National Champions

National Champions

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

5 Keys To Repeating As ACC Champions (Key #2)

By Scott Rhymer
Scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com

This week, I will highlight the 5 Keys to Clemson repeating as the ACC Champion in 2012. The 5 keys are in no order of influence, merely put together as they came to my mind during the offseason.

To read my 5 keys from last July with updates on each, click the jump here:
5 Keys From 2011

Each day, starting Monday, I will give one of the 5 keys to the 2012 season. To read Monday’s key, click the jump here:

**************

Key #2-Crippling Turnovers

Clemson turned the ball over only 11 times in our 10 wins last year, for an average of only 1.1 turnovers per game. During those same 10 wins, the Clemson defense accounted for 20 turnovers. (2 per game). That +0.9 turnover margin would have been good enough to finish 9th in the country in turnover margin.

In the 4 losses last year, Clemson turned the ball over 13 times (3.25 per game) and only created 3 turnovers on defense (.75 per game). That -2.5 turnover margin would have ranked Clemson dead last in Division 1 college football if it would have been translated over the course of the year.

So, in many ways, a major key to the 2012 hopes of repeating rests with something very simple. When Clemson was protecting the ball in 2011, the Tigers were a top 10 football team with a chance to play for a National Championship and good enough to win an ACC Championship. When the Tigers turned the ball over more than the opponent, Clemson not only got beat…but got beat bad.

Much of that focus will fall on Tajh Boyd, who self-destructed at the end of the season with turnovers after being almost perfect through the first 8 games of the season, throwing only 3 interceptions heading into the Georgia Tech game in late October.

Boyd proceeded to throw 6 interceptions in the next three games and finished the season with 2 against West Virginia in the Orange Bowl. In total, Boyd threw 9 of his 12 interceptions after the Tigers had zoomed to 8-0.

Boyd was not alone, however, in the increased turnover woes late in the season. In addition to the interceptions, Clemson lost 7 fumbles on top of the 9 interceptions during that same stretch of games after the Tigers had started the season 8-0. Clemson, as a team, became careless with the football and the result was destructive.

Regardless of what Chad Morris says about protecting the football, if you run as many plays as Clemson wants to run on offense, the obvious byproduct of that is an increased chance of turning the ball over.

Clemson playing error free football may be the goal and expectation of Chad Morris, but it’s hard for me to see that as a reasonable expectation.

What is reasonable, however, is to minimize the mental mistakes and avoid making the silly turnovers that will break the back of even the most seasoned teams. Many of the turnovers late in the season were crippling, and avoidable. That has to end in 2012 if the Tigers are going to repeat as ACC Champion.

At a minimum, Clemson has to be a much different team in the turnover department than we were at the end of the 2011 season. And if the Tigers can be more like the team that whizzed through the first 8 games of the season almost error free, then it is hard to envision Clemson not making another major run in the national rankings.

I’ll cut the difference and hope for somewhere in between. Overall, the Tigers finished the 2011 season ranked #57 in the nation in turnover margin. If Clemson can finish the season in the Top 25 in turnover margin, the Tigers will once again be in Charlotte with a chance to win the ACC Championship.

As always, you are welcome to agree or disagree by email or on the Tiger Pregame Show social pages, which are listed below.
Tomorrow, I’ll have Key #3 to the Tigers repeating as ACC Champion.

Scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com
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July 31st Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

Clemson Golf Through The Years 


 (Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts) 

Today’s photos are a walk through history of the Clemson golf team. The first golf team at Clemson was started in 1930 by a number of the Clemson Cadets who approached the then Athletic Director, James G. Gee, about forming a golf team. Gee approved and the Cadets got their wish. 


The above photo is from 1930 and shows the golf team on Bowman field. Also, in the photo above, the first coach of the golf team, Reverend George Hodges (far right). 


At the time, Hodges was the minister of the Methodist Church in Clemson. Over the years Hodges was minister at a number of churches throughout the state. In fact, a congregational fellowship hall was named for Hodges in Clinton SC. Hodges, however, only coached the golf team for one year before being reassigned to another Methodist church. 


Fast forward 52 years later and we see the first Clemson golf team to win an ACC Championship, in 1982. Under coach Bobby Robinson, (who later became the Athletic Director), the Clemson golf team finally turned the corner and became a consistent national contender. And it all started from a handful of cadets and a Methodist minister. 


Interestingly, one of those cadets lived to see the success of the Clemson golf team. In the 1930 photo, next to Coach Hodges, is Alan McCrary Johnstone, the grandson of Alan Johnstone, one of Clemson’s original elected trustees. In 2003, when the Clemson golf team won the NCAA National Championship, the team named Alan McCrary Johnstone as honorary captain. Not only was Alan Johnstone the last surviving member of Clemson’s very first golf team, he was also the only surviving charter member of IPTAY. 


The above photo shows Mr. Johnstone with a frame picture of the two pictures posted above with Bert Henderson and Tommy Bowden.  


Sadly, Alan McCrary Johnstone is no longer with us. At the age of 95, he died in January, 2006, in his hometown of Orangeburg, S.C. And while Johnstone Hall was named after his grandfather, the legacy of Alan McCrary Johnstone lives on in the Clemson golf team. 


(Note: If you have old pictures dating before 1990 that are Clemson related and you would like to share them, send them to me in an email with as much information about the picture as you can give and I will use it for a future “Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day”). 


Scott Rhymer can be reached at Scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com 


Pictures and commentary by Alan Cutts.

Monday, July 30, 2012

5 Keys To Repeating As ACC Champions (Key #1)

By Scott Rhymer

This week, I will highlight the 5 Keys to Clemson repeating as the ACC Champion in 2012.  The 5 keys are in no order of influence, merely put together as they came to my mind.  To read my 5 keys from last July with updates on each, click here:
Each day this week, starting Monday, I will give one of the five keys to the season. 
Key #1-Hold Serve At Home
Under Dabo Swinney, Clemson is 20-4 inside of Death Valley, which results to a .833 winning percentage.  Simply by comparison, Clemson historically has a .711 winning percentage inside of Death Valley, so Dabo’s early tenure has been in excess of that historical trend.
Swinney’s home record includes a perfect 7-0 last year en route to the ACC Championship and a 6-1 record back in 2009 when Clemson won the Atlantic Division.  Therefore, Swinney has a .929 winning percentage at home in years Clemson made it to the ACC Championship Game. 

During Danny Ford’s five ACC Championships from 1981-1988, Clemson held a .839 home field winning percentage.  Swinney’s two Atlantic Division (and one ACC Title) years actually produced a better home winning percentage than in Coach Ford’s 5 ACC Championship years.
Broken down a little further, Dabo’s Tigers were a perfect 8-0 in 2009 and 2011 (years in which the Tigers won the Atlantic Division) in ACC games played in Death Valley.  In 2010, Clemson was 3-1 at home in ACC games with the one loss to Miami early in the season being the deciding factor in the ACC race.
During Coach Ford’s five ACC Championships in the 1980’s, Clemson won 15 of the 16 home ACC games on the schedule, which equates to a .938 winning percentage.  Once again, Dabo’s two Atlantic Division title years actually produced better home ACC records than the Ford championship years.
All of that is to point out a very obvious fact:  you are not going to win an ACC Championship at Clemson unless you can be dominant on your home field.  For all of Bowden’s head scratching losses during his tenure, many of them came inside of Death Valley when the Tigers were a heavy favorite.  Simply put, that can’t happen if you want to win the ACC.
The ACC road schedule for Clemson this year has plenty of challenges (@FSU, @BC, @Wake, and @Duke).  The Tigers will be underdogs to FSU in Tallahassee and will be a virtual pick ‘em on Thursday night in Winston Salem.  The Tigers have also struggled to play good games up in Chesnut Hill, and even though the Tigers are a much better team than BC, you still can’t chalk that game as an easy win.
If Clemson can find a way to beat FSU in Tallahassee, Clemson could probably “afford” to drop a home game and still win the Atlantic.
But if you assume the loss to the ‘Noles, for Clemson to have any chance at winning the Atlantic the Tigers are going to need to lose only one other game along the way (at the most).  Holding serve at home will, just like it has historically, become critical to Clemson’s chances of repeating in 2012. 
If you told me right now Clemson would go 4-0 at home in the ACC, I think we play in Charlotte again this year.  Any loss at home, however, could only be overcome if the Tigers win in Tallahassee.
As always, you are welcome to agree or disagree by email or on the Tiger Pregame Show social pages, which are listed below.
Tomorrow, I’ll have Key #2 to the Tigers repeating as ACC Champion. 
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July 30 Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

Tree Rollins At Clemson 


 (Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts) 

Today’s photos are of Tree Rollins during his time at Clemson in the late 1970’s. 


Tree Rollins real name is Wayne Monte Rollins, but everyone called him Tree. At a height of seven foot one, it's easy to see why. Tree was also the first Clemson athlete to have their jersey retired. 


Wayne Monte "Tree" Rollins (born June 16, 1955, in Winter Haven, Florida) played 18 seasons in the National Basketball Association for the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic. He was primarily known under his playing name, Tree. 

The 7-foot-1-inch 275 pound Clemson graduate played center, and gained high esteem for his defense, particularly his rebounding and shot-blocking ability. He finished in the top three in blocked shots six times, leading the league during the 1982-83 NBA season. 


At the time of his retirement in 1995, he was fourth all-time in career blocked shots, behind only Hakeem Olajuwon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Mark Eaton. He currently holds the seventh highest total of career blocked shots, with 2,542. 


Notice in the picture above he is having his jersey retired with Bill Foster and Jim Phillips (with hair!).


Tree's 6,750 career rebounds currently place him 89th on the all-time list. During his playing career, Rollins was given the nickname "The Intimidator". 


(Note: If you have old pictures dating before 1990 that are Clemson related and you would like to share them, send them to me in an email with as much information about the picture as you can give and I will use it for a future “Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day”). 


Scott Rhymer can be reached at Scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com 

Credit to Wikipedia

Sunday, July 29, 2012

1978 Defense 


(Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts) 

Today’s photo is from the 1978 season and shows Defensive End Jonathon Brooks and linebacker Bubba Brown making a tackle on a UNC running back. 


The Tigers would go 11-1 that year, arguably the 2nd best season (behind 1981) in Clemson football history. But when most people talk about the 1978 season, they talk about the Gator Bowl, Woody Hayes, and Charlie Bauman. 


 (Note: If you have old pictures dating before 1990 that are Clemson related and you would like to share them, send them to me in an email with as much information about the picture as you can give and I will use it for a future “Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day”). 


Scott Rhymer can be reached at Scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com

Saturday, July 28, 2012

July 28th Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

Campus Life In 1958 



 (Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts) 

Today’s photos are from Clemson’s campus during the 1958 school year. This was the first year that women were enrolled full time at Clemson University. 


The President's Mansion is constructed in 1958, along with Lee Hall. In 1958, the number of women faculty stood at 8. 


WSBF, the Clemson local radio station, begins as a closed circuit broadcasting facility transmitting through the electrical wiring of the dormitories. 


In June, President Robert Franklin Poole dies unexpectedly after suffering a heart attack during an alumni reunion weekend. At a meeting of the Board of Trustees, Robert Cook Edwards is announced as the new acting president. 


In September, women arrive in town and on campus for the "Rat Hop" weekend. Clemson's own Jungaleers perform at the Friday night formal dance during which the freshmen and their dates form a grand march and a beauty contest. 



Also in September, Coach Frank Howard gets his 100th win at Clemson as the Tigers down North Carolina, 26-21. 


In October, Freshman begin beating drum for 24 hours over the cadence of "Beat Carolina." The Rev. Gator Farr delivers his customary funeral eulogy for the Gamecock in a pep rally held in the Amphitheatre, saying "I come to bury this damn chicken, not to praise him". Tenth-ranked Clemson plays South Carolina in Columbia on Big Thursday, losing, 26-6. 


In October, the 2nd Tigerama is held with 10,000 in attendance. Central Dance Association holds dance afterwards featuring Ralph Marterie on the bandstand. Miss "Tootsie" Dennis is selected as Homecoming Queen. 


In November, a Clemson regular season football game is broadcast for the first time, by NBC. The Tigers beat the N.C. State Wolfpack, 13-6. The Clemson football team ends the season ranked 12th in the Associated Press poll and 13th in the United Press International poll. 


In December, it is announced that the Clemson rug used for running down the hill will accompany the team to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans - all 527 pounds of it. Also in December, announcers for the upcoming 25th annual Sugar Bowl Classic are announced - Lindsey Nelson and Red Grange will call the game between number one-ranked Louisiana State University, coached by "Pepsodent Paul" Dietzel, and 12th ranked Clemson. 


(Note: If you have old pictures dating before 1990 that are Clemson related and you would like to share them, send them to me in an email with as much information about the picture as you can give and I will use it for a future “Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day”). 


Scott Rhymer can be reached at Scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com 

Credit to Clemsonwiki

Friday, July 27, 2012

July 27th Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

Dan’s Sandwich Shop On Gameday In 1968 



(Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts) 


Today’s photo is of Dan’s Sandwich Shop on a game day in 1968. If you followed the blog, you know that Dan’s Sandwich Shop is located in the building of what today is TD’s and Subway. 


A few clues to let you know it is game day in Clemson. First, notice the time on the clock (10:50 am). That would be a huge crowd for Dan’s at that time unless it was game day. Remember, in 1968, all games started at 1:00. So this is the Clemson game day crowd. 


The next clue that tells you it is game day is the attire that the patrons have on. In the late 1960’s, fans still wore ties (and sometimes coats) into the games. Ladies wore dresses. 


It was easier to know the year this photo was taken. You can see the football schedule on the right side of the picture. A quick search shows that this was sometime during the 1968 season (my guess is September). 


If you notice the schedule you will see that Clemson played at Alabama that year. Can you guess what future Tiger would play in that game for the Crimson Tide against Clemson? If you guessed Danny Ford, you would be correct. 


Ford lettered for the Crimson Tide from 1967-1969 and played against the Tigers in 1968. 13 years later, he would lead Clemson to a National Championship as coach. 


(Note: If you have old pictures dating before 1990 that are Clemson related and you would like to share them, send them to me in an email with as much information about the picture as you can give and I will use it for a future “Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day”). 


Scott Rhymer can be reached at Scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com

Thursday, July 26, 2012

July 26th Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

Food, Clemson, and the 1970’s 



(Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts) 


Today’s photos are from the 1970’s and show two different restaurants in the Clemson area that fed the hungry for many years. The above photo is of Chanelo’s Pizza. 


Chanelo's Pizza was a dine-in parlor located between Tiger Town Tavern and Mr. Knickerbockers that also included a game room. This had previously been the location of Harper's Store. The eatery was known locally for its on-campus delivery service. 


One of its more requested sandwiches was called the Vesuvian. It consisted of a freshly made sub roll with an elongated ground beef patty covered in shredded lettuce, tomato, mayo, and mustard. 


Chanelo’s was opened in the winter of 1975 by Herb Channell, who closed the Clemson store in the early 90's when he began having health problems.  His daughter operates a Chanelo's in Pickens, South Carolina using the same family recipes. 


The Chanelo's of Pickens has been open since February of 2000. Herb's store slogan was "Nothing Beatsa Chanelo's Pizza". In the late 1970's, another slogan, "Had a piece lately?" was used until Mr. Channell's "religious revival" convinced him to change it to "Had a pizza lately?" 


Yet another sophomoric slogan was used to market a Tuesday night special aimed at increasing sales. The promotion gave the customer one free extra meat topping for each meat topping they purchased at regular price. It was marketed as the "You Can't Beat Our Meat Special!" 


The below photo is of Miles and Crenshaw Restaurant in Pendleton. Miles & Crenshaw Restaurant & Cafeteria was a popular family restaurant located on North Mechanic Street on the square in Pendleton, South Carolina, in the 1970s and 1980s. It was called “clean jaws” by many of the students that had cars and could drive to Pendleton to eat there. 



(Note: If you have old pictures dating before 1990 that are Clemson related and you would like to share them, send them to me in an email with as much information about the picture as you can give and I will use it for a future “Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day”). 


Scott Rhymer can be reached at Scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com 


Credit to clemsonwiki.com

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July 25th Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

Clemson Tiger Baseball In The 1960’s 


(Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts) 

Today’s photos are from the 1960’s and are a montage of Clemson Tiger baseball, which was played on Riggs Field. In the fall of 1957, from the advice of North Carolina Head Coach Walter Rabb, Frank Howard hired a 27-year old assistant from China Grove, NC named Bill Wilhelm. 


After the 1959 regular season, Clemson, Wake Forest, and North Carolina were tied for first place, forcing a playoff among the three. Clemson beat Wake Forest 4-2 at Thomasville, NC on May 16 and downed North Carolina 9-7 in Gastonia, NC to claim the ACC crown. 


In June of 1959, Clemson raced through the NCAA District III Playoffs at Gastonia, NC, downing Georgia Tech 9-6 and Florida State twice (24-2, 5-0) to advance to Omaha. At the College World Series, the Tigers lost to Arizona 3-2 on June 13 in 12 innings in their first game in Omaha. They bounced back and defeated Colorado State 7-1 the next day, but were eliminated by Penn State 7-0 on June 15. 


From April of 1965 until May of 1966, Rusty Adkins had a 41-game hitting streak. Adkins hit .438 during the streak that still stands as the longest in ACC history. 


During the 1966 season, George Sutton set the record for the fastest to 10 home runs by hitting 10 home runs in 18 games. His 10th homer came against Wake Forest on April 23, 1966. 


During the 1967 season, the Tigers won the ACC title and were ranked #7 in the final Collegiate Baseball poll. Clemson participated in the NCAA District III Playoffs at Gastonia, NC. After losing the first contest against Florida State, Clemson rebounded with three straight victories. But Auburn ended Clemson’s season by defeating the Tigers 6-5 in the championship game in 13 innings. 


And in 1968, left-hander John Curtis became Clemson’s first first-round Major League draft selection. Curtis was the #10 overall pick in the secondary phase by the Boston Red Sox. 


(Note: If you have old pictures dating before 1990 that are Clemson related and you would like to share them, send them to me in an email with as much information about the picture as you can give and I will use it for a future “Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day”). 


Scott Rhymer can be reached at Scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Clemson Cadets In World War II And Fletcher Anderson 


(Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts) 

Today’s photos are of Clemson Cadets during World War II. The text below was written by former Clemson kicker Fletcher Anderson (’04) from Clemson World Online. 


Clemson has also produced many war heroes through the years. Jimmie Dyess ’31 was awarded the Carnegie Medal and the Medal of Honor. Dyess is one of three Clemson alumni to receive the Medal of Honor. Gary Evans Foster, a Clemson student in 1919-1920, and Daniel Augustus Joseph Sullivan, Class of 1902, were also awarded our nation’s highest medal for bravery. Rudolf “Rudy” Anderson ’48 was the only casualty in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. 


The University has monuments to its soldiers. Military Heritage Plaza commemorates a Clemson cadet’s passage from student to military leader and displays 64 medals representing those earned by Clemson military. The monument in front of Mell Hall symbolizes the transition the Class of 1944 experienced during WWII. And just recently, the Clemson Corps launched a new initiative for the Scroll of Honor Memorial at the football stadium. 


Perhaps the quietest memorial is found in the Woodland Cemetery. American flags adorn more than 50 headstones on “Cemetery Hill.” In addition to serving their country, these people served Clemson. 


For example, you probably know that James “Banks” McFadden was a two-sport All-American at Clemson in 1939, but you may not know that he served overseas, 1946-1949, in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He returned to Clemson for a long, productive career with the Clemson Athletic Department. 


Robert C. “Bob” Bradley ’51 entered Clemson as a freshman in 1941. He also served four years in the U.S. Army Air Corps during WWII and returned to Clemson after the war to finish his degree. “Mr. B” went on to touch many lives as Clemson’s sports information director. 


Walter T. Cox Jr. ’39 also impacted the lives of many students during his time at Clemson. He called Clemson home for more than 70 years, and the only time he left was to serve his country during WWII. 


Richard C. Robbins joined the armed forces in 1942 and served first under U.S. Gen. George Patton and later in Okinawa, Japan. Robbins completed two tours of duty in Korea before returning to Clemson to become a student-athlete adviser. Col. Robbins’ reputation suggests that he utilized some of Patton’s techniques to motivate, discipline and carry out his duties at Clemson. 


Others like George C. Means served in the U.S. Coast Guard during the D-Day Normandy Invasion of WWII. Some of the headstone markings indicate the medals they received during their service: “Marvin A. Owings Sr., Col. Army, Bronze Star, Purple Heart & OLC”; “William Joseph Lanham, Captain U.S. Army WWII, Purple Heart and Silver Star.” 


The University’s imprint on the U.S. Armed Forces, and thus our country, is undeniable and unforgettable for so many. Perhaps next time you’re on campus you might visit some of these monuments — including Woodland Cemetery — and say a quiet “thank you” to Clemson’s silent soldiers. 


(Note: If you have old pictures dating before 1990 that are Clemson related and you would like to share them, send them to me in an email with as much information about the picture as you can give and I will use it for a future “Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day”). 


Scott Rhymer can be reached at Scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com

Monday, July 23, 2012

Rewind From 5 Keys To An ACC Championship In 2011

By Scott Rhymer
Scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com


Last July, I wrote a blog that outlined 5 Keys to Clemson winning an ACC Championship in 2011.  Of course, Dabo Swinney and the Tigers were able to do just that last season, giving Clemson its first ACC Title in 19 years.

Before I outline my 5 Keys To Repeating In 2012 in the next week or so, I thought I would rewind back to my 5 Keys from last year to see how accurate I was.  And, maybe more importantly, look at what we thought 365 days ago would be key for our Tigers to win.

The original blog can be read by clicking here:

Rewind From 2011 Key #1-Change Of Culture On Offensive Line
(What I wrote last July)-It really is no coincidence that the last time Clemson was able to win an ACC Championship was also the last time that Clemson had an offensive line that it could lean on in big games. A staple of the Danny Ford era, the offensive line at Clemson since Ford’s departure has been up and down but never to a level that was even close to the championship teams under Ford.

We have won many games over the last 20 years but a major reason we have not won a championship is because we have not been able to line up against good football teams and control the line of scrimmage on the offensive side of the ball.

Dabo Swinney made one of the most impressive hires in the last decade of football at Clemson by scooping up Robbie Caldwell. The coaching change should be an immediate boost. Add to that is the fact that Caldwell will be coaching an experienced group (4 seniors and 1 junior on projected starting roster). Caldwell’s job is simple…change the culture of what has become a soft offensive line that can’t control the line of scrimmage in key situations against good football teams. If we can lean on our offensive line in big games, wins will quickly follow.

Result:  The 2011 offensive line never rose to the level of dominant.  And when injuries hit the Tigers late in the season, the offensive line woes from previous years reared its ugly head.  But, by and large, the offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage in some of Clemson’s biggest games in 2011.  In Clemson’s 3 biggest ACC games in 2011 (FSU and VT twice), the Tigers only gave up only 3 sacks and rushed the ball for an average of 145 yards per game.  Robbie Caldwell certainly was a key figure in the play up front for the Tigers, and it will be interesting to watch his offensive line take shape in year 2 under his leadership, especially considering the youth up front this year for the Tigers.

Rewind From 2011 Key #2-Kick The Football Through The Uprights
(What I wrote last July)-Tim Bourret, Clemson’s version of Google, gave me some interesting statistics on Chandler Catanzaro’s freshman season. Bourret pointed out that Catanzaro’s 14-22 (.636) was a better average than Donald Igwebuike and Bob Paulling’s combined percentage during 1981 National Championship season (14-23, .609). Catanzaro’s percentage was also better than David Treadwell in 1986 (12-20, .600), Chris Gardocki in 1988 (19-32, .594), and very close to Nelson Welch in 1991 (19-28, .679). All three of those years were ACC Championship seasons. Catanzaro was also very good from long range, going 6-9 from 40+ yards.

The difference between Catanzaro and those championship kickers is that Chandler missed some very important field goals (in 2010) that, literally, were the difference between a Clemson win and a Clemson loss. Catanzaro will be pushed this August by Spencer Benton and Ammon Lakip for the starting job. I’m pulling for Catanzaro to win the job so that he can bring a year’s experience to the position. Regardless, for Clemson to win an ACC Championship, the kicker that trots out onto the field in the 4th quarter in a close game needs to make the kick. The schedule is difficult enough that there will be a slim margin of error in several games this year and the difference in a win and a loss will most likely come down to the foot of a Clemson kicker. FSU played for an ACC Championship last year because they had the better kicker. Let’s see if we can return the favor this year.

Result:   Chandler Catanzaro finished the 2011 regular season 20-25 with a long of 47 yards.  None of Catanzaro’s misses contributed to a Clemson loss, although he did miss a 35 yarder against FSU that could have eased the drama of that late game for the Tigers.  And Catanzaro’s 43 yarder against Wake Forest not only was a game winner, it punched Clemson’s ticket to Charlotte.  Catanzaro was certainly a big factor in Clemson’s ACC Title in 2011, and another year of experience for him should continue to make him a consistent weapon in 2012.

Rewind From 2011 Key #3-Beat Florida State On September 24th
(What I wrote last July)-Jimbo Fisher will be the sexy coach of the August workouts and preseason media gatherings. The buzz will be that Florida State is back and ready to reclaim their place as the premier team in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

FSU has drawn a relatively favorable schedule in the ACC this year and will most certainly have an easier time getting to Charlotte than Clemson. FSU has home ACC games vs. Maryland, NCSU, Miami, and Virginia. Other than Clemson, FSU travels to Wake Forest, Duke, and Boston College. The Seminoles avoid two very good teams in the Coastal Division (Virginia Tech and UNC) that Clemson does have to play.

The Seminoles will trip up a time or two along the way. But I find it very hard to imagine a scenario under the schedules of Clemson and FSU that the Tigers can lose at home on the 24th of September to FSU and still come out on top in the Atlantic Division. The all important tie-breaker over FSU will be critical for Clemson considering the trips to Blacksburg and the home game against UNC. Not to mention the importance of holding serve at home against teams you are favored over (something Clemson has struggled to do in the last 10 years).

Simply put, if there is one game on the schedule that simply can’t be a loss, it is the home game vs. FSU. A win on the 24th puts Clemson in great position to make a serious run in the Atlantic Division. A loss almost certainly eliminates Clemson. At the very least, a loss will force Clemson into a scoreboard watching mode that almost always ends with disappointment.

Result:  This key turned out to be 100% on target.  Clemson’s win early in the season against FSU gave the Tigers a tiebreaker over the Seminoles.  Clemson was a game up on FSU when the Tigers clinched the ACC with a win over Wake Forest because the Tigers held the tiebreaker.  A week later, Clemson lost to NCSU in a game that did not matter because of the tiebreaker.  FSU went on to lose to UVA that day, giving Clemson the outright ACC Atlantic bid.  A loss to FSU back in September would have been a crushing blow to the Tigers’ chances.  But the win gave Clemson the driver’s seat, something the Tigers never let go of.

Rewind From 2011 Key #4-Andre Ellington As A 1,000 Yard Rusher
(What I wrote last July)-A lot of fuss will be made of the new offense under Chad Morris and the continued development of Kevin Steele’s defense in the preseason. Even more attention will be placed on Tajh Boyd and the new wide receivers that are expected to inject life into the anemic Clemson offense from last year.

But in my mind the single most important player that holds Clemson’s ACC Title hopes in his hands (or foot based on his injury) is Andre Ellington. Once our offensive coaches figured out (several weeks after we all figured it out) that Ellington was a more productive back than Jamie Harper, he was well on his way to helping an otherwise poor offense fight through the struggles and put Clemson into contention for the Atlantic Division in 2010. Ellington’s injury was the end of that hope and the result was an immediate dip in offensive and special teams production.

I don’t have any clue as to whether Ellington has fully recovered from his injury. I’d warn you to stay away from believing anything that is put out by the Sports Information Department at Clemson about Ellington’s status. To be fair, the SID is in a tough pinch in releasing injury updates due to a bunch of bizarro medical confidentiality laws that the NCAA and medical lawyers have employed recently. In other words, if you are looking for info from Clemson on the real health of Andre Ellington, quit looking because it is not coming.

The true confirmation will come when Ellington hits the field in week one vs. Troy and not before. With Ellington’s status is also a huge chunk of the Clemson offense. Mike Bellamy may be poised to add depth to the position. Let’s hope so, because other than Ellington and Bellamy, Clemson does not have running backs that can win ACC Titles on the roster. Even though getting some production from Bellamy is important, make no mistake that the man of the hour at the running back position is Andre Ellington. If he can be a 1,000 yard back, Clemson’s chance of winning an ACC Title multiply dramatically.

Result:  Again, this key was spot on.  Ellington rushed for 1,178 yards and 11 TD’s during the 2011 season.  Ellington was, once again, Clemson’s best running back.  Ellington flourished under Chad Morris with his rushing numbers, but also did a solid job receiving the ball (22 catches for 109 yards) and picking up blitzes in pass protection. Ellington’s value was magnified in the 2 games that he received little playing time (UNC he only played a few snaps and he did not play at all vs. Georgia Tech).  In those two games, Clemson rushed for 77 and 95 yards total.  In addition, the turnovers by the running backs in the Georgia Tech game probably cost Clemson the game and a top 5 ranking the following week.

Rewind From 2011 Key #5-Catch A Break Or Two
(What I wrote last July)-Ok…admittedly this is not something you can coach, practice, or scream loud enough from the stands to make happen. But you cannot escape the simple truth that championship teams catch a few breaks along the way in their run.

You won’t find a team that has won the ACC Title since the Championship Game’s inception that did not benefit from a couple of big breaks along the way. Maybe it was something that happened on the field (a key mistake by their opponent, funny bounce of the ball, brilliant play call at a key moment, etc.). Maybe it was something that did not happen on the field (avoiding injuries, a key injury by an opponent, strange weather that changes a game plan, divine intervention, etc.).

Hoping for this break is the wrong way to approach things. A team cannot assume something good and magical is going to happen to them during the course of the year. Preparation and hard work lead to championships. But almost certainly something fluky will also lead to a championship.

Result:  Clemson certainly benefited from a few breaks along the way in 2011.  The Tigers played Florida State without EJ Manuel, and the win gave Clemson the driver’s seat in the ACC Atlantic race.  Florida State also stubbed its toe without Manuel the week after the Clemson game, losing to Wake Forest on the same day Clemson beat Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. That, in essence, gave Clemson a 3 game lead over the ‘Noles in the Atlantic by early October.  Clemson also benefited from minimizing the damage of a slump during the season.  Clemson squeaked out a win with sub-par play vs. Wake Forest at home to clinch the Atlantic and was not harmed at all (in the ACC race) by terrible performances against NC State and South Carolina).  The Tigers also benefited from getting Virginia Tech in the ACC Title game (instead of GT or UVA).  The Tigers had confidence vs. the Hokies considering the October 1st win and the style of play the Hokie’s used on offense masked the very obvious weakness Clemson had under Kevin Steele with mobile QB’s that ran the zone read. 

Coming soon…the 2012 5 Keys To Repeating As ACC Champion In 2012.

Your thoughts, agreements, and disagreements are welcome here or at our social media sites listed below. See you on the road with our Tigers!

Scott Rhymer can be reached at scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com
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July 23rd Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

Clemson Vs. South Carolina in 1976 


(Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts) 

Today’s photos are from the 1976 season and show Death Valley prior to the Tigers coming down the hill vs. South Carolina. The view is from the top of the press box before the South Upper Deck was built. 


You can also notice the Block C on the 50 yard line. Red Parker was trying to save his job this day against the Gameocks. 


At this point in the season, a season that could only be described as "grueling," the Tigers were 2-6-2. The good news is that the Tigers won that day 28-9 over the Gamecocks. Some felt that Parker may have saved his job, but on December 1, 1976, Parker got the news that he was being terminated. 


Below is a flyer that appeared during this time showing the discontent of the student body and fan base with the athletic administration at Clemson. 

(Note: If you have old pictures dating before 1990 that are Clemson related and you would like to share them, send them to me in an email with as much information about the picture as you can give and I will use it for a future “Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day”). 


Scott Rhymer can be reached at Scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com

Sunday, July 22, 2012

July 22nd Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

Underground Tunnels At Clemson 




(Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts) 

Today’s photos are a part of Clemson that few have ever seen. In fact, many believe that underground tunnels at Clemson is just a myth that is perpetuated on generations after generations that walk on Clemson’s campus. Yet, they are very real. 


At one time in the early 1980’s there were over 4300 feet of utility tunnels running underground around campus. Given the amount of construction since that time I'm sure these tunnels have been expanded. 


The tunnels contain electrical, phone and fiber optic lines as well as steam heating lines along with other utilities. Basically they run from the Power Plant toward the Shoeboxes then toward East Campus.   They were greatly expanded in the 1960s with the construction of East Campus. 


Some of these tunnels date back to 1942 and were originally connected to the old steam generating plant, which was located where the Student Union plaza is now. Below is a photo of the old P-plant. You can see part of the 3rd Barracks to the right of the photo. 




One access point into this underworld is the basement of Sirrine Hall. 


(Note: If you have old pictures dating before 1990 that are Clemson related and you would like to share them, send them to me in an email with as much information about the picture as you can give and I will use it for a future “Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day”). 


Scott Rhymer can be reached at Scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com

Saturday, July 21, 2012

July 21st Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

Bob Bradley Throwing Out First Pitch



(Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts) 


Today’s photos are of former Sports Information Director Bob Bradley. The above photo is of Bob throwing out the first pitch at a Clemson baseball game several years ago. Bob Bradley is someone that every Clemson graduate and fan should know of as he transformed the art of sports information at Clemson.  Bradley also, in many ways, could be credited with helping Clemson become a place that was nationally known.




Bradley worked 502 consecutive football games during his career at Clemson. Bradley was presented the Order of the Palmetto by the Governor's office and after his death was inducted into the Gator Bowl Hall of Fame. 


Bradley was inducted into the State of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame, served as President of CoSIDA in 1975, received the Arch Ward Award as CoSIDA Man-of-the-Year in 1976, and inducted into the CoSIDA Hall of Fame in 1972. 


Bradley redefined the field of sports information in 1979 when, under his direction, the Clemson Sports Information Department won nine national awards for its brochures and press guides. 


The former Clemson sports information director Bob Bradley was known as The Legend II. For many years he and Frank Howard were quite a pair, telling stories and contributing to the tradition and legend of Clemson athletics. Bradley also was the editor of the Tiger newspaper his senior year.  Originally from Greenville, Bob Bradley majored in Textile Manufacturing




Bradley passed away on October 30, 2000 after a long battle with cancer.


(Note: If you have old pictures dating before 1990 that are Clemson related and you would like to share them, send them to me in an email with as much information about the picture as you can give and I will use it for a future “Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day”). 


Scott Rhymer can be reached at Scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com

Friday, July 20, 2012

Boyd, Freeman and Watkins Named to More Watch Lists

Boyd on Four Lists Entering 2012 
Clemson Sports Information Department 
July 20, 2012 
Tajh Boyd - Florida State v Clemson
 Clemson, SC—Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd was named to his third and fourth Watch Lists of the preseason on Friday. Boyd was on the lists for both the Walter Camp National Player of the Year Award and the Manning Quarterback Award according to releases by those organizations. 


Sammy Watkins was also named to the Walter Camp list and center Dalton Freeman has been named to the Lombardi Award list, giving the Clemson graduate a third Watch List for the preseason. 


Boyd earlier had been named to the Davey O’Brien Award list and the Maxwell Ward List. The Davey O’Brien Award is also an honor for the top quarterback in the nation, while the Maxwell Award is also a National Player of the Year honor. Last year Boyd threw for 3828 yards and 33 touchdowns, Clemson records in both areas. 


He quarterbacked the Tigers to 10 wins for the first time since 1990, the ACC title for the first time since 1991, and Orange Bowl bid for the first time since 1981. 


Freeman was first-team All-ACC center and a finalist for the Rimington Award last year. He is also a candidate for the Rimington Award and the Outland Trophy this year. He has started each of the last 36 games at center for the Tigers and has been Clemson’s starting center in two ACC Championship games. 


Watkins was fourth in the nation in all-purpose running last year when he had 82 receptions for 1219 yards and 12 scores. He was the National Freshman of the Year by Rivals.com and The Sporting News and a first-team AP All-American, just the fourth true freshman position player to be honored by AP. Clemson has seven different players who have been on 14 total lists in the preseason this year. 


 Six of the seven players are offensive players. Last year Clemson established school records for total offense and points scored under first-team offensive coordinatory Chad Morris.

January 20th Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

Aerial Picture Of Clemson Campus In 1960’s 


(Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts) 


Today’s photo is from the 1960’s and shows an aerial picture of the Clemson campus. If you look in the top right of the picture, you can see that Littlejohn Coliseum has just been completed (the grass on the Lawn at Littlejohn has yet to take root). 


Ground was broken on Littlejohn in 1966 with the completion being in 1968. So I am guessing that this picture is from soon after the completion in 1968. 


Littlejohn Coliseum is named for James Corcoran Littlejohn, class of 1908, the school's first business manager, who was instrumental in many of the school's early building projects, including the building it replaced, Clemson Field House, and Memorial Stadium. He was an avid supporter of Clemson athletics. 


Littlejohn Coliseum has been the scene of 43 Clemson wins over ranked teams, including a victory over #1 Duke in 1980, a 75-65 victory over #1 North Carolina in 2001, and a 74-47 victory over #3 Duke in 2009. 


(Note: If you have old pictures dating before 1990 that are Clemson related and you would like to share them, send them to me in an email with as much information about the picture as you can give and I will use it for a future “Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day”). 


Scott Rhymer can be reached at Scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ellington Named to Doak Walker Award Watch List


Ellington Leads All Active ACC Players in Career Rushing Yards
July 19, 2012
Clemson Sports Information Department



Clemson, SC—Clemson running back Andre Ellington has been named to the 2012 Doak Walker Award Watch List. Ellington was Clemson’s leading rusher last year with 1,178 yards and he has 2,355 career yards entering this year, more than any other active ACC player Ellington, who was named second-team All-ACC last year, is a unanimous first-team All-ACC player for this year.

He has been named to preseason all-league teams announced by Athlon, Lindy’s, USA Today, Phil Steele and Blue Ribbon Magazine. Ellington had 223 carries for 1,178 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns last year when he helped Clemson to a record total offense and record scoring offense season. He also had 109 yards receiving and 131 yards in kickoff returns.

The native of Moncks Corner, SC finished the year strong with 20-125 rushing and a touchdown in the win over Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship game, and had 10-116 and a touchdown against West Virginia in the Discover Orange Bowl. He averaged 5.3 yards a rush last season and has a 5.8 average for his career, second best in Clemson history behind C.J. Spiller.

Earlier, Ellington was named as one of three Clemson players on the Watch List for the Maxwell Award.

Clemson Players on Preseason Watch Lists for 2012
Andre Ellington-Doak Walker Top Running Back and Maxwell Award Top Player
DeAndre Hopkins Biletnikoff Award Top Receiver
Dalton Freeman-Rimington Award Top Center and Outland Trophy Top Lineman
Brandon Ford-John Mackey Top Tight End
Chandler Catanzaro-Lou Groza Top Place Kicker
Tajh Boyd-Davey O’Brien Top Quarterback and Maxwell Award Top Player
Sammy Watkins-Maxwell Award Top Player

July 19th Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

Fike Field House And Who It Is Named After 


(Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts) 

Today’s photos are from the early 1930’s and show the final completion of Fike Field House. 


From Clemson World Online: 


Anyone familiar with the last 60 years of Clemson history will likely recognize the bedrock significance of names like Walter T. Cox, R.C. Edwards, and Frank Howard. Imagine then, the influence and respect that one man must have wielded for that threesome of Clemson legends to serve as the pallbearers at his funeral. Such a man was Rupert Howard Fike. 


Fike, known to most as Rube, was born in Spartanburg County in 1887. He first fell in love with Clemson while peering through a knothole in a fence to see the Tiger football team rout Wofford during the Tigers undefeated season of 1900. Fike promptly returned home to tell his parents that instead of following their plans for him to attend Wofford, he was going to go to that Clemson. That he did; and in 1908, he graduated from Clemson with a degree in civil engineering. 


After graduating with his M.D. and returning to South Carolina to open a general practice in Chesnee, Fike became interested in X-ray work and decided to pursue postgraduate studies at Johns Hopkins University. His thirst for medical knowledge grew, and he studied at the Massachusetts General Hospital, the Harvard University Medical School, the Mayo Clinic and the Curie Institute in Paris. While in Europe, he also observed cancer clinics in England, Italy, Belgium and Germany. 


Even while Fike pursued his life’s work in medicine, he never took his attention away from Clemson. He was considered a principal adviser to the College, both in athletics and in general affairs. Although he worked in Georgia, he served as a member-at-large of the Clemson College Athletic Council and as president of IPTAY for 20 years. His association with IPTAY was integral from the start. 


During what Coach Jess Neely called the “seven lean years”, Clemson football was struggling to produce winning seasons. After losing to The Citadel in 1931, Neely said, “If I could get $10,000 a year to build the football program, I could give Clemson fans a winning team.” 


With other Clemson alumni, Fike developed a plan to make the large-scale fund-raising effort possible. On Aug. 21, 1934, Fike wrote to Coach Neely: “Last night we had a little meeting out at my house and organized the IPTAY Club.” With the goal of enlisting dedicated Clemson men and women who would commit to the idea of “I Pay Ten A Year,” Fike slowly and steadily built IPTAY into a resounding success, proven by the Tigers first bowl appearance and victory in the 1940 Cotton Bowl. 


Through his continued leadership as president and “No. 1” cardholder, IPTAY grew to become the nationwide model for athletic fund raising. Fike’s contributions to Clemson never ceased. Before his death in 1956, the Alumni Association elected him athletic councilman in perpetuity. 


In 1941, he became an honorary member of Blue Key National Honor Fraternity, and in 1952, he was awarded a Clemson honorary degree in science. In the early 1950s, Fike began a book about football history at Clemson entitled Fifty Some Odd Years of Football at Clemson. In the introduction, Fike had written: “I thought if the Nile River would inspire Emil Ludwig to write a biography, certainly Clemson football would be a suitable subject for me.” Its sole purpose, other than discussing Fike’s favorite subject of football, was to be used as a fund-raiser for IPTAY. 


Unfortunately the book wasn’t completed when Fike passed away in 1956, but his place in Clemson history was clearly written. Fike Field House, built in 1930, is fittingly named for Rube Fike. He was not only an outstanding physician, but also a devoted alumnus who understood the importance of collegiate athletics. His place on Cemetery Hill is richly deserved. 


(Note: If you have old pictures dating before 1990 that are Clemson related and you would like to share them, send them to me in an email with as much information about the picture as you can give and I will use it for a future “Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day”). 


Scott Rhymer can be reached at Scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com 


Credit to Clemson World

Boyd Named to Davey O’Brien Watch List

Sixth Clemson Offensive Player Named to a Watch List 
July 18, 2012 
Clemson Sports Information Department 



Clemson, SC—Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd was named to the Davey O’Brien Award Watch List on Wednesday. 


The O’Brien Award is presented each year to the top quarterback in college football. Boyd was one of 16 semifinalists on the list last year. He had not been named to the preseason Watch List a year ago. 


In 2011 he quarterbacked Clemson to its first ACC Championship in 20 years and its first Orange Bowl bid in 30 years. The now junior threw for 3828 yards and 33 touchdowns a year ago, school records in both categories. He set an ACC record for touchdown responsibility as well with 38 scores, 33 passing and five rushing. 


Boyd is one of seven returning players from the 16 semifinalists last year. The others are Matt Barkley of Southern California, Seth Doege of Texas Tech, Landry Jones of Oklahoma, Keith Price of Washington, Denard Robinson of Michigan and Tyler Wilson of Arkansas. 


Earlier, Boyd was named to the Maxwell Award Watch List along with teammates Andre Ellington and Sammy Watkins. 


Clemson now has six offensive players who have been named to various Watch Lists this summer. In addition to the three listed above, Dalton Freeman has been listed on the Watch List for the Rimington Award and the Outland Trophy, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for the Biletnikoff Award, and Brandon Ford for the John Mackey Award. Chandler Catanzaro has also been on the Watch List for the Lou Groza Award, which goes to the top placekicker in college football.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July 18th Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

A Little Humor At Clemson Through The Years 

(Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts) 

Today’s photos are a bit lighthearted and were taken throughout the 1960’s through the 1980’s. The above photo is of a Clemson student “thumbing a ride” near Sikes Hall in the 1960’s. 


The next photo is of a prank a student made in the 1980’s, placing a “for sale” sign on the lawn in from of the President’s house. 


The next photo is of the Air Force ROTC leaving the cafeteria “in formation”. 


The next picture is of Frank Howard cutting up at a pep rally prior to a football game.


The final picture helps answer the age old question of what really is in the mystery meat at Schilletter! 


(Note: If you have old pictures dating before 1990 that are Clemson related and you would like to share them, send them to me in an email with as much information about the picture as you can give and I will use it for a future “Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day”). 


Scott Rhymer can be reached at Scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com