You’d think being in the season, there would always be ample takes to feast on, but believe it or not, we’re firmly in the doldrums of the Take Valley, it’s too late to have takes as wild as USC will start 0-6 and too early for dark-horse playoff or Isaiah Simmons for heisman takes. Let’s hope we can find something.
Clemson’s schedule isn’t that bad!
Err, that’s not exactly it, Clemson’s schedule is pretty bad
A lot of potential playoff teams play weak schedules, at least Clemson didn’t do it on purpose
College football has roughly the same number of “good” teams as the NFL, but CFB has hundreds of teams, most of which are “bad.” This take may seem extremely simple but it seems as though Clemson is the only team really being dogged for it.
Sure, maybe Clemson’s schedule is particularly bad, but look at the games Clemson can control and they aren’t any worse than many other contenders. There’s the traditional cupcake in Charlotte and the cop-mandated cupcake Wofford, they’re just later in the season than usual. There’s two SEC teams, A&M and South Carolina, which come in at #11 and, somehow, #27 in S&P+, respectively. All of Clemson’s conference games feature teams in the top 85 of S&P+, the worst being Georgia Tech by some distance, everyone else is in the 40-70 range. It’s not a home run schedule with excitement every week, but it’s not like Clemson went out of its way to schedule meekly.
Look to teams like Oklahoma, whose best opponents in S&P+ currently are #25 TCU and #28 Texas. Sure, those are good opponents, but they're both in-conference and Oklahoma’s OOC is laughable with UCLA, Houston, and South Dakota State. Same is true with Ohio State, who have a harder schedule than both Clemson and Oklahoma, but the OOC remains purely filler games with FAU, Cincinnati, and Miami (OH). I’d be surprised if OU or OSU have any struggles this year, outside of maybe 1 or 2 games.
Wisconsin scheduled Kent State, Central Michigan, and USF. Penn State went with Idaho, Buffalo, and Pitt. LSU brought in fearsome Northwestern State, Georgia Southern, and Utah State to pair with their win over #28 Texas. UCF has UCF’s schedule. You get my point.
It’s not Clemson’s fault that their schedule is so weak, and until Dabo implements a “Marshall plan” for the ACC, it probably will take a while to change. It won’t make much of a difference come playoff time, anyway.
Make all games before October night games
Somewhere, former Clemson AD Terry Don Phillips is screaming and he’s not quite sure why, but hear me out. This isn’t just a “I like night games” take, although everyone knows they’re better. This move makes sense.
Clemson’s game on August 28th was at night, and it needed to be, otherwise a good 5% of the IPTAY donor base would’ve been lost to heat stroke. A week later, Clemson played A&M at 3:30 and I felt like I was going to be one of those 5% lost (IPTAY collegiate club is a scam but I’m still a member) I was ready for it too, having been born in the muggy swamps of lower Alabama, but I was still no match for the heat.
The other bonus to night games is that more people show up, and have more time to do it. Plenty complain about paltry student attendance, but why would they pack the house when they can watch with their friends in the A/C, with wifi, and bathrooms that don’t have troughs, and wifi. Did I mention wifi? I cannot stress enough how much of a difference that makes for some people. Move the game to the evening (even like 5 works for me) and I guarantee a lot of those students that don’t want to be up in the heat, and dealing with frantic noon-kick traffic at 10am will show up.
If you look at this weekend’s game, you’ll think Clemson’s already seen this take and implemented it, as Clemson-Charlotte kicks off at 7:30, but that’s just random chance. Disney’s filming a movie and needed to recreate a “real game crowd” so they moved the game time to accommodate the filming (pay no mind to the fact that the game that they’re recreating was a nooner). I’m saying this should be permanent, not every game, just while it’s hot.
That’s it for this week, as we venture further into the Take Valley the trees will get a bit more productive, they’ve got to deal with this heat too, you know.
Send me hot, cold, or like icky mushy/warm takes to @STSouthland, @JuanFabulous, in the comments below, or to my email at firstname.lastname@example.org and try to keep them Clemson, or ACC, or CFB related.