Random Thoughts

With August at our fingertips, I refuse to keep a countdown of the number of days until kickoff. Those silly little countdowns only serve to remind me that it is not time to get the 2001 college football season off and running. Instead, I will write my rambling muses for you to chew on to help pass the time, however long it is, until kickoff.

Roscoe Crosby
Poor guy. I know he is a millionaire, but I am beginning to feel sorry for the fella. Like all very highly touted players, the expectations are beginning to escalate out of control. Most have anointed a starting position for Crosby, and some are even suggesting that he may be the go-to guy by the time the Tigers hit ACC play.

All of this attention for a guy that has never caught a pass on the collegiate level. Hopefully, Roscoe will be everything most are expecting. But, to be honest, if he is even half of what people expect, he is going to be one heck of a player.

South Stands Renovation
I am not in the construction business, nor could I hardly build the wooden play set for my daughter with the given instructions. But, I am beginning to worry a little about the construction to the South stands at Death Valley. I'm worried because it looks like they haven't even started working, minus moving a little dirt around. And what really scares me is that every time I ride by the construction area, there are 10 guys taking a smoke break for every 1 guy actually working. Reminds me a lot of the SC Highway Department and the various road-widening projects throughout the state.

Anyhow, the final product (whenever finished) is really going to look great. Problem is, I sit in the North stands and I have to wait another year to actually get to utilize the great improvements.

Quarterback Controversy?
There is no quarterback controversy. Woodrow Danztler will lead the Tigers as long as he is healthy. Willie Simmons will get some snaps in mop up duty, and he will be poised to lead the Tigers in 2002. But stop kidding yourself, Woody is the quarterback…enough said.

The New ACC Coaches
Is it just me, or are the four new ACC coaches a bunch inspiration-less blahs? Let's face it, Ralph Friedgen is the most well known (in these parts) of the new coaches. But Ralph has the personality of this keyboard that I am typing on. And, no offense, but the guy good do himself some good by joining his Terrapin players in a couple of wind sprints this August.

I have absolutely no idea where John Bunting and Jim Grobe came from. Bunting, they say, had a successful career at UNC, and he even won a Super Bowl ring with the St. Louis Rams. In addition, Bunting has been an NFL assistant since 1993. I thought UNC's biggest problem under Carl Torbush was a lack of offensive productivity. So, you go out and hire an unproven coach and recruiter that played and coached on defense? That makes about as much sense to me as taking the Wake Forest Head Coaching job. I guess we should all feel sorry for Jim Grobe and his new endeavor as coach of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Grobe turned around a pitiful Ohio program as his major credential for landing the Wake job. But, Ohio did not have to play FSU, Georgia Tech and Clemson on a yearly basis. Turning around Wake Forest is the equivalent of walking on water, and last time I checked Grobe is not God.

As for Al Groh, I hate to say that this former NFL coach may be the most lost of all of the new coaches. Groh was quoted as saying, "When you've lined it up in Green Bay, Baltimore, Denver, and Oakland, you're certainly not going to be intimidated by going to places like Florida State, Clemson and Virginia Tech". That quote reeks of somebody who has absolutely no idea what he is talking about. Anybody that thinks that a major college football stadium is not more intimidating to play in than any NFL stadium is just plain ignorant. Good luck, Al, your bubble is about to burst.

Prognostications
I think that this is the year that the streaks will end. So, let's start with the good news. I have this feeling that the Tigers will march into Atlanta and defeat the Yellow Jackets on September 29. The coaching staff is trying to establish itself, and the Clemson program, as the second best in the ACC behind the Seminoles. Problem is, Georgia Tech continues to carry that mantle because the Tigers cannot defeat the Jackets on the field. Maybe more than any other game, this is the one the coaches want to win the most.

Now, for the bad news. I can't help but to think that the Gamecocks are due to end their futility this year in Williams Brice Stadium. All the numbers and traditions point to the Tigers, but you have to think that the Gamecocks are going to stumble over a win against the Tigers at some point. If it happens, it will be the first time that the Gamecocks have beaten the Tigers in Columbia since 1987. Anybody remember Brad Edwards and all of those "Rod-ney" chants? Makes me sick to even think about it.

I'll assume an FSU loss as well. Clemson could most certainly defeat the ‘Noles in Clemson November 3. But this old boy would not take the Tigers in a straight up bet today, or November 2nd. FSU is full of talent and should be firing on all cylinders by November. Bowden Bowl III should have a ton of fanfare and excitement, not to mention a pretty competitive game. But Papa Bowden should come out on top against his beloved son once again, leaving the Tigers without an ACC Championship for the 10th straight year.

So, that puts the Tigers at two losses. No other game scares me as much as the trip to Raleigh. The Wolfpack seem to have a magical ability to always play the Tigers tough, no matter the difference in talent between the two schools. Two years ago, I watched in stunned amazement as Clemson gained a 14-point lead before the bands left the field, only to watch it evaporate with the assistance of some questionable calls. A victory in Raleigh will be no small accomplishment, take that to the bank right now.

So, for arguments sake, I'll say 8-3 with losses to NC State, FSU, and USC. The chances of going 9-2 are greater than the chances of slipping to 7-4, in my opinion. Bowden has brought the program back to the level, however, that gives you the feeling that Clemson could win every single time they take the field. That was not the case just three years ago.

Let those silly countdowns continue.

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