Big Boy Pants


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Tajh Boyd and the Tigers showed LSU they could play
Tajh Boyd and the Tigers showed LSU they could play "big boy pants" football in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. (TigerNet Staff)

On August 31st, it will be time to put on the “Big Boy Pants.”

Two years ago – shortly before Auburn played at Clemson for the second of the three-game series – I heard that phrase. It was used by Tommy Bailey, who is the uncle of TigerNet’s Nikki Steele. Tommy told Nikki on Facebook that Clemson would actually have to wear their big boy pants in that game, implying that the big boys of the SEC require different garments to play the game.

As it turned out, Clemson had no problem with a weakened Auburn team that day, and before the teams played last season, nothing was heard about big boy pants.

However, I heard the phrase again, shortly before Clemson played LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. For those that don’t know, the press box in the Dome is open, and I saw and heard a group of LSU fans giving a lone Clemson fan a lot of grief shortly after the gates opened.

“You boys play in the ACC,” the Bayou Tiger said. “You don’t have to wear big boy pants in that sissy league. In our league, you have to wear big boy pants. And we are gonna find out who wears big boy pants tonight.”

With that, his friends gave him a lot of high fives and pats on the back.

In reality, LSU’s big boy pants must have been on a little too tight that night, because their defensive players littered the carpet of the Dome in the fourth quarter, gasping for air.

Big boy pants indeed.

In many ways, however, that LSU fan was right. There are certain games that require you to wear those big boy pants. LSU versus Alabama – big boy pants. LSU versus Kentucky – not so much. Clemson versus Florida St. – big boy pants. Clemson versus Duke – not so much.

Clemson versus Georgia. In Death Valley. At night. On national television. Strap those bad boys on, buckle the chin strap and play a little big boy football.

Clemson vs. Georgia is always fun to talk about, despite the fact that the Bulldogs have won the last five games in the series. Many Clemson fans grew up during the era of Danny FordDanny Ford
Former Head Coach
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and Vince Dooley and Homer Jordan and Herschel Walker, and many of their fondest memories probably revolve around some of those great games.


All of those games were big boy pants games.

Who are the stakes higher for, Clemson or Georgia? I would argue that they are higher for Clemson, and I point back to the LSU fan in the Dome last New Year’s Eve. Georgia plays in the SEC, and that means they have a greater chance overcoming an early loss if they want to play for a national title.

In fact, Georgia turns around and plays South Carolina the next week. A win there and they vault right back into the top of the polls. Clemson plays S.C. State the next week, doesn’t play Florida St. until October 19th and doesn’t get another shot to impress nationally until they play at South Carolina to end the season.

The Tigers get their first shot at wearing those big boy pants on August 31st, but in reality, they should wear those pants every game. Don’t overlook anybody, don’t look past any opponent until after that game is over. August 31st and Georgia just happen to be the first game.

Big boy pants all year.

Now spot the ball.


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