Football season is upon us. For me, I have mixed thoughts. First off, I am indeed pleased that it is finally time to tee the ball up and get this thing going. On one hand, it seems like the Peach Bowl was half a decade ago and we have been deprived of competitive football action for way too long. On the other side, it seems like camp just started and we are way too far into August already. I think the latter is a product of getting older and constantly having more responsibilities/activities piled on the plate, thus time does seem to fly a lot faster than it used to creep.
I'll start this off with a housekeeping note. STS, beginning tomorrow, will be in season mode. That is good news for everyone and it means that more news, info on the opponent, Q & A items, depth chart comparisons, previews, post-game rants, and film reviews will consume this site. Likely, that makes everyone (including all the folks here at STS) very happy. We'll slide in recruiting items and more football technical articles here and there, but mainly we have been looking forward to the '13 season for about 2 years now and we will be ass-in on describing it to you the way it is (many of you point out that we describe it the way we see it...so yes, the way it really is). Mainly, this week will be jam packed with Clemson/Georgia commentary and insight-therefore I will not hammer the topic too much today.
People ask me how I think Clemson will do week to week in '13. I don't think such a detailed discussion is necessary. Clemson will be favored (and in many cases highly favored) in all contests we play this season sans UGa, SCar, and possibly FSU. If this isn't the case, Dabo and his staff have royally screwed the pooch or some team out there has one hell of a coach and has taken mediocre talent and turned them into a machine. There is no need to prognosticate the outcomes of the big three games. I'll detail Georgia later in the week, we'll know how good Carolina's defense (ummm, their linebackers and secondary players that must be replaced from last year) by mid-year. FSU will be breaking in a new quarterback along with other key players but won't be challenged until they head up to Pickens County. If Clemson gets past Georgia with a "W," the wind is clearly in their sails for a huge season. A loss isn't the end of the world as a win over FSU essentially secures the Atlantic but it will take some glimmer off of a season and schedule that set up nicely for a huge run.
As for the Georgia game, you never really know what you've got until the players get out there and open it up. Once the live bullets start flying, you learn what you've got and where improvement is necessary. Based upon last season, attrition from both teams, and reports from preseason practices, this football game may be one of the highest scoring openers in either school's history. Obviously, we'll be interested in evaluating the secondary. This will be the weak point for the Clemson defense as we all expect marked improvement year over year from the defensive line and the linebackers. Offensively, we cannot afford an injury at the wide receiver position-particularly with our qualms at the tight end spot.
Likewise, Georgia's questions arise on the defensive side of the football where they are replacing a ton of players (12 I believe who started a game for the Bulldogs) from last season's defense. Like Clemson, UGa will not know what they have on defense until it goes live Saturday night. Georgia assuredly will get better on defense as the season progresses so Clemson is fortunate to get them early. The combination of Clemson's secondary issues and Georgia's attrition year over year makes one believe that many, many points scored by both squad is unavoidable. We'll have a much better idea of what kind of team we'll have this time next week.
I really haven't been paying too much attention to the NFL preseason but a decision of epic stupidity arose involving--you guessed it--Rex Ryan. Ryan placed his starting quarterback into a meaningless football game with his second team offense. While Mark Sanchez clearly isn't the second-coming of Joe Montana, he is your starting quarterback and is getting paid a boatload of cash. For him to get hurt in a meaningless football game taking snaps with the backup offensive line is ridiculous. I get it, you want to assure he gets reps. That certainly isn't the proper time. Rex Ryan is doing his best to work his way out of a job. He went from Super Bowl contender to the most questioned coach in professional football.
The first leg of the FedEx Cup is underway at the Barclays. Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland lead this event at -12. Tiger is four shots back going into Sunday and Phil sits in 34th spot at -3 after three rounds. The most impressive item from yesterday's round had to be the back to back aces...KJ Choi first then Greg Chalmers within a 20 minute period. That is absolutely incredible.
On the Neckcar circuit, Matt Kenseth bested Kasey Kahne yesterday in Bristol’s highly anticipated annual late summer/fall night race. The 88 got a much needed Top 10 finish and now 33 points ahead of the 11th place (I still have not taken the time to learn how the new points system works as it I deem it inferior to the old Winston Cup system that rewarded consistency over the course of the season). The series is in Atlanta this weekend then heads to Richmond the following week in the last race before the Chase begins.