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Showing posts from November, 2011

McGlockton's Death Another Tragedy From The 1991 Team

McGlockton’s Death Another Tragedy From 1991 Team
By Scott Rhymer

As Clemson prepares this week to win our first ACC Championship since 1991, sad news came from California as we learned that former Tiger great Chester McGlockton passed way today.

My most vibrant memory of McGlockton was his touchdown in the 1989 Gator Bowl, which was Danny Ford’s last game as coach for the Tigers. I can also remember Chester wearing the purple jersey tops when we hosted NC State in Death Valley for the time ever. Chester was so large, he could not tuck the new jersey in despite several warnings from the officials.

Chester was recruited and played under Danny Ford, but made his name in the 1990 and 1991 season under Ken Hatfield.

My co-host on the Tiger Pregame Show, Will Vandervort, stated a very sobering fact earlier today. Vandervort noted that with McGlockton's death today, four players from the 1991 ACC Championship team have died. The other three were Wayne Simmons (DE), Terry Smith (WR) and Curt…

Our Fans, Just Like Our Team, Need To Put On "Big Boy Pants"

Our Fans, Just Like Our Team, Need To Put On “Big Boy Pants”
By Scott Rhymer

First, a disclaimer.

I hate losing to anyone. I certainly hate losing to lousy football teams (NC State).

I hate losing to my arch rival, especially when it is three years in a row.

And more than losing, I hate losing when you look pitiful.

I believe that many people get on the Internet and on talk radio to vent, and if those formats allow people to get their frustration off of their chest, then I am all for it. But I found something really odd in the aftermath of the NC State and South Carolina losses.

Some people are throwing in the towel before the biggest game of the season and arguably the biggest game in 20 years. Remember, we secured a chance to play for the ACC Title way back on November 12th when Chandler Cantanzaro’s kick sailed through the uprights and onto the hill at Clemson’s Death Valley. At that moment, the thought of playing for an ACC Title in Charlotte was so thick on every fan’s mind that the cru…
Reflecting On July’s Five Keys To Winning An ACC Championship
By Scott Rhymer

In July, I wrote in this blog about the importance of winning an ACC Championship in 2011. It has been 20 years since we have pulled of this feat, and that is way to long for a program like ours.

The blog from July centered around 5 keys to winning an ACC Championship. You can read the original article here:

Despite the poor play over the final few games of the season, we are four days away from having a chance to indeed win an ACC Championship. So today, I thought I would reflect and grade my original 5 Keys that were stated back in July. Below are those grades.

Key #1 From July-Change Of Culture On Offensive Line

I was tempted to put an F for this grade, but I had to step back and realize that my impression of the offensive line is tainted by the last 2 weeks. The production the last two weeks has been a resounding F, and I don’t care if Philip Price …
Sunday Notes And Picks Update
by Scott Rhymer

I will continue my policy of not commenting on the game in detail via this blog for at least 24 hours after a loss. I think fans will light up the Internet and Talk Radio Sunday and Monday and echo any sentiment that I could offer here, anyway.

The biggest punch in the face, albeit true, came from South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier last night. Spurrier, in the afterglow of the win, said: “They don’t own us now, that’s for sure”.

Truer words have never been spoken.

So we have to pick ourselves up and try to do what now seems impossible…beat Virginia Tech and win an ACC Championship for the first time in 20 years. It has been my singular goal for this team this year, and amazingly we will get that chance next Saturday Night. Based on how the two teams are playing right now, Clemson winning Saturday night would be the biggest upset in ACC Championship Game history.

Random Notes From The Rivalry Game
*Tajh Boyd broke the Clemson single season record…

3 Non-Negotiables To Win In Columbia

3 Non-Negotiables To Win In Columbia
By Scott Rhymer

Rivalry week comes upon us with two teams that have identical records but whom are apparently heading in opposite directions.

I have been asked hundreds of times this week: Can Clemson win Saturday night? Well the short answer is yes. Let’s be blunt, South Carolina is not Goliath while we stand as a mere David. The Gamecocks, at their best this year, have been slightly above average. They have won nine games by playing smart and not doing the bad things that can get you beat against a schedule that is grossly overrated based on the image and reputation of the SEC.

Using the RPI index, Clemson’s schedule this year has been more difficult than the Gamecocks. South Carolina’s opponents had an average ranking of 67.36 in the RPI, whereas Clemson’s opponents had an average ranking of 63.64.

South Carolina’s nine wins came against teams that had an average RPI ranking of 79.00, whereas Clemson’s wins came against teams that had an average RPI …

Tiger Pregame Show To Broadcast Outside WB Stadium Saturday

The Tiger Pregame Show, driven by D&D Ford, will broadcast their 114th consecutive show live on location where the Tigers play this Saturday.

Scott Rhymer, Will Vandervort, and Roy Philpott will break down this huge football game for three hours, beginning at 1:30 on WCCP 104.9 Talk Sports.

This is Rivalry Week, and the Tiger Pregame Show will continue its tradition of broadcasting in Columbia from a location outside of Williams Brice Stadium so that Clemson fans can be a part of the show. This year, the Tiger Pregame show will broadcast from the parking area of S&G Builder Appliance on Bluff Road, just two blocks from Williams Brice Stadium.

The broadcast location is available for fans to come by and watch the show and show your support for Clemson. All of the parking spots at S&G Builder Appliance are sold out, but you are welcome to come by and bring a tailgate chair and spend part of your day Saturday watching the broadcast of the show.

The address of S&G is 1212 Blu…

Pick Yourself Up And Play Clemson Football

Pick Yourself Up And Play Clemson Football
By Scott Rhymer

This is the greatest rivalry in college sports. Don’t tell me otherwise. There is no other rivalry in this universe that impacts you and me as much as Clemson vs. South Carolina.

Others will tell you that games in other parts of the country are more respected than Clemson and South Carolina, but I am not hearing any of that nonsense. Alabama and Auburn mean nothing to me. Michigan and Ohio State mean nothing to me. Florida and Florida State mean nothing to me.

I care only about Clemson University. And the only team that is on our schedule that occupies 365 days of my year is the University of South Carolina. When media members write that this rivalry means nothing they obviously write that from the same position as I would write about Auburn/Alabama. That position is called ambivalence.

Clemson vs. South Carolina to you and to me is far from ambivalent.

So we stand this week as a program that has a bloody nose. Keep in mind; we earn…

Sunday Notes Following Dissapointment In Raleigh

Sunday Notes Following Disappointment In Raleigh
By Scott Rhymer

As most of you know if you follow this blog or my previous posts on the Internet, I do not reflect on a game following a loss until Monday. I think rushing to the computer the day after a loss to try and make sense of it in a rational way is a tough thing to do. At least for someone like me who bleeds so hard for our football program.

My general thought is that we have more questions on this football team today than at any time since the preseason.

The health of this football team (Sammy Watkins, Philip Price, and Brandon Thomas) is maybe the single biggest variable in trying to determine if Clemson can win the state championship this Saturday vs. the Gamecocks. And let’s be honest, beating South Carolina is a must.

When all is said and done, this season will be defined not by the non-conference schedule in September. Not by the three game winning streak against top 25 teams. Not by the great comeback at Maryland or the hear…

Pressure Is Off As Tigers Go To Raleigh

Pressure Is Off As Tigers Go To Raleigh
By Scott Rhymer

Let me begin by saying that losing stinks. I’ve seen enough of it in my 35+ years following Clemson football. We have been blessed in that time frame to win more than we have lost on the football field. Nonetheless, losing is not a lot of fun.

My good friend Roy Philpott likes to use the phrase, “arranging the tea leaves”. I think I know what he means by that analogy, but regardless of what it really means I like the way it sounds! So as I arranged the tea leaves this week, I kept coming back to a very simple thought.

The pressure seems to have lifted.

That three game stretch early in the year was a stressful ride as we tried to find out exactly what this team was and whether it could handle beating good teams back to back to back. That pressure built more and more in the middle part of the season as the wins piled up and the BCS Ranking soared to #5.

The week before the Georgia Tech game, it was hard to sleep and you could feel that t…

5 Random Thursday Thoughts Looking Towards NC State

5 Random Thursday Thoughts Looking Towards NC State
By Scott Rhymer

About 24 hours away from Clemson hitting the road once again this year, with Raleigh on the agenda and the first 10 win season since 1990 on the line. Here are a few random thoughts on this Thursday before Raleigh.

O’Brien And NCSU
If there is a more perplexing disappointment in the ACC other than Tom O’Brien and his tenure at NC State, I can’t think of it. NC State has the facilities and fan base to be a major player in football in this conference. When the Wolfpack finally decided to give up the cheesy Chuck Amato and hire a respectable football coach in Tom O’Brien 4 years ago, I immediately felt like the Wolfpack would quickly rise. In his 5th year, O’Brien has 3 losing season and 1 winning season and could be headed for their 4th losing season if they can’t pull off the upset this Saturday against Clemson. O’Brien’s work at Boston College was nothing short of miraculous, and I can’t figure out why that has not transl…

Ticket Situation For ACC Championship Game Will Be A Train Wreck

Ticket Situation For ACC Championship Game Will Be A Train Wreck
by Scott Rhymer

That train you hear coming ‘round the bend is about to wreck on Thursday, November 17th. It is as inevitable as a noon football game in Clemson’s Death Valley.

Now before you call Travis Furbee in the IPTAY offices, please understand that he and all of the ticket folks within the IPTAY office are in an absolute no win situation.

To put it in simple terms using two generic Donors:

The IPTAY Donor that has amassed 500 points of priority wants to cash in on their generous giving and length of years giving by purchasing enough tickets for his family and friends. He has paid large sums of money over the years, and now that Clemson gets a shot to play for an ACC Title in a location close to his home, he is ready to reap his reward. Those with less priority points, in the mind of the 500 point Donor, are out of luck and should consider paying more in the future so they can reap rewards as well.

The IPTAY Donor that ha…

5 Questions I Want Asked At Press Conference

5 Questions I Want Asked At Press Conference
by Scott Rhymer

Press Conferences, by and large, are pretty boring. I will give Coach Swinney some measure of credit in that he tends to spice them up just a bit. And Kevin Steele, if in the mood, can be witty, funny, and scary all at the same time. But there are times when watching and listening to the Tuesday Press Conference is about as entertaining as watching paint dry.

So the Atlantic Division is wrapped up and the South Carolina game is still a week away. Clemson can earn the 10th win of the season if we can get by NCSU. But there is a bit of spice missing from this week’s buildup as the Tigers head on the road to Raleigh. So let's add a bit of spice to this week's Press Conference since the enormity of this game leaves a little to be desired.

Here are the questions I would like asked today at the Press Conference:

1. Is there a conspiracy against Clemson having a night game in Death Valley? Or, more importantly, is Clemson acti…

The Atlantic Division Ghost Proves To Be Mortal

The Atlantic Division Ghost Proves To Be Mortal
By Scott Rhymer

As you all know, Clemson has not won an Atlantic Coast Conference Championship since 1991. During the 13 years between Clemson’s last ACC Title in 1991 and the inaugural 2005 ACC Championship Game between the Atlantic and Coastal Divisions, Clemson finished in the top 2 of the ACC only 3 times (1996, 1999, and 2000).

But the ACC became a “different” conference in 2005, when the additions of Boston College and Virginia Tech led to the creation of the Atlantic and Coastal Divisions and an ACC Championship Game. In some ways, I guess you would say the expectations were heightened a bit to enter the showcase game and earn a BCS bowl berth.

What followed since that championship game inception was a frustrating four year stretch of time where former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden found multiple ways to have the ACC Championship game elude his program.

Bowden, and Clemson, chased a ghost.

In 2005, Clemson started 2-0 with wins over…

Sunday Notes After Winning The Atlantic Division

Sunday Notes After Winning The Atlantic Division
By Scott Rhymer

It was not pretty. Actually, it was quite ugly. But the Clemson Tigers punched their ticket to Charlotte for the 2nd time in 3 years. Clemson has earned the chance to win an Atlantic Coast Conference Championsip in three weeks in Charlotte, something that has been the primary focus from this blog since last January when the focus of this program needed a change.

I will have a blog on Monday reflecting on where we stand as a program, but in the meantime several notes from Saturday's win over Wake Forest are worthy of note. I will also update the picks contest from the Tiger Pregame Show.

Chandler Catanzaro made a game-winning field goal as time expired to beat Wake Forest 31-28. It is the first time since 2007 that the Tigers have won on a last-second field goal. That season, Mark Buchholz kicked a 35-yard field goal as time expired at South Carolina to beat the Gamecocks 23-21. This is also the first time since 1948, whe…

Bye Week Cleanses Grunge From Atlanta

Bye Week Cleanses Grunge From Atlanta
Scott Rhymer

I certainly enjoyed the ride of the 8-0 start. I also suffered an extra day or two hangover from the loss in Atlanta. I suppose that the great start of this season and the #5 ranking, in some way, caused the hurt of the loss in Atlanta to be magnified and extended beyond a normal loss.

But the bye week has served as a long, hot shower that has washed the dirt and debris off this Clemson football team as it heads towards the most critical game of the season to this point with a distant eye on our in state battle with South Carolina and a chance to play for an ACC Title in Charlotte.

For the first time all season, I had the chance to watch lots of football this past weekend that did not involve Clemson. I’m not talking about highlights. I get to see highlights every week. No, this weekend I spent the entire day watching football games from start to finish without the aid of editing.

What I learned from watching so much football this past wee…