I hope everyone had a nice Christmas and has nice prospects on the horizon for the New Year. Clearly most of the focus this week is on the Peach Bowl. The result of the game tomorrow coupled with recruiting will likely dominate our football talk for some time into the future here at STS.
The day is almost upon us. The Peach Bowl is now just over a day away as our Tigers are in Atlanta and set to face the Bayou Bengals of LSU. There is a lot of "hoping" going on for this one. I wish that weren't the case, but it is simply the way it is. LSU is undeniably the more athletic football team. They have better depth. Their S&C program is far, far superior to Clemson's. Our hope is that they are disappointed to be in the Georgia Dome and/or Les Miles does a bunch of really stupid things in tomorrow's game. I believe both are well within the realm of possibility, so we do have that going for us. Sorry to be Debby Downer here, but it is what it is.
I obviously want Clemson to win the football game. However, I fear some sort of game LSU typically plays where they leave an inferior opponent in the game and just let them hang around and hang around then, in a stroke of Les Miles' horseshoe in the rear fashion, pull out the win by returning a botched extra point. That is the type of stuff I expect out of a Les Miles team. The problem there is our football coach will take that as an affirmative that we indeed have what it takes to man up against one of the best teams in America...that we are as tough as them. Well, that is not the case at all and we-the collective group of Clemson fans-end up with another bowl loss AND no changes in key areas that keep our Tigers from taking that elusive "next step." Clemson football rant over.
One thing that I will say about LSU is they seem to always find something that works (most of the time is just committing themselves to running their 3-4 base run plays) then seem to try and get away from that strength. There were several games this year where the Bengal Tigers were hammering the ball down the opposition's throat on the ground then they inexplicably decided to give Mettenberger the opportunity to overthrow receivers. There is no doubt they have kept opponents in games this season, including one that you all probably watched against Scar. Sure, LSU was even down relatively late in that game but only because they refused to simply line up and run, run, run. When they made that commitment it was game over. Their offensive line and backs are simply that good. Their defensive talent is mindboggling.
I've come to accept the fact that all these bowl games produce watered down product. ESPN should really get its act together. These things are almost unbearable to watch. How freaking hard is it to find more than a half dozen decent college football announcers? To make matters worse, these early bowl games really bring out the worst in the World Wide Leader. There has been nothing but concentrated crap coming out of my television speakers to this point in the bowl season. YES, I am very happy with the high volume of college football...just match it up with people who appear to have actually seen the sport prior to getting a microphone. Yes, this means assuring that your announcers actually know the rules and how they should be implemented. With bigger bowl games on the horizon, I look forward to seeing improvement from ESPN/ABC in these areas over the next week or so.
The NFL Playoffs (PLAYOFFS!?!?! PLAYOFFS?!?!) are nearly upon us with this being the final regular season week of the year. The big attention goes to the Cowboys/Redskins tonight. I grew up disliking the crackwagon but never really cared for the ‘Skins either. I think the feelings are about the same now.
Dallas has a General Manager who needs to take a step back and bring in someone as an actual general manager. This guy was also overly committed to promoting Troy Aikman's backup to head coach ever since the guy retired from the game. The weird part was their use of Wade Phillips. Bum's son was basically a place holder until Jerry Jones could halfway legitimately rationalize promoting Garrett to the top spot.
On the ‘Skins side, I don't really hear much out of the Dan lately. Looks like Snyder is willing to let Mike Shanahan do his thing. Certainly everyone talks about RGIII and for good reason...the man is ridiculous as a player. We'll see how his injured knee holds up today in the biggest game for both of these teams.
Otherwise, enjoy your Sunday and we'll all be pulling for a Clemson victory tomorrow night.