OSU, TDP and the Tangerine?

Read the transcript of OSUInsider's interview with former OSU and current Clemson Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips.

Brandi Ball: Do you miss me at all? You don't do you? See, you thought you weren't going to have to deal with me anymore, but here I hunted you down.

Terry Don Phillips: No, we do miss you! We certainly do. Now, why would you think we wouldn't?

BB: Well, I am a reporter, remember?

TDP: [laughing] Aww, now...

BB: I am just kidding, I know you are great with the way you deal with the media. I think that is why I like you so much.

So, give me your thoughts about this POSSIBLE Clemson-Oklahoma State matchup in the Tangerine Bowl. I guess we really don't know what in the world is going on...speculation everywhere, but is the anticipation of such getting you a little excited?

TDP: I am extremely proud of Oklahoma State and what's happening there. Harry Birdwell is doing a great job — Les has done a tremendous job, and no one can be happier for them more than I am. I think if we were to have a matchup in the Tangerine Bowl it would be a very good ball game. I think it would be an exciting bowl game and one that both Oklahoma State people and Clemson people would enjoy watching.

BB: Now, if such a matchup occurs, do you think it might be difficult not to secretly root for your old school and friends? I am sure this place is still very dear to your heart.

TDP: It is very dear to my heart and the people here know that. But at the same time, we've got to work hard with the program here just as Harry and Les are working hard with the program there. I will say though, no one can be more happier with what has happened at Oklahoma State than I am. I've never enjoyed watching a game more so on television than that one last Saturday. That (OU game) was great!

BB: You had the right shade of orange on that day, right?

TDP: I had my orange on I can promise you! I enjoyed it so much. I got to speak with Les afterwards, but I got a hold of Kathy last Sunday morning after I picked up the Greenville News. I told her that when you get your picture on the front of the Greenville News you know you are making progress.

BB: Not many Oklahomans are in the Greenville News?

TDP: Not unless they are doing great things! And, yes, it is just a great thing what is happening there at OSU.

BB: Well, is this something that you are privately rooting for? Maybe to get the chance to see some of your friends from Oklahoma State take the trip to the Tangerine Bowl, also? It makes for a great story, I can tell you that much — "Clemson AD faces old school."

TDP: The great thing about it is that Oklahoma State is going to get a really good bowl bid, and deservedly so. They finished the second half of the year with great improvement and they are a great football team now — and I think they have showed the nation that. I know that Oklahoma State has caught the imagination and the attention of the people on the eastern seaboard — just by the attention that has been given to the university by virtue of that (OU) game. Whether they play Clemson in the Tangerine Bowl or whether they play someone else in one of the other bowls, they are making very significant progress with their football program. I can promise you that they are very much respected just from the folks I have talked with, read in papers and seen on television. OSU is the hot topic all around the country, and they should be. If we were to match up in the tangerine bowl, it would be wonderful to see the people from Oklahoma State, but once you crossover to the fence, you gotta work hard on the side of the fence that you're on, but I think everybody understands that. I would be thrilled to see everybody, but I am just excited about the progress that has been made.

BB: Well, I missed you if that means anything.

TDP: Well, I appreciate that, it is good to know someone does.

BB: I don't know how much clout that holds, but...

TDP: Well, Brandi, you know all the people that know me best, they know that I miss Oklahoma State, it is a great place — wonderful people and it will always be a special part of my life.

BB: You should be glad you aren't here right now. I think an icy tree just fell on my car.

TDP: It is now converging upon us, and ice is forming on the trees as we speak.

BB: It's pretty, I guess — but at the same time, it isn't pretty results.

TDP: [laughing] Well, you would think you wouldn't have that kind of weather in Oklahoma and South Carolina at the same time.

BB: You wouldn't think that would be the case.

TDP: Well, it is here. They've got a weather alert here, as a matter of fact, Trish had to go get the kids from school and bring them home because the streets are starting to get slick, and we've got hazardous driving now. I told her, ‘You know, except for the wind, I feel like I'm back in Oklahoma.'

BB: That's why everybody wants to go to places like Florida!

TDP: The weather is great, and it is a great destination bowl-wise. (OSU) will do a great job with that bowl game — the team and everyone will enjoy that, the fans would, too, and it would really be a good game. I don't know what direction it would go. It would be a toss-up — it would be anybody's game.

TDP: Les Miles is the right man for OSU.

BB: Well, I am glad you hired him...and I am going to take the time right now to personally thank you for doing so.

TDP: He is just a great man. An intelligent, driven coach who sets goals that he knows are realistic. Maybe others don't think they are realistic, but maybe now they will. Les Miles is an outstanding person, one that will be and has been wonderful for the program at Oklahoma State. It is exciting to imagine the future under Les. I believed it when I hired him, and his success hasn't surprised me. Les Miles is the man for the job, and he is proving to the country he is good for the Oklahoma State program.

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