Breaking SEC News

April 1, 2009

I’ve got some big news about the SEC and ACC posted over at Team Speed Kills. This is big stuff folks; you’re not going to want to miss it.

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A Note on Dabo Swinney

December 2, 2008

As long as I am going to take Tennessee to task for its questionable hire, I might as well add Clemson in too.

Dabo Swinney is going to take over as the full-time head coach. His principle qualifications appeared to be that he is young, he is energetic, he knows Clemson, and most importantly he is not Tommy Bowden. It also doesn’t hurt that keeping Dabo means C.J. Spiller is sticking around for another season. Probably.

According to the linked article, his primary accomplishment was firing OC Rob Spence and deciding to give the ball to James Davis and Spiller more. Not to heap on the snark, but everyone who looked at Clemson’s situation could see that having a banged up Cullen Harper sling it around the field was a bad idea and that giving the ball to the two most talented players on the offense was the right thing to do.

So as we near the Dabo era, I think it’s worth digging up a table I made back before the season when I was doing coaching record analysis. I have updated it to add 2008.

Clemson Season Splits
Year First Half Second Half Beat SC? Overall
1999 3-3 3-3 Y 6-6
2000 6-0 3-3 Y 9-3
2001 4-2 3-3 N 7-5
2002 3-3 4-3 Y 7-6
2003 4-2 4-2 Y 8-4
2004 2-4 4-1 Y 6-5
2005 3-3 5-1 Y 8-4
2006 5-1 3-4 N 8-5
2007 4-2 5-2 Y 9-4
2008 3-3 4-2 Y 7-5

If I scrambled up the years and didn’t label them, you would not be able to pick 2008 out from the bunch. OK maybe you could have found the one of the two years with only 12 total games and seven wins, but you get the point. Nothing particularly stands out about 2008 relative to the rest of the Bowden Era.

This is Dabo’s task: make a row in the table that doesn’t blend in with the others. I don’t know if a guy who was out of coaching as recently as 2002 is the right one for one of the four ACC schools that truly cares about football in the way that Big 12 and SEC schools do.

We’ll see, but I have a feeling the next three seasons in the upstate of South Carolina will probably not stand out from anything else you see here.


Corso Picks USC, More

September 13, 2008

Here it is:

The kiss of death, supposedly

The kiss of death, supposedly

I don’t think Lee Corso picking you is quite the harbinger of doom (the Curso?) it once was, but here you go. Lee once again goes with America’s vote (something he finally picked against, once) and takes the Trojans over the Buckeyes.

I’ve mostly been monitoring UAB-Tennessee and Nevada-Missouri. At the present, Tennessee has been decided lackluster. They have just 21-3 late in the third quarter, and that includes Eric Berry bailing out the defense by intercepting a pass in the end zone.

Nevada-Mizzou has been the most exciting thanks to a lot of offensive fireworks. The Wolfpack defense has been predictably hopeless, but their Pistol offense has worked fairly well. In the Pistol, the quarterback lines up in a short shotgun (because a pistol is shorter than a shotgun) which gives him the chance to survey the defense while still lining up the running back behind the quarterback like in a traditional offense.

Some other schools have been mixing in some Pistol. Florida used it against Miami, and Ohio State has already used it with Terrelle Pryor.

With USF beating Kansas and Maryland beating up on Cal right now, this could end up being redemption weekend for the much maligned conferences. Wisconsin winning at Fresno will help with the Big Ten’s case, but of course nothing would do more than Ohio State beating USC.

For the record, I’m thinking both Michigan (over Notre Dame) and Ohio State will win thanks much more to their defenses than their offenses. I learned nothing from USC’s blowout of Virginia (who is really, really bad), and I’m still concerned about their offensive line. We shall see.


Mid-Afternoon Check-In

September 6, 2008

Well, Auburn and Southern Miss were underwhelming, and the BC-GT game was nothing if not sloppy and disjointed. If I could describe Auburn QB Chris Todd in one word, it would be “indecisive.” Meanwhile, Josh Nesbitt and Jonathan Dwyer together are probably good enough to get the Jackets four more wins in the putrid ACC.

Speaking of the ACC, Wake Forest doesn’t look too bad against Ole Miss. Ole Miss doesn’t look too bad against Wake Forest. This is a game between two good but not great BCS conference team. Only problem is, Wake is supposed to be one of the two or three best teams in their league. Whoops.

Georgia has been looking good, but Central Michigan’s defense is a sieve. I mean, they gave up 70 points to Clemson last season, and that betrays some deep issues that cannot be fixed in one year. CMU’s offense could have been better, except Dan LeFevour didn’t start running until about five minutes to go in the half. Not surprisingly, that allowed the Chips to move the ball better and even pick up a cheap TD right at the end.

By the way, Notre Dame is tied at the half 7-7 with San Diego State, and needed a blocked punt with under two minutes to go in the half to get a chance at that TD. Yes, that San Diego State, who lost to Cal-Poly last weekend. It is a little surprising, but then again not so much since it’s the Irish’s first game and they were not competitive in so many games last season. I think a lot of people overestimated where they were starting from this season.

Oh, and Jimmy Clausen looks like a dope with his new long hair.


Setting the Stage: Week 2

September 6, 2008

I have to admit, I’m a bit jealous of my brother who got to be at GameDay this morning. It’s a lot of fun to be there and I encourage you to go if you can if they visit your school.

Anyway, I am starting off the day with the Raycom double dip, with BC-GT on the ACC side and Auburn and Southern Miss on the SEC side. I want to see Paul Johnson’s offense go against a great run defense. I also want to see not just Auburn’s new offense, but also what Larry Fedora can do against Auburn’s great D.

I wish Cincinnati-Oklahoma was on in this area, but we get Ole Miss-Wake Forest instead. Makes sense, considering Winston-Salem is less than two hours up the road on I-77 from Charlotte. If the Demon Deacons win, they could be set up to be this year’s Kansas: a team with a gaudy won-loss record without playing much of anyone.

As long as we’re drawing parallels to last season, which is always a dicey proposition, Vandy has a chance to be this year’s Mississippi State. We’re a long way away from that for now though.

Stay safe, and enjoy this game day.


South Carolina-NC State

August 28, 2008

First Half

This game is rivaling the ’05 FSU-Miami game for worst opening weekend game I’ve ever watched, and that’s saying something. I mean, Wake Forest-Baylor has had a lot better offensive play in it.

Ol’ Steve has a lot of work to do because he still doesn’t have a quarterback. It could be Stephen Garcia or bust. This has just been an awful game.

Second Half

I only saw the beginning of it, but it appears that things turned around. It was only a matter of time before Spurrier pulled Beecher, what with his four turnovers, and it certainly seems that Chris Smelley has won the starting role on the field. It’ll be interesting to see what Stevarino has to say on his coach show this week.

Addendum

Jessie Palmer, find a longer tie. You look ridiculous.


College GameDay’s Picks

August 24, 2008

In case you missed the College GameDay season preview show yesterday, here’s how everyone picked. They added Lou Holtz for the preview show, but hopefully he won’t be a part of the main lineup. The three-man crew works best. As always, Chris Fowler did not make any predictions.

Lee Corso

ACC: Clemson

Big 12: Missouri

Big East: South Florida

Big Ten: Ohio State

Pac-10: USC

SEC: Auburn

National Title: USC over Missouri

Kirk Herbstreit

ACC: Clemson

Big 12: Oklahoma

Big East: South Florida

Big Ten: Ohio State

Pac-10: USC

SEC: Florida

National Title: Florida over USC

Lou Holtz

ACC: Wake Forest

Big 12: Oklahoma

Big East: Pitt

Big Ten: Ohio State

Pac-10: USC

SEC: Florida

National Title: Ohio State over Oklahoma

The funniest part of the whole thing was during the picks segment. Corso called Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin “Jeremy McLean” and Kirk nearly lost it. Fowler also messed up an into segment off a commercial break, so even the best of them need some fall practice before the season.