What a difference a week makes. After the less-than-awesome showings against Troy & Woffard, This guy — along with a host of other Clemson Grads — was scratchin’ his head about the Tigers and their 2011 toughest-season-since–Frank-Howard’s-days schedule. I was so put out with Clemson’s O-Line I even posted a pic on Facebook making fun of them! Similarly, the ACC as a conference offered nothing to raise my pulse either.
On the other hand, My USC Law school Alumn’ Alter-ego was doing his best impression of Michael Myers’ character DIETER on SNL: Happy as a little GURL! With eight teams ranked in the top 25 to start the season, the SEC was rockin’ their best Jolly Green Giant while the ACC, was barely managing to impersonate the red-headed little green step-sprout (ok…with a just smidge of Human Growth Hormone.
And as for the Cocks, I actually thought the Ol’ Ball Coach purposely sat Garcia’s ass down, knowing full-well that he’d fall behind by at least two touchdowns, which they did, and then pluck him off that bench to commence cuttin’ ECU’s natural ass, which they did: All by a brilliant –albeit cocky– design. (I STILL think that by the way.) Then there was Georgia: Pure classic smash mouth football at its best. …And then came last weekend.
I repeat:What a Difference a week makes! What’s that ROAR I hear? Get ready for the Big Atlantic East Coast Conference, or something to that effect. The ACC, which had made raids into the Big East before, claimed Syracuse and Pittsburgh on Monday, consolidating its position as the preeminent college sports conference on the East Coast. As the Big XII’s disintegration has led to jockeying by the SEC and Pac-12 — and the 12-team Big Ten standing pat — moves by the ACC have shown that the power has gone to the hunters. And the ACC apparently has a license to KILL!
The real power in college athletics is in major football and (postseason) men’s basketball, according to Taylor Branch’s piece on the NCAA. Syracuse and Pitt represent programs which contribute historically at both. And according to Orange men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim, there will be more to come.
“I think UConn will be in the ACC, if I had to guess,” Boeheim said in The Birmingham News. “I think Rutgers could be. I think some people are thinking of leaving. … Why would Florida State want to go to the SEC when you’re in the ACC and you win banners? Doesn’t make sense.”
Becoming the first legitimate 16-team superconference in football — and NO folks, the old WAC doesn’t count — and blowing up the Big East’s 17-team men’s basketball roster would mean the ACC would have one foot in the BCS bacchanal while using its other foot to kick the Big East into oblivion . Adding in UConn and Rutgers would mean having New York, D.C. and Miami media markets. As it is, Florida State and Clemson have no want to join the SEC as it tries to find a groom for Texas A&M.
There’s now no need, either.
And love me or hate me, I cannot let this piece end without throwing out some major Orange-and-White Paw-Props to DA MAN, DABO Swinney! With his bottom lip just a quiverin’, Former Clemson football coach Tommy Bowden UNFORTUNATELY parlayed “must-win” games into several more years on the job during his Tenure of TIGER MALAISE. Last Saturday on National TV, Current coach Dabo Swinney had the first of what will inevitably be many of his “signature wins” when his ORIGINAL Tigers pounded Auburn and let them find out what a REAL Death Valley tastes like!
The good news for Clemson going into that game is that the team it played was an eight-win version of the one that had 14 last year. As well, the win proved two necessaries for Clemson: Winning at home against a good opponent, and surging ahead after suffering an early deficit.
The bad news is that a quality Florida State squad comes in to town this weekend. But you know what folks? I ain’t scared a no NOLE. I guess it’s Official: This Redneck has turned Orange for the Fall! What are your colors looking like at he moment?
* J.L. Mann Cromer, Jr [BA 1985, Clemson University; JD 1988, University of South Carolina School of Law]