ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 29: Tevin Washington #13 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets rushes against the Clemson Tigers at Bobby Dodd Stadium on October 29, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
You've probably noticed the change in schedule this week due to the free weekend we have in front of us. Like the Clemson Tigers, yours truly is winding down a non-game week trying to get healthy. Some sort of bug blindsided me earlier in the week and I am lucky it struck on an off week. Just another week in paradise for FigureFour...Otherwise, onward we march. Before we get started, I will give a shout out to my main man Duane Coleman who surely keeping it real every single day.
With Clemson open this week, we will, like the rest of this country, be eagerly awaiting the Bama game all day Saturday. This one pits two excellent football teams in what could be this season's effective national championship. Both squads are loaded with talent. I'll say that LSU is the deepest team in America, oozing with players at all positions. Don't believe me? How many times have they had a player arrested or suspended this season only to see the backup play just as well? That team is stocked, plain and simple. Then you have Bama who has no shortage of talent either. I have gained a lot more respect for Les over the last couple years (give the man two weeks and he can beat most anyone) but you still give the coaching edge to the Tide, particularly if the game is close. The flea market-like antics CBS and ESPN put together to get this game into primetime are commendable. Alabama does get an advantage playing this one at home at night but LSU gets an even bigger advantage in next season's nighttime classic.
Switching gears, what's up with your boy Mark Richt? Georgia just happens to have several important players get suspended during the season. The Dawgs also just happen to have these fellows suspended right in between critical SEC games between Florida and Auburn. Yes, Mark, we know these games are very, very important for your career in Athens. Next year just do us all a favor and just wait until after the season to suspend folks...but hey it is just a coincidence.
Clemson is taking it easy this week as they have already dismissed a player and visited a prison this week. Sounds like an uplifting week for Dabo and crew. Maybe they were just checking in on Squeaky or Lindsay Lohan or, better yet, maybe they rolled out to Nevada to see what the Juice is up to. Who knows? I would have chosen a hospital or children's home to uplift the youngsters. Maybe the Clemson powers that be have been watching too much ESPN and were influenced by Tim Tebow's repeated prison visits. Hopefully they were there to scare them straight.
Certainly we all hope that Clemson comes back from the break refreshed and healthy. A healed Andre Ellington will help as the Tigers push for a Division Crown and hopefully a birth in a BCS bowl this season. With the poor ball protection we saw last week, a dependable runner like Ellington will be welcomed back with open arms. Also, if you need it, Ellington needs just 255 yards in CU's final three contests to crack the 1000 yard mark for the regular season. This is a feat I am really hoping to see, not just for the good of the team but also because I think Ellington exemplifies all that is good in college athletics. In the passing game, I believe Sammy Watkins needs a mere 20 yards or so to hit the 1000 mark on the year. This has already been a tremendous season for that young man and he, like Andre, has been an excellent role model and a guy you are just pleased to have as a part of Clemson's program both on and off the field of play.
The final Item I will share is a bit of information sent to us by viewer Clemsonu88. He points out that if you ignore games prior to bowl appearances, Clemson has not won a single game prior to a 9+ day break from games during the season since the 2006 win over Temple (see the C&P in the quoted, shaded section below). What causes these losses? Clearly Clemson was not the better team in each of these matchups, so superior opponents is one aspect. I suspect that a string of football games preceding these contests may have taken a toll on the team, so fatigue could have played a factor. I would guess some of this lies on the coaches not being able to keep the team focused through the bye week. There are obviously a lot of factors in play here. I encourage you to look at the info below and let us know what you think about this topic. Again, thanks again to Clemsonu88 for this information because it is very, very interesting.
2011 lost to GT prior to the bye2010 lost to Auburn prior to the bye2010 lost SC before the bowl game2009 lost to GT prior to a 9 day break2009 lost to MD prior to a bye2009 lost to GT before the bowl game2008 lost to MD prior to a 12 day break2008 lost to WF prior to a 9 day break2008 lost to GT prior to a bye2008 beat SC prior to the bowl game2007 lost to VT prior to a bye2007 beat SC prior to the bowl game2006 beat Temple prior to a 9 day break2006 lost to VT prior to a 9 day break2006 lost to SC prior to the bowl game2005 lost to WF prior to a 12 day break2005 beat NCST prior to a 9 day break2005 beat SC prior to the bowl game2004 lost to FSU prior to a 12 day break2004 lost to UVA prior to a 9 day breakno bowl game this year2003 beat GT prior to a bye2003 lost to NCST prior to a 9 day break2003 beat SC prior to the bowl game2002 beat Ball St prior to a 12 day break2002 lost to FSU prior to a 9 day break2002 lost to NCST prior to a 9 day break2002 beat SC prior to the bowl game2001 beat Wofford prior to a bye week2001 beat GT prior to a bye week2001 lost to SC prior to a 14 day break2001 beat Duke prior to the bowl game