Friday Email Bag

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Friday Email Bag

Each Friday I publish your comments and answer your questions.  To submit a comment or questions please email me at


Though I don't usually make it all the way through a televised football game, the score of future ACC member 21st ranked Louisville shocked 3rd ranked Florida 33-23. Maybe a bigger upset than #8 LSU's falling by a point to #14 Clemson. I'm still miffed how Ga Tech man-handled USCa.

So far the ACC (and its future members) are more than holding their own against the SEC in bowl games:

ACC - 5 wins (Va Tech, Syracuse, GT, Clemson, Fl Stat) and 2 losses (Duke, NC State)

SEC - 3 wins (USC, GA, Vandy) and 2 losses (LSU & FL)

- the SEC has three more teams in the hunt, of course, ~ Texas A&M, Ole Miss, & Alabama and only one more future ACC team playing which is Pittsburg.

So far the bowl ACC vs SEC remains 1 & 1 (Clemson topped LSU and Vandy topped NC State). The pseudo-tie breaker will be Pitt vs Ole Miss on Saturday.



I guess we can start counting Syracuse and Pitt now. Can we count Louisville and Notre Dame also? The ACC is nowhere near as good as the SEC in football but the SEC is nowhere near as good as ESPN would have you to believe either.


I have emailed in a few times this season already and once again I want to start off by saying how much I appreciate your blog and how much I enjoy reading it. I hope all is well with Ryan and I hope y'all had a very Merry Christmas. I know your New Years was a great one as every Tiger fan shared the same excitement as 2012 closed its door and 2013 welcomed us in. I'd say that this is not much of a question as it is a statement, but here it goes.

One of my first emails to you was saying how we as fans needed to be patient with Coach Venables cause I really felt like he was the RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB! Each week I would noticed our defense improve in areas and those improvements continued week in and week out, minus a couples of missed assignments we witnessed. But I feel that we got a taste of just how GREAT of a Coach he is Monday night. If you watched the game it seemed that all 11 guys on the field played exactly how they were being coached to play. The D-Line played lights out and the LB's were hitting the gaps and the Secondary was consistently in great position. It was a complete game from our defense and I feel that it is what we will be seeing from now on! I think we finally have the coach in place that will take our defense to one of the top defenses in the country for years to come. You look at what we have coming in next year and what we have coming back and that should build a lot of excitement to all Clemson Fans. If this is what we can expect from our defense next year then I see no reason why we shouldn't be 11-0 heading to Columbia in November. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those fans that expects the world and then loses faith if we lose a game but I think we have a really good chance of this being a reality. I think Boyd returns and in my heart of hearts, I think Nuk sees that we can go undefeated and he returns for his Senior year as well. So that means that we will have the best receiving core in the country with the best QB. Our O-Line is primed for a great year and I think Norton will fill in nicely for the greatly missed Freeman. I know we will miss Ellington but I like what I see from Hot Rod and the other RB's we have on the team. Catman will be back as the top kicker in the country and Pinion will be a great asset on kickoffs and punting. Overall, I am extremely excited about the upcoming season and can't wait for Georgia to step in The Real Death Valley in 2013! We have all the pieces in place from coaches to players and everyone should be ready for the storm that Clemson is bringing. That's just my thought process on what is coming next season, so do you feel the same way or do you think I might be over excited from the bowl game? Best wishes in 2013 and now it's time to watch our basketball team move forward and hopefully turn some heads while moving in the right direction. And a finishing note, I agree with you in the fact that Coach Brownell is the best person for our team as I've met with him numerous times and really like what he's doing. We just have to give him time to put all his pieces together as well and we really need to start supporting our guys on the basketball court. I will be cheering them on come Saturday against FSU and I don't know if its possible but if you will be there I'd love to be able to meet you in person either before or after the game. I will be in Sec 14 Row G Seat 1,2.



Thanks for the email. Like you, I am starting to get very excited about 2013 partly because of what we saw Monday night. The defense continues to improve and should be much better next season. I am encouraged about McDowell but still think that will be the biggest question mark going into the spring. Can't wait til Georgia comes to the Valley. I will try to stop by tomorrow for the FSU game.


Our family was among the many Clemson fans in attendance for what was probably the best Clemson game in almost 30 years.  And although the game was amazing, it's something that happened AFTER the game that I just feel compelled to share with our Clemson family.  I hope that by sending this email to a collection of Clemson Athletic Administrators it will reach the right people.  This is a story that deserves to be heard!!!

The following is a post that I shared with my friends and family on my Facebook page yesterday, January 1st:

"Post Chick Fil-A Bowl"....the story behind the Xavier photo:   Although many Clemson players stopped to shake hands and high five the fans after the game last night, Xavier BrewerXavier Brewer
Gr. Defensive Back
#9 5-11, 190
Jacksonville, FL

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#9, was the one player who took the time to walk all the way down to where we were, near the "end of the line of fans" still in the stadium. I won't EVER forget the faces of my boys, and several other children standing near us who waited, hoping and praying that one of the Clemson players would come our direction. As the chaos and celebration began to die down, most of the players had already made their way to the locker room to celebrate, as you would naturally expect them to do!   But Xavier Brewer made sure EVERY CHILD still hanging over the wall got the chance to shake his hand or get a high five before heading to the locker room to join his team. Upon realizing I got such a good shot of this moment, I decided to make an attempt to try and thank him, after finding him on Instagram. And now  my boys will have yet another surprise- he actually took the time to answer!!!....Something I totally wasn't expecting!  Sometimes we don't realize  what the simplest act can do or what it can mean to a child. But clearly he does!! For the rest of their lives, my kids will remember this night and what an amazing win it was- but I bet what they will remember most was this brush with greatness, one of their Clemson heroes! Thank you so much, Xavier!"

While this Facebook post and personal response on Instagram may not mean much to very many people, it meant the world to us.  My father, Class of '67, and my husband, Class of '95 (Masters, PhD) have always taught our boys (age 11) and our daughter (age 16) that there is nothing on earth that can compare with Clemson University.  But the actions displayed by Xavier Brewer the night of the game proves it.  What a wonderful young man and INCREDIBLE representative of Clemson University, who seems to understand so much more than the importance of winning a game.  He took time to show his appreciation to even the youngest fans, and while we appreciate all that it meant to our children, it filled us with pride to see what sort of young men are emerging from Coach Swinney's football program, and more importantly, from the University.  Unfortunately, the media loves to publicize stories about the mistakes of athletes.  But this athlete deserves recognition for doing something amazing, doing something above and beyond what was asked of him.  Xavier Brewer proved that there really is NOTHING on earth that can compare with Clemson University.  And Xavier Brewer is a true Clemson hero.





Thanks for sharing that story. I think sometimes we all forget these guys are people instead of numbers on the jersey. I think we have a bunch of really good kids in the program. Thanks for sharing.


What a game!  I wrote you several months ago about the new playoff system.  I was worried about a one loss Clemson team getting into a 4 team playoff with other one loss teams if those top teams were Alabama, Notre Dame, Oregon, and another SEC team for example.  I think the answer to that question is still very much up in the air, but if we can perform like that several times throughout the year against a USC, UGA, or FSU, I will be much more optimistic.  To follow up, I would like to express my opinion that expanding to an 8 team playoff would be a bad idea if you love football like we witnessed Monday night.  I completely changed my mind on this issue after our win.  I am not so sure the current system isn't the best.  For teams in power conferences who play 5 or 6 tough games a year like what we witnessed Monday night, I just can't see those teams bringing their very best to every postseason playoff game due to physical injuries and the mental grind of the season.  These are student-athletes, not professionals.  The coaches are going to have to "keep something in reserve" during that first playoff game so that they can leave it all on the field during the championship.  As football fans, we love football like we saw Monday night.  Two teams going at it, healthy after having several weeks to recuperate after the regular season, using the entire playbook and holding nothing back.  That is the way a championship game should look.  However, doing this in the first playoff game is going to wreak havoc on a team as far as injuries are concerned, and we saw what that could look like should we make the playoffs.  I have now come to the conclusion that trying to appease the masses with this playoff system is much like the state of our federal government.  The more you try to appease the beneficiaries, the more you hurt those that are actually doing the producing.  I loved seeing our players leave it all on the field Monday night and I have never been more proud of our team.  I just hope that the playoff is not expanded because I do not think it is in the best interest of the players or the product that the fans will actually get to enjoy.  Unfortunately from now on, we will not get to see 2 teams in a playoff go head to head at full strength and capacity, and the loss of one or two key players in the first playoff game could lead to a pitiful matchup in the championship, thus leaving fans with a devalued product.  But, this is what we wanted, and this is what we'll get.   

My 2 cents,



I think we should keep the bowls but I think we need a playoff system also. I think an eight team playoff is the best way to go about this. We could also keep the other bowl games out there for the teams that don't qualify for the playoffs. I guess we could call it the NIT of college football.


I do not think anyone other than a football player can appreciate just what a heck of a game Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Jr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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played.  A casual viewer of the game might fuss at his errant throws, but they would do so only because they ignored the number of times he was sacked or tackled on running plays.  As Les Miles put it, "But I have to be honest with you, I don't know where the MVP award goes, but to me Boyd. To me, I don't know how many yards he got rushing, but every yard he got, he got drilled. He just kept getting up and made plays for Clemson and scrambled out and kept the ball alive and made a pass. I just want you to know he played extremely well in this game. Very, very, very big night for him.." 

It was just a really gutsy performance by a young man that put the team on his back and led them to victory.




Boyd is a warrior. He is one of the toughest players we have ever had. I appreciate his physical toughness but have grown to really appreciate his mental toughness. He has had two great seasons but this one was better because of his toughness on short yardage.


Free at last?   What an exciting bowl game and what a great time for the Clemson team to make up their minds to step up and play like the men they have been all along.   The collective will of the team was a great thing to behold and long before the game was over, I told my wife that nobody could question how tough our team was.   It just appeared that the players decided enough was enough and played with the desire, the drive, the determination that had been lacking in the bowl games and the South Carolina games the last few years.   Have we kicked through the door as Dabo says and thrown off the yoke of losing to SEC teams or was Monday night just a great way to end 2012 and tease us leading into the off season?   Time will tell and it is a short time until the next big opportunity against a Georgia team that will most likely be ranked in the top 5 but either way, Monday's game was awesome and my hat is off to the players and coaches for a great effort that brought back memories of the last time Clemson won 11 games in a season.    Keep up the good work and the sky is the limit.




Monday was huge for a bunch of reasons. I think a lot of fans were tired of hearing about SEC and about toughness. I think Monday was one of the biggest wins in the last 20 years. Clemson proved it can play with anyone. Hopefully we can look back at the win and call it a springboard.

Mickey, great win on New Year’s Eve in the Peach Bowl (still having a hard time with the Chik-Fil-A Bowl name).  I have a question that kept bothering me and saw Dabo asking the ref during the game – should they not put 10 seconds back on the clock when a defensive player is injured in the last 2 minutes?  I believe that is the case on the offensive side of the ball.  Not saying Miles was playing games with his players because I do think we wore them out, but does raise a question.








I think some teams fake injuries against fast pace offenses but I am not sure that was the case Monday night. I actually think the delays helped Clemson. Also it has to be difficult to play 100 plays. I also know that several of those guys were carried to the locker room after the game. What we did see was a text book example of wearing a team down.

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Those who need our prayers include:Finn Brookover, Jo Ann Bachman, Kenneth Bryant, Pruitt Martin, Got igers and his family, David Rowland, Leonard, Gillespie and his family, Jim S, Daniel Rosborough, The Huffman family, Nancy Winkler, John Reeve, Ethel Southard, Vinnie Brock, Kaitlyn L, Susan Miller, Joyce Harley, Steve Proveaux, Jeffrey Greene, the Hutto family, Sherl Drawdy, Caleb Kennedy, Teresa O'Connor, Matt Jacobs,Perrin Seigler, Candee Massee, Lindsey Jordan, Sam Catoe, Tyler Felch, the Nicolopulos family, "the Jacksonville, FL guys", Kim Sims, the Coyle family, Ryleigh Tedder, Steve Lee, Kelly Trakas, Jimmy Moore, the Thomas. V Family, Emary Claire Young, Kitty Bowers,Julie Locke, the Scheider family, Lauren Kittles' family, Frank Gentry, Joyce Bussey, Stacey McKeown, Dale Childs, Larry Lentz, Jr, Carl Sharperson, Scott Hannon, William Perry, Tyler Swaney, Lillian, Mark Feit, David Frame, Chad Berry, the family of Matthew M. Watson, the Dowis family, Shervin Messer, Alan Putnam, the Olivers, Lee Tate, Ronnie Abrams, Eddie Greene, the Jackson family, Bill Vader, Jim Taylor, Tina DeWitt, Rock Horne, Christopher Tuten, Bobby Wayne Thomas, Emma and Danielle Carothers, Robert Ditty, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Smith, Dot Cartee, Ayden Mills, Millie Heatley, Lynn Martin and family, Michael Pinson, Jake David family, Angie Crowley, Ira, Mike Tolson, Poly Wells, Dr. Muriel Bishop, Jack Cunningham, Emily Jefford Meister, Zachary Stoller, Aaron Clackum, Pat James, Cortney Moore, William Moore, Angelia and Savannah Anderson, William Ross, Meredith Legg, Scott Johns, Frank Carroll, Brandon ThompsonBrandon Thompson
Defensive Tackle
#98 6-2, 310
Thomasville, GA

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, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Clay Childers, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Gary G, William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders, Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Travis Patterson, Amanda Peake, Danny Hammond, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, The Sturkey Family, Lance family, Marcus Lattimore, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, Jennifer McManus, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Patrick Heher, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, Bill Early, Gardner Family, Charles Turner, Kathy Bartholomew, Ray Sanders, David and Robin Blocker, J.R. Ray, our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day plus their families.

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