Monday, December 31, 2012

Tigers vs Tigers: A Prediction

In our last article, we laid out five keys for Clemson to be able to pull out a win Monday night (now tonight); however, we didn’t go into how those keys would go. Here, we’ll do that. And in the end, we’ll let the chips fall where they may and choose a winner.

Key #1 – Be Physical
In discussing this game on LSU message boards, one internet guru compared preparing for LSU like preparing for Ali or Tyson. You can spar with the best boxer in the gym, but it will never prepare you for Tyson’s uppercut or Ali’s speed. And until you’ve actually been hit by a heavyweight champion, you’ll never know if you’re really ready or not.

Clemson has been physical in the past (see Auburn 2010), but in their last few marquee games, they have fallen well short in the physical department. Clemson has been working hard to correct that, but until the first snap Monday night, we’ll never know…

Advantage: LSU (for completely dictating how Clemson practices)

Key #2 – Win 1st Down
Clemson must keep the tempo and yards flowing against this LSU defense, and the key will be first down. The issue is both Clemson and LSU understand this, so great emphasis will be placed on 1st down by both sides. In the end, Clemson will do what it takes to win 1st down, including trick plays, sweeps, roll-outs, etc... They won't always be successful, but the ones that are will set the Clemson offense up for points.

Defensively, the key to the LSU running game is staying ahead of the chains. Positive yards out of the running game on 1st down sets up more rushes, and more body blows to a young Clemson defensive front. But the difference between LSU's philosophy on 1st down to Clemson's is LSU will stick to their bread and butter and try to out physical you. They'll occasionally sprinkle in some play-action passing to keep the defense honest, but 1st down will generally be the LSU running game against the Clemson defense - biggest and baddest man wins.

Advantage: Slight to LSU (the Clemson has a slight advantage while the LSU offense has a distinct advantage)

Key #3 – Stay the Course
In games against FSU & USC, Clemson had moments of brilliance on offense, and moments of utter ineptitude. They had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. The highs were had to maintain and the lows hard to overcome. Against LSU, Clemson must find a way to combat both emotions as they will have offensive success and they will have offensive failures.

Clemson, & Morris specifically, should have learned from both games, but similar to being physical, we'll never know until the game is played. But look for the offensive gameplan to be more diverse, imaginative, and consistent. If Clemson & Co. can stick with it, points will be scored.

Advantage: Clemson (from past mistakes)

Key #4 – Win 1-on-1 Battles
If LSU can force Clemson to draw even in 1-on-1 battles, they win. Clemson needs to have a few dominant performances by a few key guys. Either Watkins or Hopkins needs to find a mismatch they like and take advantage of it. The offensive line needs to find ways to keep Mingo & Montgomery out of the backfield. The defensive line needs to fight through blocks and the linebackers need to pursue and make tackles.

Clemson has the edge on offense with their skill positions, but LSU owns both lines. Can Clemson's advantages be large enough that it changes the way LSU plays the game? It's one thing to do it in the 1st quarter, but another to do it consistently throughout the entire game. In the end, I'm concerned Clemson can't win enough of the individual battles, or can't win them consistently, to keep LSU from wearing down the Clemson defense.

Advantage: LSU

Key #5 – Nothing Cheap
No long punt/kick returns. No bad interception or fumble. No major busted play or defensive gaffe.

LSU has made a living on swapping momentum on special teams or with a big defensive play. Can Clemson prevent that from happening? Not sure as Clemson is good for one crazy or weird play per game. How that play falls typically determines Clemson's outcome. The goal will be to break even in turnover margin, or limit where or how they occur. I expect Clemson to play conservative enough, or to minimize their risk, so this doesn't occur.

As for the defensive gaffes, I make no guarantees.

Advantage: Even (don't expect LSU to return the favor and give Clemson something cheap)

Summary:
If you sum the keys to the game, LSU wins - handily. They will be the more physical team, they have better overall talent and will win many of the 1-on-1 battles, and will control the Clemson defense by sheer power and will. In return, Clemson will have some offensive success, stay the course, and not give anything cheap to LSU. But comparatively, the LSU advantages are greater, which will make it tough for Clemson to stay in the game.

However, with that said, this is one of the better matchups for Clemson. The LSU offense uses very little misdirection and Clemson will be well rested from the break. As long as Clemson continues to play and fight, they will be in the game, with a chance to win in the end.

But will they?

LSU draws first blood with a field goal, but Clemson responds with a touchdown to take a 7-3 lead. The remainder of the half is back and forth as the teams trade field goals.

Unfortunately, their early Clemson touchdown will be their only touchdown they are forced to continue to settle for field goals. However, the Clemson defense stands tall and keeps LSU within one possession. In the end, the LSU running game begins to find more success and LSU keeps Clemson at bay.

LSU 23
Clemson 19

Saturday, December 29, 2012

5 Keys for a Win Against LSU

When Clemson and LSU take the field Monday night, it will be a contrast of styles. Clemson will want to play up tempo and to utilize misdirection and movement to create mismatches, while LSU will pound the football until they either get their way, or they get beat. Usually, when two teams with this drastic of styles play, the team with the slower, more methodical pace wins the game, which is not good news for Clemson fans. However, if Clemson can do a few things well, they can dictate the pace of play, forcing LSU to play at their rhythm.

Here’s a list of five things Clemson needs to do leave Atlanta with a win:

Be Physical
Bullies hate being bullied. Punchers hate being punched. Pressing teams hate being pressed. And physical teams hate it when other teams are more physical to them.

LSU plays a physical game. That’s who they are and what they do, and they expect one to be played back to them. And few teams can match their phyiscalness over four quarters, but if Clemson wants a chance to win, they’ll need to find a way. And they can’t be physical for just a series or two, but the entire game.

For Clemson, being physical means the establishing a run game, making yards after contact, not backing down, showing some nasty, finishing plays, popping some pads, and tackling well.

If Clemson can match the physicality of LSU, or at least show them they’re not folding or intimidated, they’ll have a chance at the end of the game. If they can’t, then Clemson will just be another stat for the SEC.

Win 1st Down
LSU wants to run the ball every chance they get, and they’re content putting together 12-15 play drives on the ground. But they key to sustained drives is making positive yards on first down. If LSU can consistently get 4-5 yards on first down, it will be a long night as the Clemson defense will never get off the field; however, if Clemson can win first down and put LSU behind the chains, the defense will have a chance to make some stops.

On the flipside, the Clemson offense operates at its best when the clock and chains are moving. This is not to say the Clemson offense can’t convert third downs as they’ve actually been solid at it all year; however, you don’t want to make a habit of being in 2nd and 3rd and long against Mingo and Montgomery. If Clemson is able to get decent yardage on first down, they’ll have a chance to put up some points. If not, a string of three and outs could spell doom for the defense.

Stay the Course
A few times this year, most notably against FSU and USC, Clemson seemed to have gone away from what it does best – run the ball and keep opposing defenses guessing. In both instances, Clemson went from having the lead to trailing by double digits. Against LSU, there will be offensive series that look terrible. That’s okay – they’re great on defense – Clemson just can’t panic and abandon certain elements of its offense. If Clemson is able to stay the course, run its offense, and keep the defense honest, chunks of yards – and points – are there for the taking. If not, a prolonged dry spell on offense could put the defense in too many bad situations, which they’ve not shown the propensity to overcome.

Win 1-on-1 Battles
Football, like most sports, is one big battle settled by multiple little battles, and for Clemson to win Monday night, they need to win their share of little battles. For instance, there will be times when the offensive line will be left without help on Mingo and Montgomery. The tackles or tight ends need to win the majority of those battles. There will be times when Ellington, or another back, has a defender 1-on-1 in space, where a tackle means a minimal gain and a missed tackle means another 10-20 yards. Ellington needs to win those battles. There will be times when Hopkins or Watkins are in single coverage against a corner. They need to win those battles.

On defense, the defensive line will see few double teams. They need to win those 1-on-1 battles to minimize the running game. LSU loves to run Iso’s and Dives. The Clemson linebackers need to win those battles with the ball carrier, keeping everything in front of them.

And most importantly, Dabo and Les Miles will go head-to-head on a few key calls & plays. Dabo & Co. need to win those battles.

If Clemson can win the individual battles, they have a great chance to win the overall battle.

Nothing Cheap
LSU outplayed USC, yet barely won because of two issues: easy points for USC and USC making LSU earn everything. USC scored a touchdown on one drive that started inside the five following an interception and another that started around the 30 due to a long punt return. In addition, they kept LSU out of the end zone on multiple red zone trips. For Clemson and FSU it was a similar story. Clemson was able to get a working margin; however, a couple of big special teams and defensive plays by FSU gave them easy points and turned the game around.

Clemson can’t afford to give LSU any free points, or even easy scoring opportunities. They need to be smart with the football on offense, taking chances when appropriate, and solid on defense, with no major letdowns. LSU has shown they can struggle scoring points, especially crossing the goal line. Clemson needs to make them earn everything. Remember the NC State game where Clemson gave up leads because of major defensive gaffes? You can’t win that way against LSU.

Summary
Clemson is the underdog in this game for reason, but that’s not to say they can’t win, because they can. However, they need the majority of these keys to go their way. If they only get 1-2, it won’t be enough as LSU is too tough and too talented. If they get 3-4, they’ll have a shot at the end of the game. If they get all 5, Clemson will win, though it will still be a close game.

Check back later as we predict how the keys will fall and who will come out the victor.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Clemson vs LSU: Clemson’s Biggest Disadvantage

Earlier we mentioned Clemson’s biggest advantage, or which grouping provides Clemson with the best opportunity to create mismatches, would be the Clemson backs and tight ends against the LSU linebackers. This time, we’re going to look at which LSU group has the biggest advantage over Clemson.

Similar to last time, we’ll play a quick game of “Guess Who” to eliminate groupings in which Clemson is not at a stark disadvantage. These groups include Boyd/Morris vs Chavis, Clemson’s receivers vs LSU’s secondary, and Clemson’s aforementioned backs and tight ends vs LSU’s linebackers.

The remaining groups: Clemson’s offensive line vs LSU’s defensive line and any Clemson defensive unit.

All units are worthy of discussion as LSU’s defensive line is among the best in the country and Clemson has struggled on defense; however, because of LSU’s passing game, or the lack thereof, Clemson’s secondary won’t be the most challenged unit on the field, or the one with the largest talent gap. Even if Clemson is able to stop the run and force LSU to throw, Mettenburger will have to be extremely accurate to consistently move the chains. He has shown flashes (see Alabama), but has generally struggled. But because of the LSU offensive game plan, the Clemson secondary will not be their biggest disadvantage.

The next unit we can dismiss will be Clemson’s linebackers vs LSU’s backs and tight ends. LSU will throw multiple backs at Clemson, some with speed and others with power. And LSU will run those backs right at Clemson, hoping Clemson will fold. And there’s nothing to think they won’t. However, it won’t be because of the Clemson linebackers. They are a solid, physical group. Spencer Shuey has provided leadership to the middle while Tig Willard made his last game his best, with 2.5 tackles for loss and a pass breakup. Additional depth by Anthony, Steward, and Christian makes this a fun battle to watch, and ultimately not Clemson’s biggest disadvantage.

The remaining two units are at the line of scrimmage and the question is which will be Clemson’s greatest disadvantage. Clemson’s defensive line has shown tangible progress in the last few games; however, they have not played a run dominant team this year other than Georgia Tech, which challenges the linebackers and safeties more than the D-line. LSU will pound Clemson up front on nearly every play, especially in the middle, where Clemson starts two freshmen. And they love to run their patented toss-dive, where the fullback lead blocks for the running back right as they both attack the middle. And it may not always have success, but over time, the physical nature will take its toll. And that toll can only be neutralized by having early success and forcing LSU into passing situations, or to rotate multiple players to keep everyone fresh. Unfortunately, Clemson does not have the depth up front to stop 50-plus running plays. If LSU is able to pick up yards early, it will only encourage them to run more. And the more they run, the more Clemson will physically be pounded. And at this point, there is little Clemson can do to make it stop.

The other unit where Clemson will have a disadvantage is their offensive line vs LSU’s defensive line. Based on talent, and Clemson turning Clowney into a legitimate Heisman candidate for next year, this would be Clemson’s biggest disadvantage. However, Clemson will do whatever it takes to slow down Montgomery and Mingo, including max protection, jet sweeps, screens, and draws. And even with Clemson game planning around the LSU defensive line, LSU will have some success. The question will be whether Clemson can stay the course, even with some LSU success and ineffective offensive series.

Because Clemson will focus so much on LSU's defensive line, you could argue that it is Clemson's biggest disadvantage, but the good news for Clemson is there are multiple options available to combat the LSU defensive line. Unfortunately, the Clemson defensive line does not have that luxury. Clemson can run blitz and bring the safeties up to the line of scrimmage, but even with making these changes, if the Clemson defensive line is unable to have success, tackles will be made after 4-5 yard gains. And with that kind of success, LSU will keep moving the chains.

And as such, Clemson’s biggest disadvantage will be their defensive line. How this unit plays Monday night will go a long way in determining who wins this game. If they have success and can slow down the LSU running game, then Clemson will have a good shot at winning. If not, then LSU will run and run and run, and Clemson will have little to no chance of winning.

And the SEC homers will come out in full force.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Clemson vs LSU: Clemson’s Biggest Advantage

Determining which matchup creates the best mismatches for Clemson is a lot like playing “Guess Who”. You put all options on the table, begin to ask some key questions, and start eliminating. Questions like: Which unit can create mismatches and exploit the other, offense or defense? For Clemson, keep the offense and eliminate the defense.

We’ll discuss this more fully in a later post, but Clemson’s defense will not be as overpowered as some think. Clemson has been solid against the run, but struggled in the passing game. Meanwhile, LSU loves to pound the football and struggles tossing it around. Also, LSU’s offensive line is young and inexperienced while Clemson’s defensive line is slowly starting to show some promise. And while Clemson’s defense can potentially hold its own, there isn’t a single grouping I trust enough to say they have the biggest advantage.

As such, we turn to the offense. There are four basic options to choose from: Clemson’s O-Line vs LSU’s D-Line, Clemson’s receivers vs LSU’s secondary, Clemson’s tight ends and running backs vs LSU’s linebackers, and Morris/Boyd vs Chavis.

On the line, LSU has two of the best defensive ends in the country in Montgomery & Mingo. After spending a month watching Clowney launch his 2013 Heisman campaign, these two will be looking for Christmas to come twice in a week. These guys can be neutralized, but not without losing something somewhere else. It may require keeping a tight end or back in to max protect, or it may mean solo blocking in the middle. Also, Clemson will be more susceptible to blitzes, especially from the outside. The sheer fact that Clemson will gameplan just for these two shows there is no Clemson advantage. If anything, Clemson needs to hope to just break even – no mismatch or advantage here.

Most folks will look at Nuk, Sammy, Brown, & Peake and say this is the group that can best exploit LSU. And I agree – to an extent. On any given play, Clemson is capable of hitting the homerun and getting an instant 7. And while LSU is known for their D-Line, their secondary is very talented and quite athletic. The two safeties are fantastic (wonder how much better this defense would look with Loston roaming around) and the corners are physical enough to interrupt the rhythm of the receivers. Clemson’s pure talent and athleticism gives them advantage to Clemson, but it’s not as large as most think. Also, the ability for this unit to be successful is based upon Boyd having adequate time to make progressions and finding the open man. The pressure from the LSU D-Line may make finding open receivers tough.

For me, Clemson’s biggest advantage comes from the running backs and tight ends. The receivers are the most talented group and the combination of Boyd & Morris is the smartest. But when it comes to which group has the greatest advantage when compared to their opposition, the tight ends and backs win. And not so much because of what Clemson has, which is fantastic, but because of what LSU doesn’t. Of the major defensive groupings for LSU, the linebackers are the weak spot. Better yet, they’re great, just not like the D-Line and secondary.

This is not to take anything away from Ellington & Ford (this will be a chance to showcase their talents), but between the hashes, Clemson should be able to find success. If they can break the initial line of scrimmage, the linebackers will allow another 4-5 yards before making the tackle. And if Ellington reaches the second level enough, he will make LSU pay.

Also, Clemson should be able to find soft spots in this area for third down conversions. Look for Ellington to be stopped around the line of scrimmage a few times by their D-Line, but also look for him to bust a few through the line which could then turn into 10-15 yarders. Also look for more inside runs from Watkins, trying to get the ball to the second level quickly to slow down the rush and exploit the middle of the LSU defense.

Boyd & Morris have been impressive all year; however, give anyone, especially John Chavis, 5-6 weeks to prepare for your offense, and there will be times when LSU knows what’s coming. Morris will have new wrinkles and will hopefully be more creative than against USC, but LSU will be prepared for the majority of this offense. Once again, Clemson has the advantage, but not significantly. The winner of this battle will be based upon execution and rhythm more so than mismatches.

Overall, when looking at the offense, LSU has the advantage at the line of scrimmage, while Clemson has advantages at receiver vs secondary and backs vs backers. Whether Clemson is able to win this game will depend on how well they do against LSU’s D-Line and whether they can exploit the mismatches in the middle of the field, keeping drives alive and forcing the secondary to tackle. If they can, then Clemson will have a great shot at doing some good things against LSU, scoring some points, and hoping the defense can make a few stops.

If not, the Clemson offense will be watching a ton from the sidelines while the Clemson defense will be getting worn down, hoping to keep LSU close.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Why LSU's Suspension of Their Punter Matters

This week, word came down that LSU has suspended its starting punter Brad Wing from the Peach Bowl. Under most circumstances, losing a starting punter is not a big deal, especially when playing Clemson. However, Brad Wing is more than just a punter, he's a key component in LSU's gameday strategy and he's been a force on special teams, pinning teams well inside the 20. Plus, he's Australian, half crazy, and an emotional leader who plays with a ton of energy.

While most people say the only person sad about playing Clemson's defense is other team's punter, I think both punters will play a key role as I expect a low scoring game. At least for a while. The defenses each have over a month to prepare, which will limit the surprises, and it typically takes an offense a quarter to regain their rhythm. All said, the punter could be a major player as the teams battle it out for field position.  And if LSU not having Wing costs them 5-10 yards per punt attempt, that will eventually pay dividends for Clemson as they've been fantastic with good field position.

For LSU, Wing has been a major player as he has averaged nearly 45 yards per kick, dropped numerous punts inside the 20, and done a great job of limiting opposing punt returns (not that Clemson has shown any hint of a punt return game this year).  You could even argue he was their MVP in their regular season win over Alabama last year.

In addition, and this is the non-direct effect, LSU folks are saying he is suspended because of a failed drug test, and that this isn't his first. And neither is this LSU's first foray into the failed drug test market. Just last year, a group of players, including the Honey Badger, were suspended for synthetic pot, and again this year, Mathieu and Jordan Jefferson were arrested on drug related charges. So a second potential failed drug test by Wing on the heels of their previous issues will only bring more questions and distractions about the "culture" of the LSU program. And bowl games are all about being focused and limiting distractions, right Stephen Garcia?

So, the LSU punter is suspended. No big deal, right? Wrong. This is a major loss for LSU and will only bring unwanted attention to the LSU campus, which means you can move the special teams needle a little more towards Clemson's side.

And we'll take all we can get where we can get it.

Go Tigers, orange and purple kind!

Brad Wing's most infamous play:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Fear Not - The TigerSwag is Back!

It's been a while since The TigerSwag has seen new content. And for that, I apologize (though we've still seemed to add a few new twitter and facebook followers - THANKS!).

I've never really done this before. Never followed a team, nevertheless my alma mater, and reported on their every moment. Never had blogging "deadlines", never had to make predictions and stand by them. Never had to write on demand. And when the season ended, so did I. Add to that a heavy work load at my paying gig, the Christmas season, and a recent bout of meh, and it all adds up to a quiet blog.

And on top of that, the tragedy in Newtown, CT left me with more questions and answers. And to be honest, writing about football and basketball seemed trivial. This is not the place for my opinions nor is it the place to debate what should happen next, if anything. For now, I'll let Winthrop basketball coach Pat Kelsey speak for me:



And speaking of tragedies, to a much lesser extent, Elizabeth Merrill of ESPN recently wrote one of the finest articles I've ever read about the suicides of two USC football players - Kenny McKinley and OJ Murdock. Across message boards, you'll see folks try to pin these deaths on USC and/or Steve Spurrier, or they'll use it to belittle their school or program. It needs to stop. I'd love nothing more than to watch USC sink to back to mediocrity, but there is no way you can even link their program to these deaths. Only thing related to USC was their jerseys.

But the one thing we can take from both of these stories is that people are dealing with stuff, and not in a very positive or beneficial way. We all need someone we can count on when times get tough and things go south. Because they always do, and they always will. We live in a world that is decaying and wasting away and full of sin. And until that is resolved, people will struggle. And as long as people struggle, there will be tragedies. May the next one be of much less impact to the innocent.

Okay - enough of the downtrodden. Let me tell you what brought me back to the "typewriter": the Peach Bowl. Aka the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Aka, the meat of our SEC sandwich.

As we get closer to the game, the excitement has returned.  The pain of losing to USC is waning and the hope is waxing.  My goal over the next 10-11 days is to put together one thought per day pertaining to the bowl game, culminating in our prediction of what will happen on that New Year's Eve.

We'll be looking at topics such as:

  • Who has the most to gain/lose
  • What is Clemson's biggest advantage/disadvantage
  • Why this game matters
  • What will happen
  • Keys to the game

So, thank you for being patient with me as we transition out of the regular season and into the bowl season and basketball. Thank you for your support during the season. And thank you for the feedback, whether it be positive or negative.

The ride so far has been amazing, and I'm looking forward to the next chapter. And regardless of what it brings, we can rest assured it will be interesting.

Willy Powell
Class of 2001
Go Tigers!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chad Morris: Should He Stay or Should He Go?

A watched pot never boils, and you get the feeling Chad Morris is watching the pot of coaching vacancies, hoping the perfect BCS school boils over and calls his name. He is the hottest coordinator on the market and will have opportunities to become a head coach this year. But to his credit, he doesn’t want to just settle on any opportunity, he wants the perfect opportunity.

But we think Morris ought to take the best job offered to him, not necessarily the best job on the market. Not because we want to see him go, but because these opportunities are not guaranteed. Every coordinator worth their salt wants be head man, but unfortunately, coordinators don’t always lead the watch list (though they should considering 15 of the Top 25 teams have coaches with no prior head coaching experience).

The reason we think Morris ought to take the best job offered is the fear that if waits for the perfect job, he may never get it. There will always be job openings in college football. You can stack that up with death and taxes, but there aren’t always good job openings. It’s not every year 3 SEC schools not named Kentucky have openings, and it’s not every year perennial bowl level schools like Cal, NC State, and Wisconsin have openings. Just this year, there have already been 13 BCS schools with vacancies, which equals the average over the last 3-4 years. And the number should only grow as coaches move around.

One example Morris should follow is his mentor Gus Malzahn. Malzahn had opportunities to coach mid-level BCS teams following their National Championship in 2010, but he kept waiting. After a rather disappointing season at Auburn, Malzahn left for Arkansas State. Most people thought he was nuts and felt like he settled. Twelve months later Auburn goes 2-10, fires their coach, and in steps Malzahn. Some could say Malzahn lucked out, but if he waits one more year at Auburn looking for a better gig, he may have been a casualty rather than a savior.

On the other end is Bud Foster. Foster never settled for lower level schools, but rather waited for the perfect school. And a few times they called for interviews, but he never got THE call. Now, his star has dimmed and the opportunity has passed. More than that, his job as coordinator is beginning to be questioned. He is fighting to keep this job rather than looking for a better one.

The good news for Morris is his cupboard is full at Clemson, at least for another year or so. The skill positions are stocked and the offensive line is experienced. He can wait to see if anything better presents itself. But what happens if next year’s crop is nothing but Duke’s and the Big East? What happens if his perfect job does come, but he doesn’t get it? What happens if Clemson becomes ravaged by injuries or struggles offensively? Or worse yet, turn into Auburn? Or even worse than that, fails to succeed against USC?

There are no guarantees in life, especially in football, and if Morris finds a solid school where he can install his system, recruit his guys, and win some games, then he needs to take it. Dabo took a risk with Morris and it rewarded Clemson immeasurably, but both Dabo and Morris know this is a business. And Morris owes Dabo and Clemson nothing he hasn't already given them. Morris has given Clemson the best he has and Clemson has returned the favor.

If Morris decides to wait it out, "Great"! Clemson will be a National Championship contender. If he decides to go, "Good Luck and Best Wishes". Clemson will still be a National Championship contender, just one with a few offensive question marks to go with the defensive ones.

Coach Morris, the choice is yours. Take advantage of it and do what is in the best interest of you, your career, and your family. Clemson thanks you, regardless.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hello from Callaway Gardens

I have never used this space to shill for someone, or something, other than my Clemson Tigers.  But when a good friend looking for some help rings you up, you answer.  And the info below is my best effort to help a brother in need.  I have not received, nor will I, anything in return for this info, other than a thank you.

Callaway Gardens is a 4,600 acre nature preserve located just 80 miles southwest of Atlanta.  They boast three different lodging options and many onsite activities, including the gardens and golf, & adventures, including zip lines and boating/hiking.

And just for the Chick-fil-A Bowl, they are offering a package deal that includes lodging, gardens admission, breakfast, and a welcoming gift.

http://www.callawaygardens.com/packages/event-packages/bowl-game

And even if you can't make it, feel free to click the link and show Callaway Gardens some TigerSwag love.

Thanks!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Rankings: Championship Week






WEEK
RANK PRV Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 AVG
1 1 Alabama 21.0 14.4 33.0 14.4 16.2 -- 26.4 26.4 21.6 22.0 -5.6 8.1 24.3 20.0 18.63
2 2 Notre Dame 16.0 16.5 16.2 13.5 -- 21.6 18.0 9.0 26.4 13.5 19.8 21.6 16.5 -- 17.38
3 3 Oregon 12.6 10.8 8.1 24.3 -- 23.1 21.6 23.1 9.0 19.8 29.7 -5.5 23.1 -- 16.64
4 5 Florida 10.8 22.0 19.8 21.6 -- 18.0 19.8 28.8 -5.0 13.5 9.0 6.3 26.4 -- 15.92
5 6 Kansas St 8.1 21.6 10.8 22.0 -- 14.4 16.5 29.7 21.6 16.2 19.8 -12.7 -- 16.2 15.35
6 7 Florida St 9.0 9.0 27.0 21.6 19.8 -9.1 24.3 19.8 24.3 -- 16.5 23.1 -6.7 15.0 14.90
7 4 Georgia 12.6 23.1 14.4 24.3 13.5 -6.4 -- 16.5 20.0 18.9 26.4 7.2 21.6 -5.0 14.40
8 8 Ohio St 12.6 10.8 13.5 5.4 16.5 18.9 16.5 13.5 19.8 12.6 -- 16.5 13.5 -- 14.18
9 9 Texas A&M -- -5.6 19.8 9.0 24.3 16.5 11.0 -5.6 29.7 23.1 22.0 5.4 18.9 -- 14.05
10 10 Clemson 15.0 12.6 7.2 -5.5 19.8 16.2 -- 18.9 23.1 26.4 21.6 16.2 -5.6 -- 13.83
11 12 Oklahoma 13.2 9.0 -- -5.6 -- 23.1 27.0 16.2 -6.7 19.8 13.5 16.5 13.5 16.5 13.01
12 11 Stanford 9.0 21.6 13.5 -- -9.1 13.5 -4.5 19.8 13.5 19.8 13.5 22.0 19.8 13.5 12.76
13 13 So. Carolina 16.5 14.4 7.2 18.9 23.1 25.2 -4.5 -7.3 13.5 -- 16.2 5.4 22.0 -- 12.55
14 14 LSU 12.6 21.6 8.1 16.5 5.4 -4.5 18.0 22.0 -- -5.6 21.6 13.5 13.5 -- 11.89
15 16 Oregon St -- 13.5 -- 16.5 16.5 16.2 13.2 16.2 -9.1 13.5 -4.5 24.3 -7.8 9.0 9.79
16 15 UCLA 15.4 13.5 14.4 -9.1 15.4 -12.7 16.5 -- 16.5 27.0 16.5 13.5 -6.7 -4.5 8.90
17 22 Vanderbilt -5.6 -9.1 9.0 -8.2 -- 16.5 -6.7 13.5 8.1 26.4 16.5 18.9 26.4 -- 8.82
18 23 No. Illinois -10.0 6.3 5.5 9.0 14.4 13.2 16.2 7.7 13.2 9.0 -- 9.0 11.0 10.0 8.81
19 18 Northwestern 16.5 13.5 13.5 7.2 16.2 -5.5 16.5 -11.1 16.2 -- -9.1 16.5 14.4 -- 8.74
20 26 Cincinnati -- 18.9 -- 5.4 15.0 14.4 7.2 -13.6 -9.1 16.2 23.1 -9.0 16.2 19.8 8.71
21 25 Louisville 16.2 6.3 13.5 5.5 5.5 -- 16.5 13.5 13.5 18.9 -10.9 -- -11.1 16.5 8.66
22 20 Michigan -7.0 9.0 8.1 -4.5 -- 26.4 16.2 13.5 -10.9 23.1 13.5 18.9 -4.5 -- 8.48
23 24 Penn St -16.7 -9.1 12.6 16.2 15.4 16.2 -- 23.1 -6.7 23.1 -9.1 18.9 13.5 -- 8.12
24 17 Nebraska 6.3 -9.1 12.6 9.0 13.5 -12.7 -- 16.5 16.2 16.5 13.5 18.9 16.5 -16.0 7.82
25 19 Texas 10.8 16.2 26.4 -- 16.5 -11.1 -9.0 13.5 11.0 16.5 18.9 -- -11.1 -5.5 7.76

With fewer games, there is little overall change. Alabama, Notre Dame, & Oregon remain 1-3, while Georgia falls from 4 to 7. 

Clemson holds pat at 10 while USC stays at 13.