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Is FSU Still FSU?
I stood on the sidelines of the FSU-Clemson game this past year during the pre-game warm-ups and asked someone why did the two teams switch jerseys? I thought Clemson looked like FSU used to look and FSU looked like Clemson used to look. After the game I told Clemson strength coach Joey Batson the same thing.
I know they won the ACC last season, but this is not the same FSU program that I saw growing up. I also know they had tons of injuries last season but still the second-teamers did not look like FSU second-teamers.
When the Tigers broke the huddle for their first play I saw Barry Richardson at 6-7 and 335 lined up across D.J. Norris who was about 6-1 and 240. It looked like a mismatch and was all day long. I told people around me that the guy in Norris’ uniform in years past was Andre Wadsworth and Peter Boulware. At middle linebacker they had Buster Davis who is about 5-9.
That guy used to be Marvin Jones. At corner they had 5-8 Tony Carter. That guy used to be Deion Sanders. Their offense line looked more like Walter Cronkite than former FSU star Walter Jones.
The numbers tell the same story. In the 14 years from 1987 to 2000 FSU lost 19 games. In the last five years since they have lost 20.
It wasn’t just the Clemson game either. FSU looked lost on offense when they had just 74 yards passing and nine first downs in a 10-7 win over Miami. They had just 13 first downs against Boston College and 11 against the Tigers. Against Clemson they rushed for 103 yards and six other teams held them under that total (Virginia 95, Florida 49, Virginia Tech 47, NC State 43, Penn State 26 and Boston College 13 yards).
The Seminoles looked bad in a 34-7 loss to Florida. They lost four of their last five to end the season at 8-5.
Now the question is can they rebound?
I think FSU can be better but in my opinion they should not scare people. Who scares you on the Noles’ roster? Weatherford has potential. Booker is talented. Carr is a threat at WR. Who do you have to game plan against? Who on defense really scares you? Clemson may not win in Tallahassee, but I don’t think they will back down in Doak Campbell. The Tigers know they can beat FSU and think they can win in Tallahassee. We won’t know until the third week of the season but there were many years where you knew they had no chance going into the game and marked it down as a loss.
The Drive for 40
With a sweep over Duke the baseball team improved to 36-13 overall and 18-6 in the ACC. Clemson has seven more regular season games but all seven are against ranked team and all seven are at home. Clemson needs four more wins to reach 40 wins, which is a watershed number. When Clemson wins 40 or more games in the regular-season they usually go on to have great success in the post-season. Should they win 40 games they would have a great shot at hosting a regional and a super-regional.
Here are the times the Tigers have won 40 regular-season games under Jack Leggett and what each team did in the post-season:
1994 51 wins and NCAA tournament
1995 46 wins and CWS participant
1996 43 wins and CWS participant
1998 41 wins and NCAA tournament
2000 42 wins and CWS participant
2002 44 wins and CWS participant
The super-regional format started in 1999. Clemson has hosted super-regionals twice and advanced to the CWS both times. They have not
advance on an opposing team’s field since the super-regional format began. Here is a look at Clemson’s record since the super-regional format:
1999-Lost in Super-regional at Texas A&M 2-1
2000-Hosted super-regional and beat MSU 2-0 to advance to CWS
2001-Lost in Super-regional in Miami 2-0
2002-Hosted super-regional and beat Arkansas 2-1 to advance to CWS
2003-Lost in regional at Auburn, AL
2004-Lost in NCAA regional in Athens, GA
2005-Lost in Super-regional at Waco, TX to Baylor 2-1
Poole and Duncan All-ACC
The Clemson golf team rebounded well this season and made a run at the ACC title. Congratulations to Stephen Poole and Brian Duncan for being named first-team All-ACC. I have known these guys for a few years, especially Duncan, and could not be more proud of them. Now it is time for the Tigers to play well in the NCAA regionals and the NCAA finals. The NCAA Central Regional is at the Ridge Golf Club in Cleveland, OH on May 18-20 while the NCAA Championships are held in Sunriver, OR from May 30 to June 2. The Clemson golf team is very good but will get even better in the coming years as they have inked two of the top 10 juniors in America.
The Ryder Cup is always one of the biggest sporting events but it could get bigger this season to many Clemson fans. Former Clemson All-American Lucas Glover is sixth in Ryder Cup points. The top ten make the team and two captain’s picks round out the 12-man team. Glover would be the first former Tiger to make the US squad.
Bama Adding On
According to www.secsports.com , “Construction on Bryant-Denny Stadium continues at a rapid pace as workers aim toward a completion date of mid-July. UA begins the 2006 season on Sept. 2 when hosting Hawaii. The $50 million renovation will boost capacity to 92,138 making it the fifth-largest on campus stadium in the nation behind Michigan (107,501), Penn State (106,537), Tennessee (104,079) and Ohio State (101,568).”
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