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5 Really Random Rants-August 14th

5 Really Random Rants For Week Ending August 14th
By Scott Rhymer

The blog today will kick off what I hope to be a weekly article that will attempt to keep things in perspective as the season goes on. When I say “perspective”…I guess I should clarify that I mean that this is my perspective and you are certainly welcome to disagree or agree.

Really Random Rant #1
Holy cow at the expansion buzz! By the time I finish typing this paragraph, more rumors will filter through cyberspace. Before I have a chance to post this blog, the information and opinions I have now may be proven right (or wrong). To say this is a quickly shifting landscape sells the moment short.

Where everybody ends up (or not) I will leave to the other thousands of bloggers and media speculators out there. If there is a single truth in anything that I have seen in my 30 years following the ACC and certainly in my time following John Swofford as Commish of the league, it will be that this whole expansion situation will be a reactive incident for the ACC instead of a proactive incident.

I stated Thursday when these rumors surfaced, at the end of the expansion process (either this year or soon thereafter) the Southeastern Conference will get better and the Atlantic Coast Conference will get bigger. The SEC will get better because they understand the concept of being proactive. The ACC will only get bigger because the ACC believes in the concept of being reactive.

Mark it down now….SEC will get better….ACC will get bigger.

Really Random Rant #2
Backing up someone who has not started a down at QB leaves you as a scary alternative when the goal is to win the ACC Title. All of the Spring buzz was surrounding how Cole Stoudt was going to push Tajh Boyd for the starting QB position this year. As was observed, Boyd did not have the best Spring and Stoudt seemed to be the most consistent (if not the most talented) QB on campus.

Now that August camp is underway, it seems clear that Boyd is the best QB on campus when it comes to giving the best chance for Clemson to win. Maybe some of that credit should go to Boyd, who by most reports dedicated his post-spring time in Clemson to the film room trying to become a better QB.

As “scary” as it may be entering a season without a proven QB, the thought of there being little separation between the #1 guy and the #2 guy is even more scary. Here is one guy that would love to see Boyd continue to move into the firm #1 QB on the depth chart as we count down to kickoff.

Really Random Rant #3
At some point, media members will quit spewing propaganda about how good players look prior to pads being put on. Once again this year, across America, we have “Flag Football All-Americans” emerging at schools all over the country. Clemson was no exception, as immediate Twitter and Facebook posts, along with articles in traditional print media outlets, were extolling the virtues and prowess of players who looked great while in shorts and shells. Sometimes the “look great” was physical in nature. Sometimes it was observations of running drills. Sometimes it was wishful thinking on the media member’s conscious.

Whatever it is or for whatever reason it was, pumping up football players before they put on pads is like judging a Presidential candidate while they are on the campaign trail. It means absolutely nothing.

There is a reason why football is played in pads. Football is a man’s game. And until you put on the pads and get your head bashed in by another player there is no way to know how you are going to respond in game-like situations. And even if you mentally survive getting knocked on your rear end during one practice, until you get knocked on your rear end over the course of days and weeks can anyone that knows anything about football begin to get a judgment on how you may react come game day.

So save me the praise of (insert player’s name here) physique while he is in shorts and shells and let’s wait to see what happens in September.

Random Rant #4
Season ticket sales, in a worst case scenario, are going to be only 3% off of last year. To be blunt, that is simply amazing. We all are bombarded with the struggles the economy is having right now. And beyond the simply numbers of the economy, the national politics and media coverage paint a picture that is equitable to the 1930’s Great Depression. Don’t think for one moment that the media coverage of our economic crisis (whether accurate or not) is increasing the angst of the American people about where our country is going.

Yet, coming off a disastrous 6-7 football season and with only a good (not great) home schedule loaded with September games, Clemson fans have one again proven to be some of the best in the nation. Over 50,000 season tickets will be sold, and in reality the product that we had last year does not warrant that kind of cash from that many people.

Hope certainly springs eternal, and Coach Swinney is probably responsible for 10,000 of those season tickets simply by making staff changes in the offseason. Maybe the idea of head coaches receiving part of their salary based on season ticket sales is an idea that needs to be explored.

Really Random Rant #5
You know you are a young football team when you get your season tickets in the mail and you have to really think about who the players are on the tickets. I received my tickets in the mail this past Friday. I immediately recognized the Clemson player on the Troy ticket (Duane Allen). I also quickly noticed Andre Ellington (Florida State ticket) and Brandon Thompson (Wake Forest ticket).

After that, it gets dicey for the average Clemson fan and even for those of us that have not missed a minute of a game in 30 years. Do the numbers 62, 40, 72, and 90 jump of the chart to you? If so, before you scroll down write their names down on a sheet of paper and the answer will be below. Ok, seriously, write the names down before going to the next paragraph.

(Whistle Jeopardy Game Show Audio Here)

If you answered Mason Cloy (62), Andre Branch (40), Landon Walker (72), and Kourtnei Brown (90) you know our player numbers better than I do. Hopefully, we will all easily recognize these numbers and the players behind the numbers at the end of the season.

As I sign off, I was correct about expansion talk at the start of the blog. I began typing at 3:30 p.m. Sunday and now it is close to 4:45 and a report is out that the SEC said “no thanks” to Texas A&M. Then again, by the time I save this and publish it things could change.

Three weeks to football in Clemson. After a wonderful summer with friends and family…I am now ready for the Tigers to come down that hill. Stay tuned for more Really Random Rants and thanks for following the blog and the Tiger Pregame Show on WCCP 104.9 FM.

Scott Rhymer can be reached at
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