Saturday, December 10, 2011

Season in Review (Clemson and Carolina)

     It was a very exciting season for both teams. Neither team has much to be upset about as they both finished with ten wins in the regular season. Carolina did have the big win over Clemson in their annual rivalry which is a plus for their program. The fact that Carolina has won three in a row over Clemson made this loss even more difficult... UNTIL, Clemson surprises everyone by totally destroying VT in the ACC Championship Game to win their first ACC Championship in 20 years and earning their first ever BCS Bowl bid. The same cannot be said for Carolina. They came into the season as the media and coaches favorite to win the SEC East Divsion.  It looked like they were in position to do just that after an earlier season victory over the University of Georgia.  Carolina controlled their own destiny for most the season.  Their loss to an average Auburn team at home proved to be the dagger that cost them the SEC East Championship. Carolina would eventually lose their star running back, Marcus Lattimore, and lose Stephen Garcia for his 100th violation of team rules.  Carolina could have let their season spiral out of control but they still managed to win 10 games and earn a bid to the Capital One Bowl against Nebraska.  Considering all that Carolina lost this year, the job by Coach Spurrier has to be commended.

     Clemson was predicted to finish behind media darling Florida State in their division of the ACC. Clemson also had a very strong start to their season, and their most exciting regular season win in my opinion was the one they had over Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.  After that win however, Clemson seemed to lose their mojo and had some close games with teams that were not in the same ballpark talent wise.  They would go on to lose to GT on the road and NC State on the road.  However, they won the game they needed to by beating Wake Forest at home to clinch the division.  After the way they lost to Carolina, not many people gave Clemson much of a chance to beat VT in the ACC Championship game.  I was fortunate enough to be at this game and witness the beat down Clemson gave VT to win the ACC Championship and earn a trip to the BCS Orange Bowl.  Now, I am counting down the days until I am in Miami pulling for them to beat West Virginia in the Orange Bowl.

     Ultimately, to determine a teams success you have to look at the expectations before the season.  Carolina fans were thinking they would fairly easily win the SEC East and even thought they had a chance to compete for a National Title.  Clemson fans really had no idea where they were going to finish because of how young the Clemson squad was and with so many question marks at key positions... Surprise Surprise Mr. Watkins and Mr. Boyd... These two players, along with first year offensive coordinator Chad Morris totally turned the Clemson offense around.  I would argue that Watkins is the key to this offense because he makes the entire offense run so much more smoothly and takes so much pressure off of Boyd and Morris when he is on the field. Defenses have to account for Watkins on every play. Whether they do this by bringing a safety over the top or dropping a linebacker into underneath coverage, Watkins really allows the Clemson offense to open up.  Clemson fans had mediocre expectations for this season, and this Tiger team exceeded all expectations by winning an ACC Title.  Carolina fans on the other hand thought at the very least they would win the SEC East, especially after they beat Georgia early on in the season.  What is also a double edged sword is the fact that Carolina won 10 games but still didn't win the SEC East. That has got to be frustrating.  They also lose significant players on both sides of the ball for next season while division rival UGA returns the majority of their squad. Furthermore, their in state rival Clemson returns the bulk of their roster as well. Clemson and UGA both had one of the youngest squads in the country this season.  Im also pretty sure Clemson fans would take an ACC Championship over beating Carolina anytime.

To summarize, Clemson won their conference when nobody predicted them too because there were so many question marks.  Carolina was expected to win their division of the SEC but failed to do so.  Arguably the best season in Carolina history with no conference or division championship... OUCH


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

BCS Fiasco Part Deux...

     Welcome bloggowers!!! I wanted to continue the discussion from yesterday regarding the BCS National Championship Game.  Lets be honest... The major thing that drives all of us crazy is just how whacky the BCS system actually is. I mean you have to win your conference championship to be in the BCS Championship Game right?!?! NOPE!  Well, you at least have to win your division in your conference right?!?! NOPE! Come on doooooooown Alabama!  I am torn on this because as bad as I think it sounds that Alabama didn't even win the SEC West I still believe they are the safest pick at #2.  However, Oklahoma State did win their conference and did it pretty damn convincingly, and as I said yesterday their one loss was after the tragedy involving OSU's women's basketball coach and assistant. Furthermore, we as college football fans have already seen this show! Alabama had their chance to defeat LSU on their home turf and failed thanks to their field goal kicker who cleary had to be pounding whiskey on the sidelines before every kick to miss as badly as he did on every single field goal attempt. That was pretty pathetic. 

     Back to the awful BCS system though. I am not saying the system is awful because in my opinion it is better than the old way #1 and # 2 was decided.  However, if we are going to stick to the BCS there needs to be some changes made. I am all for a plus one system.  LSU v. Stanford and Alabama v. OSU=WOW!!!!  Talking about making $$$ BCS... am I right? However, I think a major issue that needs to be addressed is just how important is it to win your conference championship. I don't see that as a requirement to play in the BCS Championship game but it just makes sense. You at least have to give credit to the teams that do win their conference... Hell, give OSU a couple extra percentage points for winning their conference. As it stands now, OSU wasn't really rewarded for winning their conference as far as the BCS is concerned. Start giving credit to the teams that win their conference title. Having four teams in a playoff at least lets America see how things would settle on the field. Of course someone is always going to find something to complain about... What happens if there are five really good teams? Well, poor number five is just left out. You have got to draw the line somewhere. There is normally always a great argument for three teams that should be allowed to play in the BCS Championship Game and a lot of times four teams... Remember when Southern Cal and Oklahoma played in the BCS Championship Game and an undefeated Auburn team got left out?  That 55-19 beatdown was really interesting. 

     Bottom line... This system sucks... Modify the BCS system and do it quickly please. The biggest issue to bring some clarity though is to at least acknowledge that winning your conference counts for something...  I am not saying it should be required to be able to play in the National Championship game, but teams should at least be rewarded in a way that will help them in the BCS Standings. 

     Coming up in the next couple of posts I am going to compare the seasons of Clemson and Carolina.  I am also going to breakdown some of the bowl games that I consider the most interesting.  Thank you to all my readers, and I hope you all are having a marvelous week!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

BCS fiasco....

So pretty much everyone outside of LSU and Alabama fans are complaining about the rematch in the National Championship game... I for one honestly believe the game does feature the two best teams in college football.  Does that mean I think the game will feature the most exciting match up...? Absolutely not, because it doesn't. College football fans have already seen these two teams play, and as much as I love to see two great defenses play, I think even someone that pounded a couple Five Hour Energies before the game would have had a hard time staying awake for that snooze fest. I want to see a high powered defense (LSU) v. a high powered offense (Oklahoma State).  Some will say hey dude, Bama and LSU have really good offenses as well. Really?  Bama and LSU can both run the ball very well... Their passing games are average at best. More importantly, it is these teams DEFENSES that set up their OFFENSES to seem so great. When you are getting the ball inside the oppossing teams territory frequently as a result of your defense getting tunrovers, it makes life much easier for any offense.  Oklahoma State has been moving the ball up and down the field all season.  Also, lets not forget the tragedy that hit Oklahoma State right before their game with Iowa State. This is a wildcard that most people seem to breeze right over. Traveling to play a road conference game right after such a tragedy would be hard on any team. Anyways, my point is that I believe LSU and Oklahoma State should be playing in the National Championship game. I mean the BCS is all about making money right? In my opinion, LSU v. Oklahoma State would draw more attention and be a more exciting game than this lame LSU/Bama rematch we are about to suffer through again.  Here's hoping we at least get a game in double digits... 13-10 perhaps? zzzzzzzzzz