Y’all. As much as it pains me to do this, I think we need to talk about Clemson. I’ve tried to turn a blind eye to their meteoric and completely unexpected rise to glory but number five in the AP poll is just not something I can ignore. I wrote just before preseason how Clemson was not expected to do anything great this season, but that I had heard rumblings that this team was better than people may have thought. Turns out I was wrong. They are FAR and AWAY better than anyone thought.
Chances are if you are an ACC defensive player, you’ve been waxed at least once by the speed demon who goes by the name Sammy Watkins. Have you seen this kid run? It just doesn’t even look real. Fast people sit around and feel bad about themselves after he comes around, because he is just that quick.
And don’t even get me started on Tahj Boyd. I’m pretty sure that he has some kind of laser scope in his head or something because he just does not miss. He’s gotten roughed up a little in the past couple of weeks, but it doesn’t seem to really be slowing him down much. The combination of these two players plus several other stars has been deadly.
I fully expect Clemson to win their division (barring anything completely unexpected) but I’m still not convinced about their all around power. These high scoring games are wins, definitely, but they also point to there being little to no defense on either side. It’s no secret that I’m a Gamecock fan, but I really do think it’s going to be a different tune when the Tigers come to Williams-Brice in November. The Gamecock defense is generally very solid and frequently outstanding, so I have a feeling this is going to be a hell of a game.
All that being said, I have a confession to make. I really really like Dabo Swinney. I love seeing his enthusiasm and his genuine connection with the kids on his team. Oh, and his sound bites are fantastic too. Here’s a summary of a personal favorite: “I don’t really give a crap how many snaps we’ve got left. We just need to move the ball.” Love it. Anyway, no matter my feelings about our upstate rivals, it’s great to see outstanding leadership in college sports.
Back to my battered Gamecocks. South Carolina is on the road this weekend in Knoxville, and while TN really hasn’t put on a good show this season, the Gamecocks are so wounded right now that I really just have no idea what to think about this game. Like most Carolina fans, my suggestion would be to throw the ball to Alshon Jeffrey every chance they get. But apparently that secret strategy is not a secret, as Alshon frequently gets tangled up in double, triple and sometime quadruple coverage, thus slightly hindering his catching ability. Only slightly, of course – he’s still the man with the hands.
South Carolina still has a viable chance at being the SEC East champions but that is overshadowed by the fact that A. Georgia is on a serious roll and more importantly, B. whoever wins the West will obliterate the East. LSU and Alabama (Roll Tide!) are ridiculous this year. I’m looking forward to that match-up on November 5 like it’s the last game of college football ever to be played. There will be bloodshed, I guarantee it. This game is going to be EPIC.
To be honest, I’m kind of let down with football this season. Not entirely because of the Gamecocks erratic playing, but because overall the good teams are phenomenal and the okay teams are just okay. The not so good teams are truly awful but there just hasn’t been really anything in the middle. A few upsets, some drama, but mostly, just meh. And I know this is mean, but The Citadel is so boring this year that I can’t even figure out anything to write about them. Sigh.
Thank God CofC basketball is approaching soon – I’m really interested to see how they will do without the leadership of Andrew Goudelock but with the addition of Adjehi Baru, the highest rated recruit ever to join the Cougars. CofC basketball is always fun though – great fans, great venue and history. Looking forward to this season for sure – last year was awesome and I’m excited about this one too.
Be back soon and have a happy and safe Gameday!