I'll begin today's conversation on a very positive note. Clemson dedicated the new Indoor Practice Facility on Friday. We clamored here for such a facility as we realize how important facility upgrades are to this football program. All the big boys have such a facility already and we think that getting things like this at Clemson are important if we want to move up in the college football pecking order. While the school could have gone bigger and badder, this is a definite upgrade from the joke of an indoor track facility Clemson used to use and the powers that be should be commended for this commitment to the program. Here is the official Clemson AD release regarding the facility dedication. Other proof of the importance of such a football facility can be found in this article.
Another week another revelation for the Clemson roster. Cortez Davis and Lateek Townsend both decided they would finish their respective careers somewhere other than Clemson. We discussed some of the issues we saw with Davis' 2012 play earlier here and have often noted that Townsend is a bit of a wild card when on the field. We'd also heard at times (and through social media) that Townsend was back and forth, up and down with Clemson before and while he was at Clemson. We wish these players the best moving on and will say that these kinds of announcements are expected year in and year out.
I have two issues at hand with these transfers: Roster Management and Situational Cause of Transfer. We've discussed roster management here before. If a player doesn't fit into the overall scheme or the staff doesn't see the player on the field significantly, we believe it is in everyone's best interest to bring this to the player's attention and, potentially, urge the player to leave early so that the player can move to another school where he might play and Clemson can fill his spot with another recruit.
The other item-cause of transfer-reverts to why the player is transferring. You don't typically see successful players moving all around and certainly don't see coaches pushing stars out the door under normal circumstances. Thus, the player either isn't good enough or not a good fit. This means that the coaching staff missed, there was a major scheme change, competition within the team was stiff, or the player didn't develop.
I am not positive about either's reason for leaving. Davis definitely had items to work on but our secondary was a complete ‘Charley Foxtrot' last season. The injuries, necessity, and situational playing time probably got him out of his comfort zone. This adds some complexity to a defensive backfield that was already seen as thin. Teek has always been described as an "aggressive football player." I've never heard the word disciplined associated with his playing style. This definitely helped him make plays at the lower levels due to talent alone but is frowned upon in more structured college football defensive strategies. With all the talent CU has at linebacker and the lack of PT he's gotten there so far, Townsend's transfer was not too surprising.
Again, roster management will be an issue as long as people are playing competitive football. Ideally, transfer decisions are moves that benefit all parties involved. We'll see what other moves Dabo has for his team and hope that he sees the importance of filling scholarships with players who will play.
The football pros go to their All Star game this weekend. I am not sure where this thing will be played as the NFL discussed rotating the location of the game. I use the word "game" very loosely because the whole goal here is not to win but to avoid injury. I can't blame these guys. There is way too much on the line to get hurt in a meaningless exhibition--as we saw with Trent Williams not playing due to a bottle to the skull injury suffered in a bar fight. Congratulations to those who were selected for this but I'll pass on viewing this one.
Last week's championship games were entertaining. I was happy to see the Ravens knock off New England. What was less surprising was the Falcons collapse. Being an Atlanta sports fan is tough and watching the Dirty Birds blow a big lead only adds to that frustration. You must tip your hat to both Harbaughs. Both these guys made gutsy decisions during the season that really paid off. Jim chose to bench his starting quarterback and John canned his offensive coordinator-both these decisions were made during the regular season and both teams have really responded. This family is quite amazing when it comes to coaching-their father Jack had great success all over the place including a national championship at Western Kentucky. At one point both sons helped their dad on the recruiting trail prior to his great run at W. Kentucky, as explained in this article.
Speaking of good coaches, Butler's Brad Stevens is quickly moving up my list of favorites. Besides taking Butler to the National Championship game, this guy is all about identifying the good and bad...and that is about it. Butler's win over Gonzaga was classic. Butler scores on a last second bucket and there is no reaction from Stevens. In fact, I believe he even missed seeing the shot as he was more interested in shaking the opposition coach's hand and getting back to film review. The man is a young, basetball version of Nick Saban-focused more on the process than anything else and saying that his team's play couldn't be defined by just one shot. This guy could coach just about anywhere he pleases yet is fully committed to Butler...and the process of doing things right day in and day out.
I'll say that I was a bit depressed coming home from the golf course yesterday...get home and turn on the television and there is no college football. No problem, there is golf. No live golf as there was a delay in the first really big tournament of the year. I'll surely be counting down the days until Clemson tees it up against the Dawgs in '13. By the way, it is never too soon to start hating Georgia and I encourage everyone to get into that mind frame following NSD.
While there is depression from lack of college football, we have golf and pretty soon we'll have wracin. Only slightly better than wrastlin', we'll see if Jr. can finally put it all together. In the mean time--to get your Neckcar excitement going--view the greatest five laps in the history of automotive competition below. WARNING: IF the driver formerly known as 8 can put it together late this year, you probably will not hear the end of it. In the real world, I just cannot find it in me to pull for the rest of the Hendrick stable. My loyalty is still to RCR.
Somebody said wrastlin' a little earlier. I was intrigued by the Nature Boy on Miz TV last week...so youtube it.. Here is an idea then a question to ponder...I think everyone should have an entrance music. Much like wrestling, anytime you enter a building at work or at your house, your entrance music should blare. Sequined robes are optional. That being said, what should your entrance music be? Should you go all Shawn Michaels and hit the studio solo? Do you go Michael P.S. Hayes/present-day Skynyrd and put together a Lynyrd Synyrd cover band? Do you go Rock 'n Roll Express and play some Sweat into the Oldies classics? I think if i could convince John Daly to roll with and find some douchebag with a tennis racket to follow suit, here is how my entrance would go. All I need is a Camaro (and obviously the haircut that goes with it) and a bottle of Sun-In and i am set. I may add the porn stache just to be real and add another layer of badass to the mix. According to this clip, I guess I need to brush up on the German language as well.
Of course there is other great entrance music I am not worthy of entering with...and the Gamecocks should be a little more respectful to Naitch and Elvis.
The professionals are at Torrey Pines this weekend. Because they are in San Diego (The Germans discovered it in 1904, and they called it "San Diego", which in German means "whale's vagina".), I feel obligated to discuss Phil. First off, Phil starts the week blasting California's income tax policy. Phil then broke out some sort of midget putter while still using his long putter stroke and grip. Very unorthodox methodology to say the least. Phil is also lengthening his swing. This should be interesting for the viewers at home as this will make him even more out of control off the tee box.
The other name that everyone is talking about is Tiger Woods. After a tough start to the season last week, Woods returns to action in the States and is playing very confident and steady golf. In fact, he is showing the confidence this week that reminds you of Tiger prior to his US Open injury. One of my buddies fired me an interesting ESPN article on Wood's swing evolution that is well worth the read.
On one final entertainment note...there is a television show that runs Friday nights on ABC called "Shark Tank." I am pretty sure this is the greatest thing on TV. A panel of "Sharks" (including Mark Cuban amongst other very successful business people) screens business presentations and each "Shark" potentially negotiates for a stake in the business. This is a very good way to learn about valuation concepts and understand personnel and negotiation strategies associated with these valuations. Everyone wants to make money and works to set up deals to do so.
Last points and I'll shut up. We've received a good bit of feedback on articles we've done over the years regarding basic football strategy. If you haven't done so already, we encourage you to view our "Offensive Strategy" and "Defensive Strategy" sections to view more articles on basic strategy and, specifically, the tactics Clemson employs.
My crew says Puerto Rico is the next destination. I don't know a damn thing about the place other than you don't need a passport to get in. If anyone has insight on what to do down there or even better--whether it is even worth the flight--chime in. If it is chiller than Rob Van Winkle, I may not come back.
Rack me I'm out.------late