Nine conference games. Nine frickin conference games! This whole thing is spiraling out of control. First off, the ACC chose to invite Syracuse and Pitt. I really didn’t like these choices, particularly ‘Cuse. Now we get the Orangemen in our division which means another crappy in-conference game only this time our Tigers have to go to New York every other season to play a college football game in a dome. On top of all this, the ACC has chosen to require member institutions to play nine conference football games. This beams that Clemson likely will never play the University of Georgia after the home and home series concludes in 2014, if they get to play those games.
In an era of big time, big money athletics college football teams, Clemson included, make home football contests a priority. The schools largely don’t care who the opposition is so long as the stadium gates are open and tickets are sold. This is one reason colleges fork over large sums of cash to get relatively small schools to play meaningless football games without a home and home contractual requirement. These games are scheduled around the conference mandated contests. Hence, with the limit of a 12 game regular season, Clemson effectively loses one of these "at large" non-conference games. Clemson is also required to play South Carolina annually, which gives the Tigers two contests to schedule on its own. As previously mentioned, the school wants to maximize the number of home games and playing bigger schools almost guarantees sacrificing a home game every other year.
On top of the revenue, coaches will want to schedule two "gimmie" games outside of conference play. Playing a Georgia or an Auburn is not exactly Furman or Coastal. I would much rather schedule Georgia every season than have to play Syracuse. The SEC chose not to require member institutions to play more than eight conference games upon their expansion—which was the correct decision to allow the member institutions scheduling flexibility outside of conference play. ACC schools are handcuffed schedule-wise, another brilliant Swofford-led initiative.
National Signing day was relatively calm this season, which is fine by me. Clemson did a fine job maintaining its class which was largely sown up months ago. We discussed needs that were addressed as well as the class’ quality the day after signing day and will discuss the freshmen in advance of both spring and fall drills. This places another solid class under Swinney’s belt. We must give credit where credit is due. Props to Swinney and Scott for structuring this class and the rest of the coaching/support staff for hemming together the players.
Fortunately for me, I haven’t been paying as much attention to basketball as I have in other years. The bar was raised by Purnell and through Brownell’s first year at Clemson and I almost got used to our Tigers winning 20 and making the Big Dance. This season has been difficult—more difficult than most of us expected although we all realized that this team would face more challenges than those in previous seasons. We now that BB is a good fundamental teacher. We will see if he can, moving forward, get the puzzle pieces in place for success in our basketball conference.
Super Bowl Sunday…I really don’t care too much about the pro game, particularly since the Falcons have nothing to do with tonight’s game and the fighting Teebows are done son. We’ll see who gets rick-rolled tonight. I think it would be very amusing if (A) Eli doubles up Peyton on number of rings and (B) Tom Coughlin makes a solid case for the Hall of Fame. Speaking of the Hall, both Chris Carter and Bill Parcells were passed over. Nothing against Curtis "keeping it positive" Martin, but Carter definitely should roll in either with or ahead of him.