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On "feelingsball" and Expectations

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Lots of folks have made fuss over STS not coddling their feelings after the great bowl victory over LSU. They complain that we are “so negative we cannot enjoy a win,” which cannot be further from the truth. I’m happy as hell we beat a Top 10 team in a bowl game, but that does not mean we stop analyzing the causes for the 25-24 result, and it doesn’t mean we begin accepting that Dabo Swinney’s decisions are akin to God’s decisions, or that there is still no room for improvement in this program. Some folks must keep their head in the sand or only watch Clemson football games on Saturday and then reinsert their head on Sunday morning after Dabo’s show. If you were expecting a postgame article that verbally fellates Coach Swinney then you came to the wrong place, because until he starts beating SC and wins a National Title, that isn’t going to happen.

Our defense played their asses off, but it doesn’t mean LSU didn’t play into our hands with their gameplan. Tajh Boyd played one of the best games of his career as did Nuk Hopkins, which was true regardless of any gameplan by LSU. We’re lucky they walked away with a win this time, because usually we don’t win games like this one. Dabo outcoached Les Miles, that is fact. We were the better team on December 31, that is a fact. We won the game. But if Catman misses the FG, I don’t walk away claiming a moral victory, this is not Columbia. And the only damn thing on the message boards right now is negativity about how Chad Morris abandoned the run, S&C, or that our fumbles cost us the game.

Maybe you should reread the posts we have outlining our expectations for Clemson athletics. We expect the best and aren’t going to be happy until we get there. If you think it is being negative to say so, leave. If you want to come on here and make your 1st post in 6 months to say how negative we are, I’m just going to get rid of you. You’re obviously not reading the articles where we praise them, and this place isn’t a democracy where you can come in and bitch at me when you don’t agree by being a dickhead. If you disagree you can say so, but you better obviously have read the articles where we are very positive. We don’t play feelingsball and it is not our job to validate your appraisal of the game. I’m not going to talk about a 1 point win as if it was 21. You complain about what you perceive as negativity by bringing negativity yourself with the intention of stirring shit up and making argumentative posts, so you are no better or no more correct than how you perceive us to be.

On the Batson issue, we made little mention in the previews of whether this was a one-game referendum on Moffitt’s style vs. Joey’s style of training. One game does not decide such a thing. Did it decide it against FSU when we lost to them? Moffitt’s style has consistently developed physical beasts, we have not. It developed SC into a team that could beat us in the trenches for 4 years in a row though. It was clear to me that Clemson’s offense was in good condition, and I was happy as hell that we wore them out in the 4th quarter, but its also much harder to play defense for 100 plays than it is offense. A hell of a lot harder, just ask someone who has had to play both ways in the trenches. Defenses run full speed all the time, offenses know where they’re going and do not have to. LSU was mentally taxed and physically worn out by the HUNH system. I think they faked one or two to just slow us down, but they were tired, and even still, Tajh Boyd was not graced with the ability to take 7-step drops even against the tired DL. They had a chance to play ball control and did not call the run plays they needed to play keep-away; their problem, but true nonetheless whether you like it or not.

LSU was very physical, and despite the clear talent advantage they have on the DL and secondary, we still won the game. They were also stronger, and it is this strength issue and consistent physicality that Clemson does not possess. One win didn’t change it, though I hope it causes the attitude changes in the offseason to make it begin to change. Only one coach has unrestricted access to players in the offseason to make those changes happen, the S&C coach. We’ve had the same one since the last time we had a physical football team under Tommy West, albeit not a very good one in the Win column. If Chad Morris or Brent Venables agreed with everything he did as Gospel, as Dabo would have us believe, then they wouldn’t have insisted on some changes in the program their linemen follow, as we know they have. Being physical enough to compete for the national title in 2013 started January 1st, it does not start in March or August.

By the way Coach Swinney, if you would like us to come work out with Batson as you invited after the game, you are more than welcome to pay to move us to Clemson, pay our salaries, insurance, and guarantee our 401(k) contributions. I’d be happy to move if you want to pay for it. I’ll make sure to document every bell-ringing, after every arch-backed bench press bounces off the wooden blocks, and every poor-technique power clean, even though it is done quite well by “Coach” Munson in his S&C videos for me.

Clemson walked away with a big win against a good opponent, and if it propels us to beating UGA, FSU, and SC next year then it’s a momentous win for the ages. My expectation going into 2013 is no less than an ACC Championship, and BCS title contention, given the returning pieces. We’re not going to stop critiquing the program until it gets to that level.

And that’s all we have to say about that.