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Clemson Welcomes You to Take Valley

You’ll love it here I promise

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Clemson Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve arrived at a familiar point in the year for a student like me. Be it your first school year or your last, there is a familiar routine to a new school year, but for me, the routine is never complete until we get some college football. Tailgates are a rite of passage and veritable harvest; a breaking of bread, a sharing of (a few) drinks, blessing the teams whose logos grace our commemorative plates, huggers, tents, tablecloths, and car magnets.

College football talk has returned to the forefront — though for those like me it never left — but now it at least feels less weird to talk about it at every opportunity. With this talk comes intense debate over every facet of the game, what is or isn’t good sportsmanship, smart strategy, or “classy.” Debates range from topics as simple as new uniforms or slight changes to the stadium, to something as drastic a change as firing a coach, building a stadium or replacing a mascot.

These takes can often be totally reasonable (Notre Dame is just Catholic BYU), absurd (Notre Dame only has gold helmets because they’re low-key jealous of BYU’s gold plates), or even completely untenable (South Carolina playoff odds). These takes are absolutely vital to our lives as fans. More than we’d like to admit, they keep us interested in our team, conference, and the college football landscape as a whole; they give us something to talk about when we’re forced into small talk and sometimes we’re even allowed to bet on them. Most importantly, takes are the lifeblood for Mad Online culture.

I call this region of fandom the Take Valley. It’s a wonderful lowland where everyone toils at the same level of stupidity, where we’re all homers, we’re all looking through rose (or orange) colored glasses, seeing the college football landscape as dominoes waiting to be set up and knocked down in the perfect order so everything favors your team.

Here, we will scavenge Take Valley over the next few months for fodder to fill the midweek. Harvested takes will not be limited to Clemson-related, but the hottest takes we can find in the moment. Some I will save for the future, to freeze and expose when they’re relevant. Join us in our journey into the Take Valley and see what we can find to eat.

Move Tanner Muse to Linebacker

Whoa! That was easy, I wasn’t expecting to find a ripe, ready to pick, $5 hot-n-ready take waiting for us in the gentle descent into the Valley. But it’s true, Clemson’s quite thin at linebacker and has some safety depth to spare, so do the easy thing and just nudge our favorite chaos demon down one level of the defense. Pair him at Will LB with former safety and canonical Greek god of war, Isaiah Simmons and five-hearts folk hero James Salaski at Mike. It’s a move that’ll shore up the interior of the defense, especially with how thin Clemson is at DT this season, but it’ll also be an enthralling display to see him at linebacker.

Uh, yes, more of this

It would be perfect. It would be beautiful. It would give a defense which for once in its recent life has kind of been put on the back burner something weird on the second level, and the secondary wouldn’t be much worse for wear. Sure, if there’s an injury (gasp) to Nolan Turner or K’Von Wallace it could get pretty thin, but then Brent could just throw him back at safety. Clemson likes having a weird guy in the middle of the defense, after all .

Capital One Orange Bowl - Clemson v Oklahoma
Yes, you, Ben.

C’mon Dr. Greenbeans, you know you want to see what he can do.

Alright, let’s see what else is here.

Georgia Tech will be wishing it still ran the triple by Midseason (or Halftime)

Look, I think the switch back to a “normal” offense will “work out” in the long run but I think it’s exactly the wrong move right now. Georgia Tech probably still won’t get the elite talent of Atlanta, and now it doesn’t have a gimmick on which to pride (handicap) itself. By mid-season, the majority of Tech fans will wish it were still the law of the land. Just hire a Georgia Southern coach, Tech, that’s why they’re there.

But, as I said, I think shifting back to a “normal” offense is the right move in the long run, so this is just one of those takes that you can stick in the back of the freezer and warm it up when you see it late on a Saturday night, don’t really worry about it for now. Unless it’s that thing you bought while getting groceries scavenging for food in Take Valley knowing you’d eat it right away, in that case, go to town, my dudes.

Bonus: Bad Bet™

So as the season goes on I’ll throw a bonus on here from time to time, it might be a take, it might be a tweet, the possibilities are limitless. Or there will end up being like 3, who knows.

This week, since it’s new, it’ll be a bad bet I’ve put down. I like to do it from time to time just for fun because it’s fun to put down $1 for the chance****** to win 12K. And, well would you look at that.

A very bad bet
It’s essentially already in the bank


See y’all soon! Send me hot, cold, or like icky mushy/warm takes to @STSouthland, @JuanFabulous, in the comments below, or to my email at and try to keep them Clemson, or ACC, or CFB related. And I don’t think Brian will notice if they get weird.