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



Do you think are basketball team will make the dance come March of next year?



The ACC media picked Clemson to finish next to last in the league. I think this team has some issues and this league is difficult. I would be surprised if they make the tournament.


Your "public consumption" argument has many valid points and I have no issue with Dabo making those statements. However, the real issue is that , to date, there is no evidence to suggest that Dabo does recognize the real and discernable talent gap that exist between Clemson and FSU. My conclusion on the existence of said talent gap is based on observation and hard data, that is, the scores of the last two Clemson/FSU games. The evidence that Dabo refuses to recognize this talent gap and respond to it is that nothing has changed in Dabo's recruiting philosophy, tactics, personnel and ultimately, results.

How do I know this? Look at the Clemson commitments for the 2014 and 2015 recruiting cycles. I am fully cognizent of the dangers of basing one's recruiting efforts on the rankings of the various recruiting services (see Miami and FSU), however, they do provide some value especially in providing a list of the institutions that have offered the respective prospects. Far too many of the 2014 and 2015 commitments are not of the quality that will allow Clemson to compete or defeat FSU. In the future we will regulated to competing for, at best, being the co-champion of or more likely, second place in the Atlantic division.

You can make the argument that recruiting is just making projections on how an individual will develop over their college career and I agree with that. You can't argue that the FSU staff has done a superior job in making these projections. Want proof, look at the Clemson/FSU scores. Disclaimer: I am aware of the advantages that FSU and our other competitors have in recruiting using tactics outside the realm of NCAA regulations. That's a nice way of saying that I know that FSU et al. buys players. Dabo's charge is to implement a strategy, including the right personnel, to overcome this advantage. Too date, he has not.

It's my position that, in the recruiting whelm, Dabo has not taken advantage of the success that he has created at Clemson. He continues to sign OL recruits that as a group are "Just a guy" as Walt would say. The DL signees are not much better. Want proof, just watch the last two Clemson/FSU games and see how FSU dominated both lines of scrimmage.

The data indicates that Dabo has to change something in his recruiting philosophy, strategy, or personnel in order for us to defeat FSU in the future. For our sake, I hope he does.




The staff works extremely hard at recruiting but this is not a draft. The players have to want to come to your school too. Unfortunately, FSU does have a lot of advantages. Clemson's staff evaluates every prospect and offers players based upon that evaluation. Its not like they are not trying to sign five star guys. Unfortunately, everyone else is trying to do the same thing. Believe me, they are trying to sign the best players they can at every position.


I read your blog today, "The Eternal Optimist."   I have to agree with you.  I want our head coach to project enthusiasm in a press conference.  I want him to be realistic when he is evaluating what we need to do to get better.  I also agree that we could all benefit from being a little bit optimistic.

"Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser."

Vince Lombardi




Thanks. Dabo lives that every day. I really think he believes that but more importantly he knows his team is listening.


The Eternal Optimist: Well said!! Dabo's optimist and excitement is the very reason why I thought we should have hired him back when he was the interim coach.



Thanks Steve. It looks like a great hire now doesn't it.

Mickey, now that some of the sting has gone, I have had time to reflect on the game last week.  Everyone has analyzed our performance in every way possible, but my conclusion is that we did not set the tone within the first two series of the game, our fumble and their subsequent score.  Every game is different and we are conditioned to the offense setting the tone and rightfully so, given recent successes; however, against FSU it should have been the defense setting the tone.  We stop them after the first fumble and we might be talking about a different outcome.  We don’t know the coaches thinking, but I would hope they would recognize which side of the ball plays the bigger role for each game.  To be an elite team we have to dictate tone and do it early in a game.  The coaches need to decide which side does that and let the other side close it out. 







I think they would like to dominate on both sides. I just wish we would defer to the second half. FSU won the toss Saturday so it didn't matter. I think both sides of the ball share blame Saturday.


When I was a student at Clemson, we had a losing record all 6 years and did not sniff a conference championship. We are close now to getting where we want to be. We are close to where we were in the late 80s but not quite. We need another 2 or 3 good recruiting classes and we will be close to where we were in about 87 or so. We need to be thankful we have a man like Dabo in charge and stick with the program. There will be bumps along the way, but we need to stay the course. Somehow we need to find a way to keep Venables and Morris at least for a few years for consistency and continuity. Most of all, we need to enjoy the ride.


We may look back in a few years and see consistent 11-1 records but that is doubtful given conference expansion, etc. So, let’s enjoy 3+ years with 10+ wins while we can. I think we are like Virginia Tech during the early Beamer years. Give Dabo about 3 more years and we are going to be ok for a long run.







I agree. I think this program is in great shape. But it won't last forever, so I will enjoy it while it lasts.

Hey Mickey,

So there is one aspect of Clemson's football program that I'm wondering if Dabo doesn't quite have a handle on yet and that is quick preparation. Clemson has shown it can win the big games like Georgia and LSU but one thought that comes to mind is that we had a lot of time to prepare for those games. Sure the other team did too, but I think our coaching staff had a handle on it and did a great job. However, our last few really big games like FSU and South Carolina  in which we only had a week to prepare haven't gone so well to the point of our team not even looking like themselves. Do you think Dabo has trouble preparing for the really big ones in just 6 days or is this just coincidence? Maybe this is just something that will improve with experience. Your thoughts?



I think the last three losses have been to top ten teams. I think the losses came against very good teams and the Tigers did not play well. I am not sure if any extra time to prepare would have helped.

Mickey -

I'll accept losing to FSU. They're an elite team; we're not even close. However, I will not accept another loss this year and that includes USC. Maryland looked AWFUL against Wake and they lost two WR's with broken legs. Clemson should roll into College Park with a chip on their shoulder and have no problems with them or at UVA (who lost to DUKE at home) the next week. It we lose either of these games or even struggle to win, we should quit the sport.

We have Ga Tech at home. We should win.

If we lose to sc for the fifth year in a row, then something or someone definitely needs to be evaluated. I'll stand behind an e-mail I sent to you from last year for which I was "verbally abused":

"If we want a pretty record every year resulting in an invitation to go to a non-BCS bowl, we have that with Dabo. If you want to catch up to FSU in a hurry and compete for the ACC championship on an annual basis and start beating USC every year, we better look elsewhere."

Flame away,



I disagree. If Clemson loses a game, I don't think we should quit the sport. I quit reading after that.


Reading your analysis of the FSU game was almost laughable.  You basically said we aren't in FSU's league in talent, and even without the errors, we had no way of winning.  Heck, to here you talk, we should just forfeit the game yearly and just reduce the chance of injuries.


I do agree that we are SLIGHTLY less talented, but I'm pretty sure the exorbitant salaries that we pay our OC and DC SHOULD fill that gap.  Our talent level combined with our coaching staff should easily be able to compete with ANYONE in the nation.  If that isn't the case then we have HUGE issues.


We were outcoached, out prepared, and outplayed in the FSU game, plain and simple.  We didn't respond to adversity in either execution or adapting.  This is truly concerning, considering that we have seen this before in the Orange Bowl.  Dabo and his staff, have laid eggs in two of the biggest games in our school's history.  That is a huge red flag.  I realize he's had some nice wins, but they've been offset by close losses in big games, and they in no way, shape, or form offset the two blowouts to FSU & WVU.


Basically, I am much more concerned in what is happening with the preparation, planning , and practice than I am on the recruiting front.  It's not apparent on the average ACC Saturday, but it rears it's head pretty bad against good teams, especially if they have more than a week to prepare.




We saw different teams. I think FSU is better at quarterback, much better at running back, much better at wide receiver, much better at tight end, better on the offensive line. On defense they were as good or better up front, much better at linebacker and a ton better in the secondary. I don't see any position where Clemson was better than FSU.

With that said, Clemson didn't play well. That will happen to every team. Unfortunately, FSU was good enough to make us look worse.



Thanks for the blog.  Read it every day...  I totally agreed with one of your blogs this week and totally disagreed with another.


I totally disagreed with your FSU Review blog about the talent difference between the Tigers and Seminoles.  FSU played a great game and the Tigers played terribly.  Your blog though made it sound like the difference in programs is like the difference between Clemson and Furman (no disrespect to their program) and I believe you were angry and emotional while you wrote that blog.  We have upgraded the talent at Clemson and can play with anyone in the nation.  


The blog I totally agreed with was "Missed Opportunities" and feel like we missed maybe the chance of a lifetime this year.  What I am most angry and emotional about is not that we lost the game, or even the way we lost the game, but what that loss means.  I want to win every game...but losing this game means no championships.  No Division Title, No Conference Title, No National Title.  When Dabo took over as coach he said he wanted to win championships and this loss takes us out of the running for all of those.  It's not often you have a senior QB like Tajh, a top 3 ranking and the ability to go as far as the National Championship game especially in the conference we play in and the media bias against the ACC.  I'm not saying it's easy to do, but until Saturday night we had a real chance at playing for it all.  The loss means that is gone and next season will be a rebuilding year.  Who knows when we'll be in that position again.   


With that said, our season is now the game against SC.  If we beat the Gamecocks and finish the season 12-1 with a Bowl win or 11-2 with a Bowl loss you'd have to say that's a great season.  But, the championships we missed out is what I'll remember about 2013. 






The gap is big at wide receiver, linebacker and in the secondary. This team still has a lot to play for. They are ranked ninth in the country and still have a BCS bowl opportunity. This team has issues but I am hopeful they can overcome those and play well in the last half of the season.

The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency

Prayer List

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If you are offended by prayer or prayer lists then I apologize in advance. The blog is free and the prayer list will be on the bottom of the page so you don’t have to read it.

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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, 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 Thompson, 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, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, Gardner Family, Charles Turner, Kathy Bartholomew, Ray Sanders, David and Robin Blocker, J.R. Ray, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Doug Bailey and family, Jenna, Mark Lawrence, Harlan Sullins, Peter Laboy, Kat and Carlisle Jones, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Edward Easterling, Dawson Bourne, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Robert Summerville, Jack Cunningham, Mia Daughtery, Teettt Senn, Jim Lanier, Bob Garrett, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, Jeanne Thompson, Sean Rowell, our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day plus their families.

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