Y’all, this is a little behind schedule because, well, life is hard sometimes. I didn’t want to short you on the premium hate, and buddy do I have some hate’n to do after this nightmarish hellscape of an offseason. Let’s get to it.
Clemson comes into the Georgia Tech game looking for redemption after an underwhelming 2018 campaign that saw the Tigers finish the year as the 15-0 National Champions.
On the surface this seems like an impressive accomplishment, but I’ve been listening to some pretty smart people this offseason, and let me tell you, things weren’t as good as they seemed. While Clemson coasted through the ACC, real teams like Alabama and Georgia battled week-in-and-week-out against such menacing squads as UMASS, Austin Peay, Tennessee, Arkansas, Arkansas State, Louisville, Ole Miss, and The Citadel. I’m surprised they had enough players left standing to face off in the Natio....err excuse me, SEC Championship game after the grind of the SEC.
Alabama was able to drag their broken body across the finish line slightly ahead of Georgia in the SEC Championship game, but the damage was done.
Historically speaking, they were like the French army after taking Moscow during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812. Victory was Bama’s, but the cost was too high to continue. Their supply line of healthy players was cut by the harsh SEC winter, and much like the Russian army, all Clemson had to do was pick the bones of the weary and emaciated Tide. If you think about it, even though Bama lost on the score board, they actually won by just making it to the game. You’ve got to respect the grit and determination of real champions, unlike “scoreboard Champions” like Clemson.
I know this might not sit right with some of you. You might come at me with “the SEC is perpetually over rated” or “does beating LSU every year because they can’t throw the ball over 5 yards even count” or maybe even “Clemson has won 8 of their last 10 games against the SEC” but you’re missing the big picture folks. The “big picture” is that once Alabama and Georgia play each other, the season should end, and the winner should be awarded both the SEC Conference Championship and the NCAA Championship.
You can play your silly little “College Football Playoff” if you want, but it only counts if Bama or Georgia wins. If they don’t, then you’ve just managed to find the third best team (if that...I’ve got LSU 3rd and Ohio State 4th last year).
Clemson has got a hard season ahead of them if they have designs on closing the chasm between the truly elite schools like Bama and Georgia. It’s time to get to work, and it starts with Georgia Tech tonight.
Welcome to Atlanta Coach Collins - Things Are Not So Great
As you may have heard, Dabo, much like St. Patrick, continues to drive the snakes...I mean coaches....out of the ACC in droves. The latest victim of the Dabo purge was Paul Johnson, who was finally forced to stick his note card into his Bike shorts and hobble off into a retirement of Andy Griffith reruns and mayo on white bread sandwiches.
In Coach Johnson’s stead, the Yellow Jackets called upon Temple head coach Geoff Collins as Dabo’s next victim. Coach Collins was met with quite a few surprises during spring practice this year.
Scene: 1st day of spring practice
Coach Collins: Gentlemen, we’re going to start this off with some conditioning to make sure you were taking care of business this summer! Wide Receivers on the line!
Team: Shifts uncomfortably, looks around, no one moves.
Coach Collins: I said wide receivers on the line!
Team: Looking concerned, but still not moving.
Coach Collins: If I have to call for wide receivers one more time, you’re all running the rest of practice. Now WIDE RECEIVERS ON THE LINE!
(A quiet, anonymous voice is heard over the stillness.)
Player 1: Coach, we don’t have any wide receivers.
Coach Collins: What do you mean we don’t have any wide receivers! Who catches the ball?
(Another voice, this time stronger, emerges from the group of huddled players.)
Player 2: Coach Johnson said throwing the ball is the devils work. He said that only the wicked throw the ball past the line of scrimmage. The righteous man runs the ball with faith and determination until the opponent falls to their knees and begs for mercy.
Coach Collins: How did that work for you last year?
Player 2: Not so great coach. We didn’t run with enough faith. Our lack of belief is the reason you’re here and Coach Johnson aint.
Coach Collins: Ok, well, running backs on the Line! (half the squad trots to the line). Now, let’s see who is ready to go this year! Half field gassers on my whistle!
(Coach Collins watches with disgust as players start dropping out on the first gasser. One running back doesn’t make it to midfield before dropping with a calf cramp.)
(Everyone finally makes it back to the line)
Coach Collins: What have you been doing all winter! You’re supposed to be college athletes and you can’t finish a simple conditioning drill!
Player 1: Sorry, coach, La Fitness was closed for renovations this winter and it was too cold to run outside.
Coach Collins: LA Fitness? LA Fitness! Why weren’t you working out in our facilities.
Player 2: Coach....LA Fitness is our facility. They turned the weight room into a computer lab 3 years ago. Coach Johnson got us a package deal on LA Fitness memberships. We only pay 40 bucks a month to work out, but we can’t use the towels.
Coach Collins (looking concerned): Since none of you are in shape, what’s something we can do right now, as a team, to get better.
Team (in unison): Blocking Drills!
Coach Collins: Ok, well, let’s see what you’ve got. Everyone to the blocking sled!
Player 2: Coach, we don’t have a blocking sled. Coach Johnson says pushing a sled is a waste of energy.
Coach Collins: Well, what do you have?
Player 2 (taking a leadership role): We got something for you coach. Ok boys, line up, let’s show Coach Collins what we’ve got!
(5 linemen walk over to an open spot on the field and line up. One of the running backs lines up behind center.)
Running back: Ok, we go on 3. Ready. Hut, Hut, Huttttt
(On the 3rd hut, the entire line takes a step left and then dives on their stomachs.)
Coach Collins: I thought this was a blocking drill, why is everyone on the ground.
Player 2 (sounding confused): They are blocking coach, 1 step and belly flop, that’s the way we do it here at Georgia Tech. I could have them flop right if you want to see that.
Coach Collins (exasperated): I’ve seen enough! Hit the showers! I need to think about some things.
Player 2: Coach, they turned our showers into a chemistry lab 2 years ago. Can we just go home?
Coach Collins: Ok, everyone go home!
(the team trots off to the parking lot in full pads)
Scene: A janitors closet with a desk pushed into the back corner. Coach Collins is on the phone with Georgia Tech Athletic director Todd Stansbury.
Coach Collins: Look Todd, we’ve got to improve recruiting. Right now all I’ve got on offense are fat running backs and offensive linemen who spend most of their time lying on the ground.
A.D. Stansbury: The budgets a little tight Geoff, what do you have in mind?
Coach Collins: I don’t know, maybe make the spring game more exciting? Atlanta is full of rappers, maybe we could get one of them to do a concert before the spring game. Georgia brought in Ludacris a few years ago and he’s from Atlanta. Maybe we could bring someone like that in for the guys.
A.D. Stansbury: Sorry coach, I don’t know any rappers, but don’t worry, Coach Johnson brought some guys in to play for the boys to end spring camp every year... Have you ever heard of the Oak Ridge Boys?
Coach Collins: The Oake Ridge Boys?
A.D. Stansbury: Yes sir, one of the guys. has a crazy long beard that the players love. They play this song called Elvira and everyone gets up and dances. It’s incredible.
Coach Collins: That’s not exactly what I had in mind.
A.D. Stansbury: O.k. well, we’ve got one more option, but it’s going to be costly.
Coach Collins (with apprehension in his voice): Alright Todd, who can you get?
A.D. Stansbury (whispering on the other end of the line): Have you heard of Ronnie Milsap?
(Coach Collins hangs up the receiver and starts digging through his desk looking for his contract.)
It’s a short week, so I’m going to cut this short and save the nerd jokes for next year. The line on this game is Clemson -37, and that’s Vegas assuming that Clemson is playing its 3rd string midway through the 3rd quarter. Georgia Tech is just another nondescript ACC team for the Tigers to brutalize on their way to another National Championship.
The only good news for Georgia Tech is that I assume most Tech fans think the game is on Saturday, and will miss out on watching the massacre. This thing is going to get ugly early. I feel bad for Geoff Collins because even if he is a decent coach, the best he can hope for during what I assume will be his short tenure at Tech is a UofSCesque “we didn’t get all the way blown out, so we actually won” participation ribbon from playing the Tigers, and he won’t be getting that this season.
Trevor’s hair will be getting a deep conditioning and Travis will be working on his second bowl of gumbo by the 3rd quarter. Tee and Justyn will be practicing their one handed catches on the sideline with the fans. My only worry is for the poor soul donning the Tiger costume this year, because he’s in for some work. He’s going to look like Rendrick Taylor by the end of the year....if he survives.
It’s a shame that Clemson has such a dud of a game right out of the blocks instead of getting a test from a team like Furman or South Carolina State. We are now, unfortunately, dealing with the unintended consequences of Dabo breaking the ACC. We’re stuck playing a bunch of “rebuilding” programs like Georgia Tech. The only interest I have in this game is the possibility watching of Ben Batson throwing a touchdown to one of the Swinney boys in the 4th quarter, and maybe seeing Xavier Thomas use a Georgia Tech quarterback like a lawn dart.
Other than that, I expect a quiet peaceful night of Clemson dominance.
See y’all next week, because I’ve got some things to say about the Aggies.
Note: I will be in Clemson for the A&M game. I’m tagging along with a bunch of Aggies and am open to any and all tailgating offers. It’s only right to get them nice and drunk before they have to watch their team get run off the field.