Random Musings: Pre-Christmas Edition

Waiting patiently for Santa to appear, here are some odds and ends that I need to get off my chest to free up room in my belly for Christmas dinner.

* The yapping out of Knoxville has ended, at least temporarily. It has been 3 straight days since I've heard a Tennessee player or coach complain that they had to play in the Peach Bowl.

* Quick quiz: Clemson has a chance to win the final 4 games of this season if we win the Peach Bowl. Can you guess when was the last time Clemson won the last 4 games of a season? If you guessed 1990, you would be correct. Ken Hatfield's first Clemson team actually closed out the season with 5 straight wins, including a 30-0 whipping of Illinois in the Hall of Fame Bowl.

* The aftermath of the Rick Stockstill to South Carolina fiasco has yet to simmer down. I've said from the beginning that I don't harbor the resentment that many of you do about it, although I understand completely why you feel that way. For a program that has failed to turn the corner in 100+ years of football, I can assure you quite confidently that the one man they have been waiting on to get USC over that hump is not Rick Stockstill. Rest easy.

* I talked at length with a head coach from a prominent high school in the upstate this past weekend. Here's an uncomfortable fact from our extensive conversation: it has been 2½ years since any member of Clemson's coaching staff has stopped by his school. FYI, this school is not in the boonies, has had Division I kids sign in the past 2 ½ years with various schools, and is within 25 minutes of Clemson's campus. This is unacceptable in my opinion.

* The Atlanta Journal Constitution has interviewed CUTigers.com for an article that is due out a couple of days prior to the Peach Bowl. Among other things, the article will touch on the Internet's role in all the hoopla that surrounds coaching turmoil. Look for the article to come out right before New Year's Day.

* CUTigers.com and WCCP 104.9 FM are in preliminary discussions with a major national sponsor for a 2004 Pregame show. If things go as we would hope in the negotiations, this Pre Game show will take a giant leap forward as compared to last year and it will be leaps and bounds better than anything Clemson has had in the past. And yes, it would include going to all away games just as we did this year! It is possible (keep in mind nothing has been signed yet) that the road trips could include lodging for a lucky few CUTigers.com subscribers on each road trip!

* The obvious highs and lows of the 2003 season are well documented. So, let me throw out the Wake Forest, Florida State, and South Carolina games and then offer you my high and low of the 2003 season. Definitely on the high list would be the whipping Clemson gave Georgia Tech in Atlanta with the purple jerseys. It was not on television, which added to the delight for those of us in attendance at Bobby Dodd. The low point other than the Wake game this year would have to be Georgia. Not so much that we lost the game, but the manner in which we lost was downright depressing. That game, and this team, are miles away from August 31st. But that loss in that manner still stings.

* Does anybody else get a slight chuckle from the fact that N.C. State is not selling Tangerine Bowl tickets very well? In fact, their numbers appear to be on pace to be lower than Clemson's numbers last year. Even personal calls from Philip Rivers to boosters was not enough to put fannies in the seat in a bowl game that has a horrible date. We told everybody that last year, but maybe State's poor ticket sales will prove us to be correct.

* Speaking of N.C. State, is there a bigger thug as a head coach in the nation than Chuck Amato? Encouraging high school students to fail so they can go to prep school? Give me a break Chucky.

* Okay, let's put to rest the complaining about the ticket distribution to the Peach Bowl. We have a good and sound priority point distribution system in IPTAY that encourages giving money and rewards longevity. (If I had a dollar for every person that claimed to be a 30 year donor that did not get tickets, I'd be rich. I'll call BS on most of those claims, BTW). However, the ticket demand for the Peach Bowl this year exceeded everybody's wildest dreams. In hindsight, Clemson should have only allowed donors to get the same amount of tickets for the Peach Bowl as those donors had season tickets. 90% of the injustice to the situation would have been solved, even though there still would have been folks who were turned away. But it is also unfair to blame the ticket office for this situation considering this is the only time since 1982's Orange Bowl that Clemson had more folks wanting tickets to a bowl game than Clemson could get their hands on. If you don't have a ticket…sorry. But, get over it already.

* Speaking of Peach Bowl tickets, several high school coaches that attended the Shrine Bowl mentioned to me that the Clemson coaches were hit up hard for tickets this past week. The high school coaches can often times get a handful of tickets for themselves and then pass them along to some of their players to go to the bowl game with them. Demand from the high school coaches was so high that Tommy Bowden had to start out conversations with the high school coaches this week by saying "Before you ask, I don't have any extra tickets to give you this year."

* If Clemson wins the Peach Bowl, it will be only the 2nd time since 1991 that the Tigers have won 9 or more games in a season.

* CUTigers.com and WCCP 104.9 will be at Fan Fest in the Georgia World Congress Center on game day for the Peach Bowl. Roy, Alyson, and I will broadcast for 4½ hours from 9:00-1:30 from Fan Fest to be followed by the Tiger Tailgate Show with Don Munson and crew from 1:30-4:30 in the same location. Guest hosts for particular segments will include WCCP's Will Merritt, Dan Scott, and Mickey Plyler. Stay tuned to CUTigers.com for more details on the show and the actual times the guest hosts will be on the air. Make Fan Fest and the Tiger Pregame Show a part of your Peach Bowl experience!

* I know that your desire for recruiting information, game plans for the Peach Bowl, travel plans to Atlanta, and your quest of anything Clemson football related creates a hectic day to day schedule for you. I can assure you that it does for myself and everybody at CUTigers.com. With that being said, take time in the coming days to take a ½ step back and enjoy the meaning for the season with your family and friends. Christmas is truly a time for family and loved ones. I hope you and yours have a Merry Christmas!

Yours truly, Scott Rhymer.

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