Friday, February 27, 2009

Weekend News reel

As you may know, the first Junior day of the 2010 recruiting cycle was this past weekend. TI has been reviewing a few of the juniors who visited and getting their opinions. I won't bore with details of each one, but there are several 4/5 star caliber athletes at the skill positions who have Clemson right up there in the mix.

Our 2nd commitment came from LB Jake Nicolopoulos from TL Hanna (6'2" 220) just yesterday, when he was given his offer from Fat Brad. He grew up a Clemson fan and was clearly waiting for the offer. The staff believes he is going to turn into a true MLB (like Shuey) and fits into the new scheme that uses LBs in a more traditional role. Star ratings wont be out for a while longer, but he's likely in the 3-4 star range. Being an early commit might knock him down a little in the ratings though. His other confirmed offers right now were from Cal and Kentucky.

Throughout all the articles on this weekend's visits, you hear Charlie Harbison's name come up very often.
Bryce Brown's agent is now under investigation by the NCAA. SURPRISE!

Spurlid's staff will cost the yardbirds $2 million....all for consistent 7 wins.

We face a tough ACC road test this weekend at #25 FSU. Hopefully we can play with intensity for the full game and pull this one out, but I'm not very hopeful for this one. Remember we choked away the last game against them because we couldn't play inside defense at all.

10-6 in conference would be awesome to see (we're 8-5), and hopefully get us a BYE in the ACC Tourney, but right now I'm begrudgingly looking at 9-7 with this game and @ Wake coming up next weekend (UVA next tuesday at home in between). 8-8 or 9-7 is what I thought we'd be preseason, so its not a huge disappointment to me as it looks like we'll get the NCAA nod either way it turns out. Our RPI is too strong (13 right now).

Sat. Home vs. South Carolina, 2:00 PM
Sun. Away vs. South Carolina, 1:30 PM

Sakerlina pretty much lost their whole team to the MLB Draft, and the home & home weekend series we have with them this weekend should be a Clemson sweep. If we get beat twice, we have problems. Sakerlina has won 4 straight in baseball over us and we need to pull Ben out this weekend. We started out 4-0 last year before playing them, and losing both games sent us on a tailspin for pretty much the whole season.

A deal to move one of the CU/SC games to Greenville for next season is almost final. It looks like we'll be shrinking from 4 to 3 games too, which sucks. Let's drop Wofford and pick up the Cluckers please.

Next weekend we go to #2/3 UNC, a huge early road series. We have one of the tougher schedules in the country this year (by design) and this team needs the confidence boost. Clemson will not have a week where they do not play a team currently ranked in the one Top 25 poll until May, after this weekend.

Stan Widmann will likely be held in reserve roles for awhile, as he still struggles with some injuries to his shoulder that were aggravated last week. 3B John Hinson is gone for the year it seems (bulging disk).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Clemson stumbles against VT

After playing a great game against Maryland and well against GT, we came out tonight and couldn't do a damn thing on defense when it counted, and lost to VT 80-77. Its not that Clemson played terribly tonight on both ends of the court, because we did do decently shooting (42.2% to their 43.3%), it was the lapses of intensity and concentration that I think cost us this game.

At times during tonights game, I'd compare our defensive performance to overpersuit in football, because we just looked out of sync altogether. We got beat in transition, again. We got outhustled on the boards at times (though we won the rebound battle overall 39-34 and the Off. Rebs 14-11), and the sloppy passing and generally being out of position and not focusing on defense cost us this game.

OP stuck with his full court well after it appeared to not be working, and switched to half court at around the 10:00 mark again. Its like his motus operandi now. I will be the first to acknowledge that it has worked magically in most of our wins this year, but the reluctance to get out of the full court press when we're getting whipped in transition has also cost us in our losses. VT beat us with the 3 out of the half-court (11-19, as opposed to our 7-20) and stole the ball away from us when our guys weren't focusing in transition and on offense.

At least the baseball team went to 4-0 with their win over Wofford.

So to cheer you up, I'll give you a taste of what my Lundi Gras (monday) was like.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Its Mardi Gras!

I'm off to Bourbon Street again today.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

2009 Clemson Baseball

2009 Schedule.
30 games out of 56 will be against teams that played in the NCAAs last year.
Clemson AD Preview.
Mickey Plyler's preview can be found here.
Pete Iacobelli gives his season preview here.
Collegiate Writers has us at #26, Collegiate Newspaper has us at #26, and our incoming recruiting class for this year was ranked 9th overall.

Former player Michael Johnson (1B from 2000-2003) will be on the staff this year, primarily working with infielders and hitting. I was a student for all of his years, and he was a pretty good defensive 1B, and by the time he left was a great power hitter.

A Rivals (free) article previews the teams situation this year here. They have us rated at #20. #19 is the highest I've seen Clemson baseball ranked this preseason. Its the 21st consecutive year we have been ranked in a preseason poll. Polls in college baseball are pretty sketchy though, as I've followed it since the days of Koch and Benson. Teams that are ranked very high are not as dominant as anyone makes them out to be on the field. I recall when Clemson was ranked #1 when I was a student (and going to pretty much every game) that they were subpar on defense and the pitching was bad, but they outhit everybody (Khalil Greene was on those teams) so well that they usually won. This year, LSU is ranked #1 but essentially has to replace the whole starting rotation; they just finished very hot last season.

This weekend's series against Charlotte has been previewed by TI. All the games can be heard on This series is not going to be a cakewalk, as Charlotte made the CWS last year (43-16 record), and their starting pitcher for game 1 is pretty damn good (8-2 4.39ERA). It appears that the current rotation will be Delk, Dwyer, Stoneburner, and Hinson. Dwyer is a true frosh who was selected by the Yankees in the 36th round last year, so if he struggles early then don't expect him to be a weekend starter from here on out, and it'll be Hinson's spot. Gullickson might also get a shot (4-2 4.64ERA) as a midweek guy to start out. Last year, the injuries and lack of good pitching doomed us to an 11-18 ACC record, but this year we've been ranked 2nd in the ACC Atlantic behind FSU to start out, and I think that one is going to turn out pretty accurate.

2009 Likely Starters
C Phil Pohl (Fr.), John Nester (So.) (Nester hit .256 in limited action)
1B Ben Paulsen (Jr.) .313 13HRs 49RBI (3rd Team AA this preseason)
2B Mike Freeman (Jr.) .333 1HR 19RBI
SS Stan Widmann (Grad.), Brad Miller (Fr.) (Widmann hit .238 last season, still recovering from a neck injury that cost him 2007)
3B Jason Stolz (Fr.), Brad Miller (Fr.)
OF Addison Johnson (So.) (missed all of last year due to injury, but started in 2007 and hit .286)
OF Jeff Schaus (So.) .315 3HR 31RBI
OF/DH Wilson Boyd (Jr.) .300 11HR, 44RBI
OF Kyle Parker (So.) .303 14HR, 50RBI (1st team Freshman AA)

SP Trey Delk (Sr.) (2-1 4.01 ERA)
SP Graham Stoneburner (So.) (6-5 5.55 ERA)
SP Ryan Hinson (Sr.) (3-5 4.74 ERA)
CP Matt Vaughn (Sr.) (11 SVs 3.15 ERA in 40IP)

From last years team, the biggest losses were Starter DJ Mitchell (6-5 3.47, and 3.47 is outstanding for college ball) and C Doug Hogan (.271, 11HR, 51 RBI). Hinson was drafted but decided to come back for his senior year after being drafted in the 31st Rd by the Pirates, and we need him to grab the ace status this year. Looking at the statistics, I see fewer SBs than in years past for Jack's teams, and we could hit a little better (lets face it, .300 is not awesome with an aluminum bat in your hands) overall and either Parker or Paulson needs to bump up the power numbers a little from the middle of the order, alot of last year's production can be attributed to injuries of course.

This is a sport where Clemson fans should always expect the best, and historically we've been justified in that. Last year was an aberration, and we'll get back over 40 wins again.

Scholarship Breakdown: Pre Spring practice

The asterisk denotes a player who has spent one year on RS.

QB (5)
-M. Wade*-W. Korn*-K. Parker*
-Jon Richt*
-Tajh Boyd

RB (4)-C.J. Spiller
-Jamie Harper-A. Ellington*
-R. McDowell
FB (2)

-Chad Diehl*-Tyler Shatley
TE (4)-D. Barry*
-R. Taylor*
-M. Palmer

-Dwayne Allen*
WR (8)-Jacoby Ford
-Jeff Ogren*
-Xavier Dye
-Brandon Clear*
-Marquan Jones
-Brandon Ford*
-Jaron Brown*
-Bryce McNeal
C (2)-Barry Humphries*

-Matt Sanders*
OG (8)-Jamarcus Grant*
-Thomas Austin*
-W. Norris*
-D. Smith*
-M. Cloy*
-A. McClain
-K. Page*
-D. Freeman*
OT (6)-Cory Lambert*-Chris Hairston*
-Jamal Medlin*
-Landon Walker *-J.K. Jay
-Brandon Thomas
DT (4)-Jarvis Jenkins
-M. Chavis
-J. Cumbie*
-Brandon Thompson
DE (10)-Ricky Sapp
-Kevin Alexander
-Kourtnei Brown
-D. Taylor*
-R. Moore*
-A. Branch*
-Da'Quan Bowers
-D. Smith
-M. Goodman
LB (12)-K. Conner*
-Jeremy Campbell
-S. Cooper
-B. Maye*
-S. Hunter
-D. Andrews
-T. Rollins*
-Tig Willard*
-Q. Christian
-C. Hawkins
-S. Shuey
SS/FS(5)-Sadat Chambers*DeAndre McDaniel
-S. Adams*
-C. Lewis Jr.*
-R. Hall*
-J. Meeks
CB (6)-C. Chancellor*
-Crezdon Butler
-B. Maxwell*
-Marcus Gilchrist
-Coty Sensabaugh-Xavier Brewer*
PK (2)
-Richard Jackson*
-Spencer Benton*
P (1)

-D. Zimmerman
ST (1)

-Matt Skinner
Totals (80 of 85) 16152128

Posted by Huckittome on TNet. I was already working on it but this saves me time. Tyler Shatley was brought in as DT, but at 260 is too small for the position, and wouldnt get much PT even at 300lbs, so they say. He could either backup or play FB, and I currently believe he'll slim down for FB. Terrance Ashe is not yet on Scholarship. Let me know if there are glaring mistakes.

A. Murchison is leaving the team and that scholarship becomes free, so I'm taking him off the table. He is technically on scholarship and will stay for spring to get his degree, but the lack of PT is apparently the main factor. He surely would've gotten more this year though. This loss makes it harder for us at DT and someone will be moved over. Shatley may be forced to stick at DT and bulk up.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Game notes to mention from the SID:

-Clemson’s 29-point victory was its largest victory margin in history against Maryland. The previous high was a 22-point margin on January 19, 1977. That was Tree Rollins’s senior year. Clemson’s previous largest victory margin over a Gary Williams coached Maryland team took place during the 2004-05 season, an 88-73 victory.

-The 29-point margin tied for the fifth largest victory margin in Clemson history in an ACC game. It was the largest since just last year when Clemson had a 31-point victory at Virginia (82-51). The Clemson record is a 34-point victory over Duke in 1975-76. It was the largest victory margin over an ACC team at home since a 33-point win over Florida State (78-45) on Feb. 14, 1999.

Gary Williams-"Clemson did a good job tonight. They made us scramble in the first half and we missed shots down the stretch and they made them. Once they got hot it was hard to stop them and we had trouble scoring."

Some Maryland fans apparently have a different definition of about "glass half full" points of view. Only a few missed opportunities dude. The Baltimore Sun recap is here.

One Maryland blogger gives his opinion on the game here.

Larry Williams has a good article up on Trevor Booker. It was Booker's dunk that changed the game, as we went on a 33-8 run just after (#3 on ESPN's Top Plays). However, Booker only took 5 shots, and that is not enough to win the ACC Tournament or win in the NCAAs. He must take over 10, and I recognize that his defensive effort made up for some of his lack of shooting. Even though we spread the ball around well in the 2nd half run, our playmakers have to step up and do better in their consistency.

In the first half we attacked with the guards directly to the basket, I was pleasantly suprised that we did so well at that when we haven't in most of our confernece games. Our offense works off the Press and how it moves our players around to get scoring opportunities (particularly after the other team is tired), not consistent high scorers (like Will Solomon or Greg Buckner). You might say that you like how we spread the minutes and scoring around because you don't have any prima donnas on this team, but an attacking guard or forward who consistently pulls down 15-20ppg carries you on nights like we had against FSU or UVA until the other guys can get it together and start a run. The refs started out calling ticky-tack shit on us, and I thought we'd get in huge foul trouble, but that dropped in the 2nd half, that can be attributed to our run (you dont foul when youre not having problems scoring). You probably noticed how sloppy we got late in the 2nd half on defense too because of the large lead. Its a great win, especially since Maryland had really come on strong in the conference lately, and we finally shut down a good Guard (Vasquez).

We're now 2nd in the conference, and play GT next. We can't afford a letdown there.

Compiled by ShoelessCU

ESPN Columnist Dana O'Neill has a touching story about Tanner Smith and his family's battle with cancer. Donations can be made to

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Clemson makes Turtle Soup

Clemson destroyed Maryland in the 2nd half to win 93-64.
ESPN Game Recap

Clemson shot 57%, 46% from the 3pt line, and 77% from the FT line. Only two players shot under 50%, and 6 Tigers finished in double figures scoring.

Monday, February 16, 2009

What the hell happened? of few highlights for Clemson...

Just when you think that FSU was an aberration and this team is ready to claim the #3 spot in the ACC this season for good, they take a dump on themselves. Typical Clemson....just when you think youre good, it falls apart. But really, it just shows that we're not there yet. Still, the insanity on TNet is to be expected, because no one should be happy when you lose to the shittiest teams in the conference and play awful the whole game.

Puke choked as well against BC, so we're in a 4-way tie for 3rd place at 6-4 (Duke is 7-4). Several authors are talking about the way we stunk it up, Bart Wright has a good piece reminding us that we could've been locked into 2nd place had we won. I do believe this makes Maryland and GT necessary wins though.

I just want to know why you continue to toss 3's up when they dont fall, (Tigers were down 33-25 at the half after missing 10 of 11 shots from 3-point range) and why Booker couldnt do jack in the 2nd half being positioned at the VERY high post when he should be low, and why sometimes we just can't get a rebound. Rebounding is all hustle and very little technique. We also got our ass beat in transition again, just like our other ACC losses. Clemson committed 21 turnovers, its most in conference play, and Virginia turned those miscues into 18 points.

Futbawl-An article by Greg Wallace about Jeff Scott being named the new Recruiting Coordinator, and how excited he is to be taking over the job.

Thomas Austin, Brandon Maye, CJ Spiller, Buchholz, and Maners were named 2008 All-ACC Academic Team members.

Tomahawk Nation has a good breakdown of the ACC recruiting class this year and how it stacks up against some of the other conferences here. In their estimation we rank 2nd overall in the power conferences.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Recruiting...did we fill our needs?

Clemson Roster along with redshirts for 2008 is found here. (Note this is a PDF download). The positional breakdown for 2008 is available on TI here.


Defensive End-Ricky Sapp, Alexander are Seniors. Kourtnei Brown is a Junior. You have to bring in guys for depth now so they arent starting as freshmen and sophomore (Bowers is a special case obviously). Malliciah Goodman could be the eventual replacement for Sapp, and Darrell Smith, if he stays at DE (he played alot of TE) would provide some good depth. B. Clear might get moved around some, and A. Branch will play a good bit.

DT-We lose both Rashaad Jackson and Dorell Scott along with Jock McKissic, thats big. Jamie Cumbie comes off a medical RS, also big. Rennie Moore redshirted, Drew Traylor is a scout teamer. A. Murchison is the lone senior we lose after 2009, but if Cumbie has a huge year he will leave. Miguel Chavis and Jarvis Jenkins will play alot at the other DT position alongside Cumbie, and I think Jenkins will eventually lock up the starting job. Brandon Thompson will play a lot but might not be ready for primetime. Tyler Shatley is a tweener, he will likely never start at DT at Clemson, he needs to put on too much weight (at 260 now) I suspect he will trim down and line up at fullback. Clemson rotates in all linemen, so rarely does anyone get RS'd. I think we should've brought in another player here.

Safety-Hamlin is someone we're going to miss, but maybe not so badly. DeAndre McDaniel is moving to SS from the OLB/Cat position he played in VK's scheme, which was essentially the same as a SS who just lines up closer to the LOS. Most of his responsibilities were the same run/pass reads, so it should be a very smooth transition. Chris Clemons wasn't a superstar, but his departure will show in our statistics this year, because Sadat Chambers only spelled him and didn't do much of note. On top of that, we will be running a new system which depends greatly on the Safety to make checks and calls. We have 3 freshmen back there from last year, so it would've been nice to sign on a JUCO safety for the added experience, but we only got Jonathan Meeks from a prep school (he has 5 to play 4). He will play quite a bit and I don't think they'll RS him. Spencer Adams is the next name you should look for to make a splash, if he has healed from the knee injury. Rashard Hall, Carlton Lewis, and Adams come off RS years.

LB-the new scheme by Steele will use LBs in a more traditional role, and will have 3 on the field most of the time, as opposed to the 4-2-5 we really played in VK's scheme. Shuey is a sleeper, who has the size at MLB we havent had since the '90s. Corico Hawkins and Shuey play inside and Quandon Christian is an outside LB. I expect Hawkins to stay at MLB, but he is undersized compared to Shuey. Christian is, in Napier's words, an Anthony Waters clone. Its pretty likely that at least 2 of them get RS'd. The only senior we lose is Josh Miller, and the other guys at LB are all talented and showed flashes last season. Maye is a future superstar, if he has the work ethic. Tig Willard and Tarik Rollins are coming off RS years and were highly rated, so I think we're great here in terms of depth, its just experience and playmaking that we need.

CB-This wasn't identified as a need for this season, although we lose Chancellor and H. Lewis. Xavier Brewer was RS'd last year and will step into the rotation. Coty Sensabaugh was not RS'd and played a fair bit. Its time for Marcus Gilchrist to step up and play real ball. Crezdon Butler will have one position locked up, and Byron Maxwell might get the other, both are seniors. Next season we will have to bring in players here.


RB-Although I still think its insane that we had to move Rendrick Taylor to RB and RS him, he's not going to play there this year. He's too big and slow. Expect him as an H-back in the standard multiple-TE scheme that we are still going to run this year. We lose James Davis, who might not be the biggest waste of talent by Bowden (can't surpass Ben Hall) but was certainly underutilized the last two years. Spiller being back allows us to be set at RB, and Jamie Harper will likely get the carries that Davis got. Hopefully they'll not give Harper the 10-15 per game that should go to Spiller, who we believe should get a minimum of 25 carries a game. Ellington is going to be a scatback type who will catch alot of passes eventually and will be moved around on the offense. I really hope Harper and Ellington are just used to spell CJ. Roderick McDowell was brought in from Sumter, and having seen him play against Gaffney I think he's going to turn out just a bit better at running inside than Ellington, but he's going to RS next year. You always need to take a RB in every class because it is an injury-prone position, so we did.

WR-We lose Aaron Kelly and his 3 drops per game. Tyler Grisham is the one I think we end up missing the most. Its nice to have a WR who will catch the football pretty much every time you throw it to him. Jacoby Ford is back and hopefully will get a lot more deep posts and vertical routes next season, as opposed to his 3-5 quick slants and other 5 yard gains. I get the feeling Xavier Dye will be the one to step up and eventually replace Kelly at Flanker, but Marquan Jones, Jaron Brown (RS), Brandon Clear and Brandon Ford (RS) could all step up and get the starting job at an outside position (Clear, B.Ford and Dye are larger WRs, small guys get inside slots in general). Jones is short and quick, so he'll probably be used in the slot if he starts, much like Jacoby. Terrance Ashe is going to soak up some PT to start the season as well, and given his size will likely be at X/SE. I doubt Bryce McNeal plays much this year, and hopefully they'll RS him because we do have some talented depth here who just need to DO something but Napier believes he's polished enough to compete. We would all have liked to have Kendall Kelly, but we have players here that were all highly rated, however we should've brought in one more reciever.

QB-Goodbye Cullen. Tajh Boyd gives us what is probably the best 3-deep at QB we've ever had at Clemson on paper, and in 2010 he'll get a shot to compete. Parker or Korn will lock up the job this year, and Boyd will almost 100% be assured of a RS year as Wade will certainly get the 3rd string spot because of experience. If Boyd doesnt get a RS, look for him at WR if he plays anywhere. They'll put him on the field. Richt was RS'd in 2008. Clemson didn't need a QB, and got one anyway.

TE-Since we never throw the ball to our most talented TE's I'm not sure there's much point in reviewing this position. Akeem Robinson is gone. They didn't intend to sign more than one, and its unclear whether Darrell Smith could get moved over. Terrell Mitchell was the only bonafide TE recruit on the board and he went elsewhere. We have Dwayne Allen, who was supposed to be a stud, coming off a RS year, but Durrell Barry and Palmer were RS Jr and Jr respectively last season. Rendrick Taylor will play here in 2009 as a RS Sr. Clemson really should've brought in one true TE.

OL-You have to bring in OL and DL every season and anticipate needs 2 years ahead of time, but OL was our Achilles heel in 2008. Dalton Freeman (G), Skinner (C), Kenny Page (G) and Matt Sanders (G/C) were RS'd. A. McClain (T) was not. Barry Humphries will be back as a RS SR and likely will take the C job, with Mason Cloy (RS Soph) and Thomas Austin (RS Sr) at Guard, since Austin's play greatly improved when he was moved there. Hairston (RS Jr) will get the LT job locked down because Lambert (RS Sr) doesnt have a clue. Landon Walker will get the starting RT job as a Soph. so we're set there for a while. Medlin and D. Smith will be there for depth at T and G. We're going to have to replace Austin, Humphries and Lambert (oh the horror of losing Lambert!) after 2009 and someone must step up. Newcomers J.K. Jay and Brandon Thomas are both Tackles, and at least one will RS, probably Thomas due to ACL problems. Since we brought in Guards last season, and Tackles this year, I think we filled our need with enough lead time.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

2009 Clemson Football Schedule

2009 Clemson Football Schedule

Sept. 5 Middle Tennessee State
Sept. 10 *#at Georgia Tech
Sept. 19 *Boston College
Sept. 26 TCU
Oct. 3 *at Maryland
Oct. 17 *Wake Forest
Oct. 24 *at Miami (FL)
Oct. 31 Coastal Carolina
Nov. 7 *Florida State
Nov. 14 *at North Carolina State
Nov. 21 *Virginia
Nov. 28 at **South Carolina

* - ACC game;
** - Traditional ass-whippin'
# - Thursday night game on ESPN
All times are PM and Eastern;
Home games in bold

The new schedule was released today by the conference here. The whole conference is available here.

From Dabo:
"Seven of our eight league opponents went to bowl games last year and Virginia, will be much improved with the return of the quarterback who led them to nine wins in 2007.

I do like the position of our open date (October 10) in that it is close to the middle of the season, and I do like the fact that we never have back to back road games."

I see 8 wins on the schedule, and a couple possibles. Against MTSU we play againt longtime coaches Rick Stockstill and Les Herrin, and a talented spread offense with good WRs, but Danny's magic doesnt extend to them and its going to be an ass-kicking.

I think that because we get GT early before their option-attack is well-oiled is a blessing, but its on Thursday night on the road, and we usually get our ass beat on national night games so I'm calling it a loss for now.

BC should be an easy win, BC has a new coach and OC, and I don't think they're going to be a conference threat this year. Their run at the top of the Atlantic is over.

If TCU is signed to a deal, I expect a tough victory. Their Rivals site shows that nearly all of the starters on last year's team were seniors. 8 of 11 starters are gone, and only 1 RS Sr. will return on their defensive front. They lose two RBs from their by-committee approach, but return their Sr. QB who has passed for 2500 and 2200yds the last two years.
(at the time this was written, a deal had not been signed)

We should defeat Maryland and the chia pet QB, and we have played them well on the road lately, but I call it a toss-up.

Wake Forest I'm gonna call a win. You should never predict a loss to Wake, particularly after a BYE. If we can't come out and demolish them after two weeks practice...somebody should get shot.

Miami is a toss-up, their home-field advantage doesnt extend to Joe Robbie Stadium, or whatever the fuck its named now, but if they play like they can, they will beat us. Their DL will test this (still) young OL more than anyone else all season. John Lovett reigns over the D at Miami next year, and they have a new Offensive Coordinator as well.

Coastal is an easy win...but it would be nice if we played a real school that late. FSU I'm going to call a loss for now. As much as I hate to predict a loss at home, they started to get their shit together last year and I think they are almost back to the old FSU. The last 3 should be victories, but remember that NCSU played really well down the stretch in 2008. UVA and SC are the white meat.

Thats 8 wins, with 2 losses and 2 toss-ups that will make or break the season. On paper we have more talent than everyone but Miami and FSU, but over the last two years that's been just as true as it will be this fall. I'm tempted to predict 9 or 10 wins, and we're certainly capable, but I have to look at the big questions we still have:

We don't know if the OL will be significantly better in '09, they can't really get worse however.
We will have a new RS Sophomore QB.
We will be replacing two starting WRs and Safeties.
We will be running a new defensive system that depends greatly on the Safety position to make checks and calls (if its anything like the Saban system, an experienced S is required and we are starting Chambers).
We will have Napier calling the offense with Dabo.

FF thinks a little more optimistically than in years past:

MTSU will come in to Death Valley with some familiar faces, particularly Rick Stockstill who did a pretty good job IMO while an assistant with the Tigers. Familiarity with the locals won't be enough, as Clemson should beat the shit out of these guys to open the year.

GT will be an interesting game. I am extremely optimistic about this one, especially since CU has made a history of getting killed on Thursday nights. One would have to think that an experienced returning backfield would be an advantage for GT, especially with an option attack. I like playing GT early, especially after a season-opening layup. This will give the coaches all off-season to gameplan for this day, and should allow for practice time in early August in anticipation for the Yellow Jacket's option offense. So long as we don't miss 4-5 field goals, we should win this one to go to 2-0.

BC, Central Michigan, and UMd are all games that we should win. I really think that BC and their instability at HC will be their demise and Clemson were in position to rip the Terps a new one last year, only to quit at halftime (Thanks Tom).

Wake has been a thorn in our side for almost a decade now. The game is in Death Valley, though, and the Tigers have an Open Date before this contest so there is really no reason to think that Swinney won't have the boys ready to play and should get to 6-0.

Miami is one of those games that you hate to be pressed about. The 'Canes struggled last season, but played a ton of underclassmen. They also have boatloads of young talent and should be an up and coming team. We all know how quickly the team from South Beach gets good...Although they are missing the home town shootout advantage they received at the Orange Bowl, these guys should be a formidable opponent that I don't think the Tigers will overcome. First loss of the year occurs in Dolphin Stadium to the U.

Coastal is a newer, yet decent program. Thank God Tom got the boot before allowing Coastal to go on a 4th qtr run to beat our ass. (Should be an easy win for DS, though). FSU has gotten damn good up front recently. They really looked good over the home stretch last season (just don't compare them to the teams they put out in the '90's just yet). Jimbo and Mickey roll back to Tallahassee with the W in this case.

NCST, Virginia, and South Carolina are, well, NCST, Virginia, and South Carolina. Barring some ridiculous let down game the Tigers should get through the white meat of the schedule without a blemish.

The fact that Dabo calls this schedule "challenging" just shows the amount of showmanship that he possesses. See above for level of difficulty, and see here for quote. As I have explained above, winning 10 out of 12 is not out of the realm of possibilities. However, the past 18 years have left me a little jaded about this team. Consequently, I fall into the category with everyone else: we will win 8-10 games and I still expect at least one let down game against a team that we should take to the woodshed.

Overall: We will be a better team to watch now that Tom is off the sidelines. The key area to me will be the safety position. I am confident that the skill positions will be better than last year and that we will be stout up front on defense. How Fat Brad and his boys respond will dictate the success (or dissapointment) of the season. I am eager to see how Spiller responds to being th e feature back and how the QB competition will pan out. In all actuality, the schedule is favorable to the Tigers with GT and Miami being the only difficult road games in the mix. At least this year I won't be cussing Tom Bowden out in a bar in Colorado because he can't produce more than 10 yards of total offense in a half against Wake.

Your thoughts? (you may have to post twice for your message to appear)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More Random Ramblings

It was great to see the Tigers bounce back from a piss poor 2nd half against FSU. The win against BC gets OP's boys approx 3 ACC wins from an NCAA tourney birth. To this point, this group has done a much better job than most of us expected going in, and still have a chance to make a run at the ACC Regular Season Championship (there are still a lot of games left, and CU almost needs to run the table for a legit shot at the title).

Onward, the NCAA is doing more to give the damn officials more influence over the games. Per ESPN (link), the rules committee seems to think that the college game should be an N.F.L. (No Fun League). While I dislike players showing their asses more than anyone, taking the game out of the participants hands and placing it under the discretion of an official seems asinine and does not align with the spirit of the sport. They have already fucked up game play enough by botching up clock rules on a yearly basis (the clock should stop after every possession change and every time a player goes out of bounds, no matter the situation. Why the fuck should a possession mid-way through the 3rd quarter be treated any different from a game clock stand point than the last drive of the game?).

Speaking of dumbass legislation, what in the hell do the idiots in Washington think they are doing now? Better buy as much gold as you can now, cause the dollar won't be worth a shit when these guys get done spending $800 billion of our money peddling in issues that government has no need to look into. The current spending bill is a bill that arose from liberals striking the fear of Armageddon into US citizens. These a-holes then line the bill with all sorts of crap that the Dems have been trying to push through legislation for 30+ years now, with the leader of the pack warning us all that the world will end if the bill is not passed.

How can anyone endorse this extreme and reckless deficit spending while ignoring the high probability that ramped inflation will soon follow. Furthermore, how can someone convince a good portion of this country that tossing money at the symptoms will not cure the core issues? Where is Ronald Reagan when you need him to restore capitalism and save this country from the Socialist state that we will soon become?

Back to the sporting arena, who knew that rolling with an Olympic hero would be detrimental to your livelihood. According to reports out of the Mecca, people are getting picked off left and right (wow). I want to know just a couple of things (and no, I am not condoning the use of any illegal substances):
a) Who in the hell wants to pay $100,000 for anything off of EBay?
b) Why didn't Orenthol hire these investigators these guys to help find the "real killer(s)"
c) Who knew there was so much money in beer-pong? match the two large

A much needed victory

Clemson stepped up after the letdown against FSU and pulled away from Boston College late to get its 20th win 87-77. I'd say about 4 more wins will give us good enough record in conference and allow us to lock up a spot on the Tournament. I originally thought we'd be a bubble team this year, but am pleasantly surprised.

Take of the game from BC fans is here. He's pretty on target.

I was surprised at how well Sykes played, he finally justified the minutes he's getting. Booker also stepped up after the awful game against FSU. 20 offensive rebounds was the deciding factor I believe.

An article out today by Andy Katz talks about how Clemson is still eyeing an ACC Title. We're a game behind UNC and Duke right now, but we have to do our job and win the rest of our games and not worry about who else loses to who, same as always. A regular season title would be great, but I'd prefer a Tournament title given the choice. Another article on Fox Sports talks about us here.
Clemson isn't going away anytime soon.

I never thought I'd see the day when the Tigers' basketball program would have staying power, but Tuesday night's road win at Boston College gave Oliver Purnell's program three consecutive 20-win campaigns.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Post Signing Day Thoughts, etc...

Signing Day has obviously come and passed. Overall, I thought Swinney and the boys did what they could with what they had and could really benefit from Bryce Brown's decision (whenever he finishes his visits and choses a school). It also appears as though Eric Fields is moving forward to try to gain admittance to some institution.

About one week ago, I had a buddy call to ask a question that almost caused a riot in an Atlanta bar. The question revolved around the whether Swinney was chosen as a legit head coach or was he placed in the head position as a placeholder for a hire a few years down the road. The answer that I gave was simple, BOTH. When TDP and Tom agreed to split ways mid-season, there is little doubt that I was pissed as hell that TDP got worked by Tom B and his threats to leave to go to Arkansas. Hell, I was really just hoping that TB would leave and he would owe good old CU a chunk of change.

This being said, TDP was then placed in a unique situation. I really think that he wanted Dabo to lead the Tigers once it became obvious that Tom was not the man with the plan. Swinney's ability to connect with the fans, get the players to play hard for 60 minutes, and winning a few games allowed TDP to offer the position to Swinney, and pay him significantly less than his predecessor (and allowing TDP to hedge his bets here, as it would be much cheaper to replace Swinney now than Tom this time last season). Youg coach with upside yet relatively inexpensive (compared to other coaches at big schools) from a guaranteed money standpoint...

Onward to the placement of Jeff Scott as recruiting coordinator. I really don't know too much about him, only that he was the holder during his playing days at Clemson and coached at the HS level and at PC before getting on the Tiger's staff. Apparently Coach Swinney really thinks a lot of JS, so much so that the ketsup slamming Brad Scott was kept on staff after years of producing a sorry ass offensive line.

Clemson drops to 11/12 in both polls.

AP and Coaches Polls for Feb. 9.

I'm not happy about us dropping and Duke only dropping a couple spots, Puke shouldnt be ranked ahead of us, but we shouldnt be blowing a FUCKING 19 POINT LEAD AGAINST ANYBODY AT HOME OR AWAY, who gives a shit if it was against FSU and not UNC or UConn.

-We scored 4 points in the last 9 minutes. Thats just plain shitty.
-We got our ass kicked on the glass.
-We turned the ball over 18 times.
-Booker and Sykes got manhandled on both ends down the stretch.
-We got our ass kicked in transition....again.

FSU beat us with their defense. I can't say we didn't "show up", but we certainly quit playing basketball at the 9:41 mark.

Was Duke playing that bad, or were we that good Wednesday night? Before you answer, I have one question, have you ever seen a Duke team play that bad against anyone for a whole game?

Friday, February 6, 2009


Watch this video

Tiger catches a Chicken

Some chick from the Left Coast thinks that SOS is full of shit for oversigning guys who can't even make it into SEC schools. Read the comments to see Cockfan go batshit on her.

An LSU Fan calls them on it
Feb 5, 2009
9:26 AM

You people have got to be kidding. S Carolina is a complete embarrasment to SEC, and I would personally rather replace you in the SEC with your instate rival (that dominates you year in and year out) over Carolina due to the fact that they resemble an SEC school much more than you do. At least Vandy brings academics to the table, what have you guys ever done other than create an avenue for hall of fame coaches to tarnish their legacy? Your fans are completely delusional, and your stadium seriously had a stench of hot garbage when I went for the LSU game this year. Please stop saying "next year...", you are not, I can assure you. Carolina has been a complete joke for 100 years and I don't think that is going to change anytime soon.

Also, whoever used Dunta Robinson as an example of guys that "Spurrier kept in school" should probably stop there, considering he was already in the NFL when Spurrier decided to take that job. This recruiting class is no different than any other class you have had lately, they are still going to finish 4th in the East and lose to Clemson probably all four years.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Duke Highlights

1st Half Highlights

2nd half

End of game

Downloadable versions compiled by ShoelessCU here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Clemson destroys #3 Duke 74-47

...the next Don "Magic" Juan?...

Game Recap

I hope you watched, because it was the best full-game performance Clemson has ever had in basketball.

I recall the win over #3 Kentucky by Barnes' first great team....the win against UNC and the dunk by Buckner in the ACC Tournament...the win against Duke last year in the ACC Tourney...but never has Clemson dominated a great team like they did tonight.

National Signing Day

Tigernet updated link with video and bio's is up, so I don't have to find the videos.

There is a video up of Corico Hawkins' signing here.

Kendall Kelly picked Alabama, but teammate Darrell Smith chose Clemson. This means we'll likely finish with just the 12 commits.

Sam Montgomery picked LSU. Craig Loston also signed with them. Clearly LSU loves Tom Bowden today.
Tim Simon picked Ole Piss, as did Bobby Massie.
Leon Mackey did sign with Sakerlina.
Former commit Larry Raper is still deciding, but it'll likely be with WF if they offer. Clemson backed off him when he decommitted, which means he burned a bridge.
Eric Fields signed with Northwest Miss. CC.
Bryce Brown will sign a LOI later, likely by the end of the month. He thinks he's another Terrell Pryor.

This was always going to be a small class, as the coaches planned to initially sign around 20 players. That number was figured including the early departure of a couple juniors currently on the team. By my count, we have 69 scholarship players on the team, leaving only 16 available scholarships for fall (you can only have 85 on scholly in fall). At least 3 players have been mentioned as deserving scholarships, and Dabo has said he will give these players their scholarship for the fall. We will take a closer look at the scholarship breakdown later.

Edit: Dabo's press conf stated that we had only 15 available scholarships, and the plan was initially to take 17-19 players. As it stands today, we have 17 scholarships available for next year and they hope to sign 20-22 next year.

"There is a misconception out there. I feel like some people feel like we're suppose to sign 25 kids every year. I'd love to sign 25, but there's another number that counts, and that's 85. You can sign a bunch of guys you know who are not going to qualify if you want a high recruiting ranking, but that's not really my objective. I want the best players, guys who will represent Clemson in a manner that we all want to see."

2009 Incoming class is ranked 37th overall by Rivals, which has a quantity component. It is ranked 11th in terms of average star rating.

Tajh Boyd QB 6-0 208 4.7 Hampton, VA
Quandon Christian LB 6-3 205 4.51 Lake View, SC
Malliciah Goodman DE 6-4 255 4.57 Florence, SC
Corico Hawkins LB 6-0 218 4.53 Milledgeville, GA
J.K. Jay OL 6-6 275 4.78 Greenville, SC
Roderick McDowell RB 5-10 175 4.4 Sumter, SC
Bryce McNeal WR 6-2 170 4.45 Minneapolis, MN
Jonathan Meeks DB 6-2 203 4.4 Chatham, VA
Tyler Shatley DT 6-3 255 4.75 Connellys Springs, NC
Spencer Shuey LB 6-4 241 4.7 Charlotte, NC
Darrell Smith DE 6-3 237 4.6 Gadsden, AL
Brandon Thomas OL 6-4 280 4.7 Spartanburg, SC

Monday, February 2, 2009

General Thoughts Before Signing Day

As has been explained earlier by Dr. B, Leon Mackey will not be attending CU, instead he is headed to Columbia. This should be no surprise, as coaches do not wish to lose players to teams within their own conference (similarly, pro teams are also reluctant to trade players in-division, as this could really bite them down the road). The real question here is why does the ACC have this rule in the first place? From my understanding, this is a conference rule that requires Va Tech to release Mackey from his initial LOI signed a year ago because his prep time essentially serves as a "13th grade". Also, the fact that F. Beamer essentially passed along a player from V Tech to his son at USC seems a little unethical, but when has that stopped SOS and the boys in Columbia? Just please don't go ninjin' nobody that don't need ninjin'

Certainly the Cocks will have a decent recruiting class this year, especially with the vacuum formed by the dismissal of Tom, Tubbs, and Fat Phil. I was disappointed about losing Holloman and Axon, but it is tough to land good players without a coach. Otherwise, this class for Clemson will be small, but will have quality players involved. Swinney and crew have committed to utilizing scholarships wisely, and next year's crop of high school seniors looks to be a gem of a group. With the small class this year, the coaches will be fighting and scratching to bring in a fantastic class next February.

I am sure that most everyone was entertained yesterday by the Super Bowl. The game was good, the officiating sucked. At times I openly wondered if Ron Cherry was somehow involved with this crew. IMO, both qb's played well, with Big Ben winning yet another game late. Had Kurt Warner not gone Cullen Harper for the Cardinals at the end of the half, we very well could be talking about a championship in the desert.

The Tigers have a very manageable late season stretch on the hardwood, with OP's team the expected favorite in all games but Duke and WF. If Clemson doesn't get lackadaisical and try to force too much (i.e., be aware that really good teams can absolutely murder you and a press defense with athleticism, quick passing, and smart ballhandling). With any luck, this year's team may go down as one of the best teams of my lifetime. However, this team has a bullseye on it's chest and should see everyone's best performance night in, night out. It is exciting to finally have a bball program that is worth paying attention to.

Clemson loses Mackey, thanks to Beamer

Gamecock Central reported first that Clemson DE commitment Leon Mackey (4-star) switched his commitment to Sakerlina over the weekend, then it was published in The State by Korncoot.

He committed to Clemson in early January, but according to a source, Mackey was never denied admission to Virginia Tech and was never given a release from his national letter. The Hokies would not release him to sign with another ACC school.

If he'd been a JUCO player, the rule is different. Prep schools are essentially HS-extended and his original LOI applies. What Korncoot does not acknowledge is that Shane Beamer, Frank's son, is the Recruiting Coordinator at Sakerlina. I don't know if anyone on the Clemson staff is to be blamed for this, and Beamer is, at the least, underhanded at applying it. Its not the first time he's done so. It looks to me that he is either holding him to his original LOI because the kid didnt want to come to VT after his signature was faxed in, or Frank tried to grayshirt him. The main reason we got Mackey seems to be that we offered January enrollment, which one of the others would do.

Sakerlina will oversign, as usual, and deny admittance/grayshirt several players.

-Linebacker Roderic Blunt of Miramar, Fla., the son of former Clemson running back Rodney Blunt, committed to Middle Tennessee State. Clemson never offered him.

-Summerville QB Don McElveen and K Chandler Catanzaro will be given preferred walk-on status next year and both say they're coming to Clemson.

-DE Darrell Smith was offered (because DS knew we were losing Mackey) over the weekend and will decide between us and Troy.

-Former commitment Markish Jones is now at Cal.

Both Tennessee (17) and Auburn (19) are ranked ahead of us in recruiting, both with more signees than we have. Take that however you like.

As of Sunday afternoon, its over, and we're in a recruiting dead period.

Other stuff...

Basketball is ranked #10 in the Coaches' Poll this week.

Another baseball preview article is up. Clemson has been ranked as high as #19 in preseason polls, but most fall around #26.

Columbia claims another athlete.