midnight on the new year, and a lot of Doomsday Soothsayers were left with egg on face, saying “OOPS, MY BAD!” A summit meeting of several high-level al-Qaeda members (including two future 9/11 American Airlines hijackers) is held in Malaysia. The Phillips explosion of 2000 kills one and injures 71 at a chemical plant in Pasadena, Texas.
The Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley is raised to the surface after 136 years on the ocean floor. The USS Cole is badly damaged by two Al-Qaeda suicide bombers, who place a small boat laden with explosives alongside the destroyer, killing 17 crew members and wounding at least 39. George W. Bush is elected President of the United States, but not until there is all kinds of drama surrounding the vote count in the pivotal state of Florida. The words “Hanging Chad” enter the American lexicon.
No. 5 Florida State, (8-0, 11-1) is once again the ACC Champion in 2000. They lost the Orange Bowl to No. 1 Oklahoma by a big baseball score of 13-2. Oklahoma was 13-0 this year under Coach Bob Stoops, and was the National Champions in both major polls. They played tight games their last five games in a row, but they emerged victorious in every one, and were deserving Champions.
The 2nd year of the Tommy Bowden era got off to a much better start than Year One. And, as the season went on, crowds were getting “cautiously” bigger and more optimistic. We opened the season with a No. 17 ranking, and shutout The Citadel 38-0 in the opener. Then, against Missouri in the Valley the next week, the offense suddenly went wild, routing the visiting Tigers 62-9. That only bumped us up one notch in the polls, and the No. 16 Tigers smoked Wake Forest at home the next week, 55-7.
Two straight offensive outbursts DID impress the pollsters, and we went on the road to Virginia ranked No. 11, for a 3:30 ABC game. We lived up to the prime time slot, winning 31-10. We were No. 7 for a nooner at Duke, and Clemson once again turned on the offensive jets, winning 52-22. We were getting into some rare air, as we returned home to Death Valley with a No. 5 ranking to take on NC State. They played us close, but the good guys prevailed again, 34-27.
We would hold that No. 5 ranking for the next three games as well. Maryland went down 35-14, before 83,752 in the Valley. A road trip to North Carolina netted a 38-24 win. This eight game winning streak to open the season had folks absolutely giddy around Tigertown. But, against Georgia Tech in Death Valley the next week, the bubble finally burst, as the Jackets took a close game, 31-28, before 81,734 disappointed fans.
On the road now, and dropped to No. 10 in the rankings, Pappa Bowden made sure there would be no repeat of last year's close game with FSU. This one was in Tallahassee, and the Seminoles showed us what a legit Top 5 team really looked like, 54-7. That big loss dropped us down to No. 16 for the regular season finale in Death Valley with Coach Granny Lou Holtz and his Gamecocks.
Coach Holtz had engineered a pretty darn impressive turnaround from Season One, which was winless, to Season Two, where his charges came into the Clemson game having already won seven games, and carrying a No. 25 ranking of their own. They held a 14-13 lead very late in the game, until what Clemson fans always refer to as “The Catch II” was made by receiver Rod Gardner deep in Coot territory. For some reason, South Carolina fans always refer to that play as “The Push-off”. But, since there was no flag thrown on the play, I don't know where they get that notion. The ensuing field goal sent the home crowd of 85,187 home happy, 16-14. Clemson leads the series 59-35-4.
South Carolina would go on to defeat Ohio State 24-7 in The Outback Bowl.
Clemson took a 9-2 record, and that No. 16 ranking, down to The Gator Bowl. There we would face Coach Frank Beamer's No.8 Virginia Tech Hokies. VT still had Michael Vick at QB, and he did a lot of Michael Vick things in this game, leading the Hokies to a 41-20 win, and being named the game's MVP. Since Beamerball won the day, Clemson would have to be content with our first nine win season since the last season of the Hatfield era. But, we were certainly on an uphill trajectory, right? All 2000 season results below.
The Citadel No. 17 W 38–0 Missouri No. 17 W 62–9 Wake Forest No. 16 W 55–7 At Virginia No. 11 W 31–10 At Duke No. 7 W 52–22 NC State No. 5 W 34–27 Maryland No. 5 W 35–14 At North Carolina No. 5 W 38–24 Georgia Tech No. 5 L 28–31 At No. 4 Florida State No. 10 L 7–54 No. 25 South Carolina No. 16 W 16–14 (Clemson leads series 59-35-4.)
January 1, 2001 No. 16 Clemson vs. No. 6 Virginia Tech Gator Bowl L 20–41
Tommy Bowden's 1st recruiting class in 1999 had only been ranked 24th, and his 2000 class actually slipped down to 31st, according to Rivals. This would have to improve for Clemson to challenge for ACC and National honors.
Y2K was a big nothing burger because a lot of brilliant people took it serious and worked very hard behind the scenes to update and correct the code to prevent all the things that could have happened.
My cousin worked very hard on fixing control code for water treatment plants and said the updates were completed only 2 weeks before the end of the year. The same thing happened in other utilities, banking, etc.
Never seen so many people disappointed that a major disaster didn’t happen.
“When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?”
John Maynard Keynes
“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
trigger somebody. Never can predict what that might be these days, though.
Note: I was working in a big chemical plant with a whole lot of computer technology in it when Y2K was approaching. Our tech people did their thing (which is what they were paid to do, coincidentally) and declared it no big deal. So, that first hand experience is what I was basing my post on.