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2014 Daytona Sunday Thoughts

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson basketball is getting into the critical part of the schedule and the Tigers are doing what it takes to try and propel itself into the NCAA tournament.  Clemson was able to rally yesterday and defeat Georgia Tech once again.  How big now are those games (Notre Dame, UVa, etc...) that we let slip away?  Clemson needs more wins down the stretch to move closer to the NCAAs.  Fortunately, the worst is behind this group and the schedule lends a legit opportunity to finish strong in conference play.  Clemson heads to Wake on Tuesday then has three straight home games to end ACC play.  The best team of that bunch is Pitt.  Clemson is 8-6 now.  Splitting those games puts this team at 10 ACC wins.  Anything worse should be considered a collapse.  Let us know in the comments how you think this team finishes and what it means for potential post-season play.

Welcome to the ACC, Syracuse.  You got to experience what the rest of the league has seen for years and years.  The crying Dookies baby again got the calls when it counted and Syracuse went back up North with a two game losing streak. Now, don't get me wrong, I have no sympathy for Syracuse.  Since joining the league their fans, players, coaches, etc. have done nothing but talk trash.  In the case of their football program, they shouldn't be trash-talking many D-1 schools much less telling a team from South freaking Carolina that the Dome may be too hot and humid for those guys.  I wish they'd bring their happy asses down to Death Valley in September, then we can discuss heat and humidity.  Anyway, Duke again got favoritism from the officials and again came away with a win.  Tobacco Road is pathetic for so openly getting these calls and pissing off the rest of us.

Sammy Watkins has been turning heads since his departure from Clemson.  I know you guys won't believe this but Sammy, outside of the Clemson S&C regime, is now more flexible and noticeably better (I am not sure how that is possible) than he was just a month and a half ago.  I get that college athletes have more time limitations on football than the professionals but I am sick and damn tired of reading about how inflexible our skill-players are after leaving the program.  Until this program gets away from caring about max bench press numbers and moving towards a functional strength and speed attitude you are going to hear these stories every year.

Tyshon Dye tore his Achilles Friday morning.  He will miss Spring Drills but the coaching staff plans to have him back for the fall.  This turn of events brings up a couple thoughts from me...first, this is a big blow to our runningback expectations going into the fall.  I realize that we have about 50 backs on the roster right now, but I believe we all had high hopes for Dye this season.  Second, how in the world can a guy fully rehab from a torn Achilles in 5 months?  That seems a bit ambitious and I always get concerned when I see guys rushed back to action.  I was shocked to see Chad Kelly back last year so quickly but was glad he didn't see adverse effects.  When looking back at injuries that never seemed to heal, I always think about Ricky Sapp who never got back to 100% while at Clemson.  I then think about Will Korn who could barely throw a football but they couldn't figure out he was still injured.  That was a great disservice to these guys and this program.  I just hope not to see something like that again.

It is that time of the year.  I used to get all jacked up about Speedweeks and the Daytona 500.  Now this race is just an opportunity to see what stupidity Mike Helton and Brian France are putting into play for the season.  This "playoff" is about the stupidest thing I've heard of since the whole concept of playoff racing occurred.  The way this thing is set up, win and you are in the tournament, essentially.  There is less and less reward for consistency and clearly that motion is not changing.  And, the most talked about item this weekend, the return of the 3 car.  Let's go ahead and get this straight...Austin Dillin is no Dale Earnhardt and I wish he wasn't running Dale's number.  Conspiracy theorists will also point to Danica Patrick's pole last year followed by return of the 3 on the pole this year.  We'll see how this thing plays out today, but I'll tell you that NASCAR isn't near what it used to be because the guys running the show (who do anything possible to try and "expand the sport) are doing everything they can to piss off the core's base.

I for one am about Olympic'ed out.  I complained last week about the stupidity of these games as well as these things turning into the X-Games with all the half-pipe slopeside whatever crap they choose.  I will admit that I do like the downhill skiing as well as the curling.  I'd go out of my way to catch a good curling event and likely would hesitate to turn when downhill skiing was going on--well at least for a couple runs.  Those people who do the skeleton runs are crazy as hell. That just looks like a wish for death.

Golf features a match-play event this week.  I personally love watching match-play golf as it frees players up to take more chances in certain situations and invokes a man vs. man aspect to the game (instead of the typical one player vs the field and the course).  Ernie Els has made a significant run to this point in the tournament and it will be interesting for me to see if he can outlast the younger guys still left in this thing.  Next week starts the Florida-stretch for the Tour, culminating with Palmer's tournament at Bay Hill.  Golf is getting going and should be interesting from now through the Masters.