>> Monday, October 29, 2007
This has been such a sad 2 days for the palmetto state. My brother is taking the tragedy in Ocean Isle especially hard. I couldn't imagine losing several friends my freshman year of college. It's insane to imagine what the Virginia Tech students had to go through. It's encouraging to see the level of support that the hokies have provided to the South Carolina students on facebook, as well as all of the other students throughout the state. Hard times definitely seem to unite people, however unfortunate that may be.
On a lighter note, our tigers are beginning to play again. We managed to finally break the top 25 for the first time in over 3 weeks. I'm still a little annoyed though. We haven't had any real tests this year except for VT.. and that game was down-right embarrassing in the first half. We don't seem to take any chances.. almost always playing down to the level of the other team (GT!). If we don't improve our special teams and our running game (though our o-line is finally starting to look decent) I don't think we have much of a chance to beat Boston College and USC this year. If Clemson shows up then there is always potential, but we tend to decide that as we go. I'm starting to think Tommy should just be allowed a couple of more years to prove himself. Maybe less than 2 seasons. We should be playing at the SEC level. If Spurrier can take mediocre talent and a fairly recent 14 game losing streak and be able to beat Georgia, Kentucky and almost Tennessee in one year, Tommy should be able to beat teams like GT and Maryland (last year) with great talent. We don't play SEC level football. We play ACC level football with a SEC caliber team. I have been wondering recently whether or not we could play to our potential in a conference like the SEC... having to actually prepare for a winning season in a challenging conference. But then again I was hoping that if SC started to improve with Spurrier that it could only help our team since we usually take that game seriously, even after playing horrible all year. Evidently it's still not enough to motivate Clemson to take most of the ACC and other teams seriously (though we did have a higher win margin with the first couple of games this season than last).
So is it a coaching problem or an overall attitude problem? Clemson is known for the 1 or 2 games a year where we will undoubtedly choke. (Classic example- the year we beat #3 Florida State we lost to Duke). If we knew we didn't have push-over teams to play every year that we could consider guaranteed wins, would our guys' practice routine look different? Or would Tommy try harder to create diverse and creative plays that would stretch our team throughout the season?
Who knows, but until we can have just one year that we can beat all of the crappy teams in our conference I guess we don't deserve to move into a more difficult one (not that I think the conference moving would ever really happen). So what's the big solution? How does Clemson gain back its respect as a powerhouse football team and not just some school that usually gets mentioned at the beginning of every season and during the bowden bowl (though the bowden bowl is not even an impressive game anymore... so sad).
I would appreciate suggestions! Ciao for now!