should think about moving Hutch to Center, since Austin was screwing up a few snaps this week. There is no excuse for botched snaps after Week 1. The State says that Thomas Austin called a players-only meeting yesterday, woo.

Since this is our major crisis, I decided to look at the last 5 classes of recruits and see what we have brought in the last few years. I've put in their Star Rating from TigerIllustrated to see how they were evaluated coming in.

Bobby Hutchinson-3 stars
Corey Lambert-4 stars
Barry Richardson-2 stars (because he was a Jr in HS)
Akeem Robinson-2 stars
Taylor Tremel-2 stars
Tony Willis-2 stars

A class fairly deep in terms of OL numbers brought in. Lambert was the star of this class from a recruiting ranking standpoint, however he couldnt get the grades and had to be put in for 2005's class. Hutch is still here and is the only one left of this class still at OL, Robinson was moved to TE.

Thomas Austin - 3
Jamarcus Grant - 3
Barry Humphries - 3
Corey Lambert - 4
Quentez Ruffin - 3
Another deep class, better than the last one. Ruffin is no longer here.

Chris Hairston - 3
Jamal Medlin - 3
...and thats it. This was a smaller class, and the key went to Defense that year in recruiting.

Mason Cloy - 3
Wilson Norris - 3
David Smith - 3
Landon Walker - 4
This is the class that comes in after the 2006 season, when the OL play and lack of depth hurt us at the end of the year. Cloy, Smith, and Walker have started this year.

Dalton Freeman - 4
Antoine McClain - 4
Kenneth Page - 4
Matt Sanders - 3
Bowden's best OL signings since he came here. Page is now seeing significant time playing.

JK Jay - 4
Brandon Thomas - 4

Now, the way Rivals rates players is roughly the following, since I've followed it over the years . 1-may contribute, 2-will contribute and possibly see good PT, 3-solid player, should start as an upperclassman; 4-likely All-Conference caliber, raw, needs coaching to be NFL; 5-NFL-caliber talent, should play some as a FR.

Now I dont expect every 4-star or 5-star player to make it to the NFL, its not easy. I do expect them to start within a few years or at least be a solid player. I think thats fair enough.

Right now, Humphries, Cloy, Smith, Hairston, and Grant are all fighting injuries. Hutch was moved from Student Assistant back to the OL even before the Bama game due to an injury.

Humphries and Austin have been fighting for C since they got here, the loser playing G. Time to FIX that. Corey Lambert shouldn't be bouncing from position to position, he shouldve locked down the RT job opposite Richardson last year and we shouldn't be seeing Walker take it.

With the exception of the 2006 class, every one built depth. We should have plenty by now at OL. All of these the last few years have been 3-star players, which means they should at least be solid players, even as backups. With good coaching they shouldve improved to the point where we arent where we are right now. Therein lies the problem. Brad Scott has been at OL since Spence got here, was TE coach before that, thats been a few years now.

But its no longer time to play musical chairs with coaches like we did with Jack Hines, Bowden should've seen the problem from 2 years ago and fixed it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008