Preseason Hype is Here

You've seen them all by now. It has almost become an annual event in any crazed college football fan's life- the buying of the college football preview magazine. Why even play out the season when all the so called "experts" have every team figured out?

Of course that has to be considered to be a huge joke in these parts.

The Tigers, fresh off losing most of their starting offensive backfield in Travis Zachery and Woodrow Dantzler, as well as half the offensive line and Roscoe Crosby to surgery, are looking extremely vunerable this year. Right?

Judging by most publications out there, that sure seems to be the case.

You've probably read most of them by now, and you've seen Clemson being picked to finish anywhere from 3rd to 8th in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

That's right, there is no typo in that statement. That's eighth place, as in "next to last" in the ACC. Eighth, as in "losing to Duke" in early November.

Duke you say? The same team that is seemingly overmatched by every other school in major college football? The same team that has had over 110 points rung up on them by the Tigers over the course of the last two years? Could this be the year that Tommy falls asleep in Durham? Ouch.

Fortunately, once you get past all the propoganda in these preseason magazines, you realize that is really all it is, propoganda. A hodgepodge of bold predictions, featuring top 10 lists that my 10 year old little brother could put together in a better format, mixed in with a couple of online casino ads.

While some of this information is certainly insightful, many of these preseason publications fall way short of the mark in terms of current news. I'll leave it to you to determine which ones those are for yourselves.

The reality is that the Tigers do in fact have some holes to fill, and certainly depth on the offensive line is something that should concern any Clemson fan heading into fall practice.

However, I'm here to tell you that all hope is not lost. That's right, there is no reason to sell your season tickets just yet, because the fact is, no game on the schedule (maybe with the exception of Florida State) appears to be a mortal lock in favor of the Tigers' opponent. And yes, that includes the University of Georgia.

While the mighty, mighty Bulldogs have seemingly emerged back into the national spotlight this offseason, August 31st will not be a cake walk by any stretch of the imagination.

The Georgia game aside, the Tigers will have every opportunity to make some great strides this year in terms of wins and losses.

A new defensive coordinator, a defense that has remained largely intact, and an offensive with undiscovered weapons in Willie Simmons, Bernard Rambert, and Keith Kelly, should give all Tiger fans hope of a 9 or even 10-win season. Oh, and did I mention recruiting?

Could this be the year that all of that acquistion of some of the top high school athletes in the country finally comes together to produce a bigtime season? Certainly it is a distinct possiblity.

However, the talk of this being a "down year" in Tiger Town is actually refreshing in a wierd sort of way. Especially when you consider how many years the Tigers have hovered around the lower half of the preseason top 25, only to be quickly ousted in some sort of stunning upset. (Anyone remember the Virginia game last season?)

What about that eighth place position in the ACC and losing to Duke? I'll go ahead and go on record and say that it won't happen, at least not this year. But it sure is a good way to sell a lot of magazines. Top Stories