CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 03: Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney celebrates winning the ACC Championship game against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Bank of America Stadium on December 3, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
It was an excellent week for Clemson football recruiting, a poor week for Clemson's head coach with the media, and an excellent weekend to sit in front of the television set and be lazy. Those are the beef of the commentary you'll see below. First, though, I'll give a shout out to all the dads out there. It's Father's Day so enjoy yourself. Ignore that the grass needs to be cut or the honey-do list is getting longer. Kick back, relax, and enjoy the day. Be sure to tune into all this stuff today (or at least listen to what I have to say @figurefour_sts)
I will begin with the obvious: Clemson flat out killed it on the recruiting trail at this past week's camp. Commitments were flying and none were bigger than Robert Nkemdiche, the nation's number 1 recruit. Clemson was able to go into Georgia and come back with commitments from several great athletes (I love when we get after it in Georgia because it is a jab at the Gawja program while improving ours). I won't belabor the commitment details, as Dr. B and Quacking have detailed them here over the past week. I will, though, admit that my view on this year's class was recalibrated. I criticize our staff so I also need to give credit where credit is due. Excellent job Swinney and staff. Particularly, we are seeing the fruits of Tony Elliott's labors over in the Peach State.
I've given Coach Dabo his due, now I must ask the question. Why in the world would The Sweatshirt get out in front of the media and piss all over expansion opportunities. The man runs the football program, I get it. He will get his say if Clemson expansion items come to pass. There is no need in chopping the legs out from under the real decision makers at the university. I think I speak collectively for the Clemson nation when I say I am tired of Dabo running his mouth. Get your ass whipped by South Carolina-talk trash to Spurrier. Your team may get a big influx of cash by changing conferences, talk trash to the media. Team plays poorly-talk trash to the fans. On the other end of the spectrum, get your ass handed to you by South Florida and promise/deliver changes. I guess you take the good with the bad.
I don't want a coach who is so politically correct it is ridiculous but I do want a guy who thinks before he speaks. Rants are encouraged but I the rant needs to improve your program. I'll say that Coach Swinney is a polarizing figure who I respect yet question. Once you think he has it all together he does something stupid. Then once you think the train is going over the cliff, he makes the corrections for improvement. You can question his overall recruiting strategy but can't question his overall ability to recruit. Hopefully Clemson will win so many games that I won't give a shit what he says...until then I get a little anxious when a microphone is near the man.
The DirecTV has been jam up once again with its golf coverage. The US Open mix channel along with four other channels (701-705) have killed it and made me and quite a few others happy. This is the set up that my crew likes...players getting challenged and rolled up by a golf course. Usually Phyllis Mickelson turns this event into his own personal soap opera-carrying a pager in case his wife goes into labor, coming from ahead to lose the golf tournament, visiting every area of the course but the fairway, and even landing a golf ball in a trash can, this is Phil's drama party. Having Tiger Woods back on the scene is good for golf and very good for wallets out there. This guy puts asses in front of TV sets and creates a buzz like few have done before him. This will be an epic weekend trying to watch all the golf possible. The best part of this whole deal is the location of the tournament allows for prime time golf-and this time better than the made for tv crap we saw at the Battle at Bighorn.
There is a big difference between the USGA's national championship and a captain's choice event featuring Dotty Pepper/T Woods vs. Lee Travino/JD, or whatever the combination was. I will tune in to watch JD/Freddy/many others but will make no bones about it...that thing was more hokey than Steve McMichael's stint with the Four Horsemen. Yeah, I have a great idea, let's stick a bunch of lights on a golf course and see what happens...that is bush league crap that is reserved for your low end dog track golf courses. Of course it didn't work....now the Skins Game, that is another story. Nothing like sending Fred Couples out to Hawaii to win a lot of gambling cash. That guy has probably made more money rolling up legends in gambling matches than he has as a tour pro. I'll be the first to admit it, Boom Boom is a "Grade A badass" (and he has a ridiculous following/crew anywhere he goes).
The College World Series is getting going and that is an excellent showcase for college baseball. The FSU game on Friday night was a good one to watch and I am sure this thing will provide as much drama as ever. I will say, the new bats are good for the game. That being said, I really wish the new stadium out in Omaha was a little smaller. The new bats and the stadium size make this thing look more like a Pony League game than the College World Series. No, I do not want to go back to giving the batters rocket launchers but yes, I do want to see someone challenge the fence-line. There has to be a better medium and maybe adjusting the baseball is the next move.
Auto racing is getting some run this weekend. Le Mans is the feature race and you can bet your ass Dr. B is somehow watching all 24 hours of it. I will say that, as a usual stock car watcher, I am extremely impressed with the sophistication of the Le Mans crews. They have doctors chatting with announcers and folks like Rolex as sponsors. I am used to interviews with guys named Fatback and Skoal as a sponsor. The more I watch these international races the more I am intrigued. Personally, I watch the beginning (well on and off for the first six hours or so) then will tune into the end. The Neckcar circuit heads up to Michigan this weekend. This is a stop Little-E won at before (via, if I am not mistaken, excellent fuel strategy and a little luck). The repaving job up there made this track one of the fastest on the schedule and Sunday's race should be interesting. For all you Indy Car fans out there, the only thing I know about that circuit is that the 500 is raced on Memorial Day Weekend.
The final thought is this: I expect little news out of Clemson in the upcoming weeks. Maybe we'll discuss expansion, maybe not. College baseball will close out. My recommendation is to either be in a pair of swimming trunks or swinging a golf club each weekend until August. The lone exception is the Open Championship, for which I recommend adjusting your sleep schedule one week in advance to assure you don't miss the early morning action.