Chat Transcript: Andrew Miller

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Charleston Post and Courier Clemson beat writer Andrew Miller was our special guest in TigerActive Chat on Thursday. We would like to thank Miller
for his participation, and we hope to have him back soon. Stay tuned for future chat guest on TigerNet.

Miller has been on the Clemson beat for six seasons. He has been a sports writer for 21 years and has covered ACC for 15 years for three different papers.


Question: If the FSU game is a blowout, you expect us to hear an annoucement Monday?

Answer: No. I don't think the FSU game hurts Tommy. It can only help. Lose to Duke and he's done!

Question: Will it be fun interviewing Steve Spurrier next year?

Answer: Spurrier to Clemson; Well, the next thing you know, you'll tell me that Lou Holtz is going to S. Carolina, errrr., wait a minute!

Question: What are the keys for Clemson if they are to hang with FSU Saturday night?

Answer: D-Line has to play well. The loss of J.J. Howard is taking its toll! offense must score in the red zone, can't move the ball between the 20s and not come away with points!

Question: Assess Terry Don Phillip's performance thus far?

Answer: TDP has done well. Purnell was a good hire. But he must do more for football. Facilities are still an issue!

Question: Do you watch playmakers? Do you enjoy it?

Answer: No

Question: Are either Clemson or USC headed in the right direction?

Answer: I think expectations at Clemson are too high under current conditions and USC expectations are too low! Read Ken Burger's column in P&C today. I agree 100 percent!

Question: What do you think of Oliver Purnell? What are his assets?

Answer: Very good recruiting. Commanding presence. He'll get it done.

Question: Is the Clemson community too hard on football coaches?

Answer: Yes. This isn't the 1980s and 1990s. Landscape of football has changed, especially in ACC

Question: Will this young Clemson offensive line be a great one in a few years?

Answer: I don't know about great, but good, yes!

Question: Andrew, what other writers do you read?

Answer: Novelist: Stephen Hunter. Daniel Silva. My brother writes for LA Times, I read him. Tony K. at Washington Post!

Question: Will Clemson recruiting take a huge hit after this season?

Answer: Not a huge hit, but it doesn't help.

Question: Who are some of the young players on this Clemson team that will impact players in the future?

Answer: Duane Coleman I think will be a very good player; Chansi Stuckey impressed me Saturday; Roman and Dustin Fry. I think Kelvin Grant will make a mark if he stays eligible.

Question: Is Tommy Bowden an approachable guy? Nice guy? Good football coach? Solid motivator?

Answer: I like Tommy. He's easy to work with. He's a smart-ass, like me. I like that. I think he's fine. He needs to make some changes on his staff.

Question: Any news on the NCAA informal investigation USC?

Answer: Don't you read the newspapers!! Lou's never been on probation. (which isn't true. Minnesota went on probabtion after he left, ND had self-imposed sanctions after he left) He's the Teflon Coach. Nothing sticks to him.

Question: Do message boards and chatrooms help or hurt colleges/universities/coaches?

Answer: I think they hurt in the end because they spread rumors that are not true!

Question: What are you hearing about the supposed renovations to the West End Zone? Any progress?

Answer: I had something in P&C Wednesday. Breaking ground in spring, completed for 2005 season. Cost $25-40 million, but Clemson needs it.

Question: How does Clemson match up with USC in Columbia this season?

Answer: I think it'll depend on which team is healthy! If everyone is healthy, i think Tigers have good chance of winning.

Question: Do you think there is a media bias towards USC in this state?

Answer: Yes. Take the State for example. If it looks like a chicken. If it clucks like a Chicken! It's probably a chicken! But USC is in Columbia and I think they should be biased!

Question: What is the status of Yusef Kelly?

Answer: He told me he would play. Yusef is a lowcountry boy. Tough luck for him. I think if he'd been healthy the Tigers would have won the N.C. State game.

Question: Have you talked to anyone in the CUAD recently about a coaching change

Answer: Tuesday with TDP. He said he's going to wait and I have to take him at his word. He hasn't lied to me before.

Question: What is the minimum the Team has to do, for Coach Bowden to coach Clemson next year?

Answer: Win last three games. a win over Duke and USC might not be enough.

Question: If Coach Bowden is offered - stay but replace X number of coaches, will he?

Answer: I get the feeling he's pretty loyal. I don't think he'd do that. He'd probably leave first. That's just my feeling!

Question: Is the team over the Wake debacle?

Answer: I think so. I don't know if it'll help Saturday!

Question: Do you agree with Ken Burger that the media has been harder on Tommy Bowden than Lou Holtz?

Answer: Absolutely. Why is Lou getting a free ride. In my opinion he inherited more talent than Tommy did. He's a statistic. In last three years, USC 10 NFL draft picks, Clemson 5 NFL draft picks. It's not the only way to judge talent, but it's a good way.

Question: Will Clemson be competitve with Bowden at the helm, especially with the new ACC?

Answer: Tough question. The ACC will be THE best conference in America next year. Any team would struggle. I think Clemson has some issues they need to address, facilities being at the top of the list. I would have like to see what TB could do with a completed West End Zone project!

Question: why do all the sports writers HATE Clemson so mjuch and LOVE lou??

Answer: I don't. Read above.

Question: Do you think Clemson fans are being unreasonable with their expectations of Coach Bowden?

Answer: Yes. As stated earlier, this isn't the 1980s

Question: What did you think of Ken's column on Lou this morning?

Answer: Hit the nail right on the head! His best column this football season.

Question: Hey Andrew! The ubiquitous question for all writers in here: How'd you get where you are?

Answer: Started at Greensboro Daily News in jr., in high school covering preps. Went to USC! Have worked at P&C since 1988!

Question: If Tommy had an identical record, but had not had 8 blowout losses would the seat even be hot?

Answer: I think he'd gone already!

Question: How has the landscape changed Mr. Miller? No need to tackle, block or pass to win games?

Answer: Teams are better. Wake Forest, Duke and Virginia never cared about football until recently. OK Duke bad example. FSU joins the league. If FSU was in the league in 1980s when Danny Ford was around, he would have struggled as well. Virginia won 7 or more games for 14 straight seasons late 1980s to 2001. Only FSU, Michigan and Nebraska can say that.

Question: If Clemson Nation is too impatient and the landscape has changed, Why then do UM, UVA, G Tech, NC State, Wake 'appear' to be doing so much better?

Answer: They're not. You're all about even. Last four years, 2-2 against Maryland, Ga. Tech, UVa., and 3-1 against Wake

Question: Then what should our expectations be at Clemson?

Answer: 7 to 8 wins and challenge for ACC title every four or five years. Bowden in the hunt for ACC in 2000.

Question: Which sport is easiest to cover? which is toughest?

Answer: I love college football. The atmosphere is great, but it's a long season. Baseball for me is the toughest. Boring!

Question: Who will the next coach at South Carolina be and when will he be hired?

Answer: CAN you say Skippy!! Two years.

Question: Newspapers spread rumors that aren't true too. Don't they?

Answer: Not like chat rooms

Question: You had some pretty tough remarks on the relationship between TB and TDP on charleston radio the other day. You still believe the relationship is rocky?

Answer: I've learned from another source, one i really trust that might have been wrong. If Clemson goes 7-5 with win over USC, we'll see who was right. 6-6, Tommy's gone. 8-4 Tommy stays, 7-5, it's a toss up.

Question: Do you ever find interesting ideas or articles on any of the Clemson websites?

Answer: I have to admit that sometimes you guys are a head of the curve. I try to confirm rumors you guys spread.

Question: On the bias. If Holtz is being covered with kid gloves by Charleston, The State, etc., is it fair for you and the Clemson beat reporters to hammer Tommy and as Burger says, cover him differently?

Answer: I think it's fair. But, the problem is that, we need to hammer lou as well.

Question: Interesting point: Is there some reason Clemson fans should not expect excellence in football?

Answer: No. But you have to be realistic. Small state. small recruiting base. you recruit against Georgia, Tenn., Florida, FSU, USC, Auburn. All have better facilites. It's an up hill battle.

Question: Andrew..If a change is made, is Ford a serious replacement?

Answer: If it were up to me, that's who I'd hire. If he suceeds, great. If he doesn't his shadow would disappear and everyone could get on with their lives.

Question: Andrew... you do know that danny ford faced FSU in his last two years and split with them...

Answer: Different landscape! More scholarships. Easier to recruit to Clemson.

Question: You don't like college baseball? What are you.. a communist?

Answer: Liberal yes, communist, no!

Question: USC grad - I think you are reasonably objective in the rivalry - Do you find objectivity difficult?

Answer: Not at all. Currently, I'm not real fond on the USC coach. It's all Lou all the time.

Question: Has the post courier ever considered having a resident writer to cover Clemson? I know you and Gene have both written about the long drive through west pelzer

Answer: That will start this basketball season. They asked me and Gene to move. We declined. Hey, I'm 10 minutes from the beach!

Question: Compare and contrast USC and Clemson Fans and Game Day Experience, PLEASE?

Answer: Great atmosphere at both places. I think Clemson is more of a college town.

Question: Are you saying Clemson should be satisfied to perennially be behind FSU, Miami, and Va. Tech?

Answer: Miami, FSU, I think that's realistic. Va. Tech no. You should be able to compete with them. But Virginia is a bigger state. Larger recruiting base.

Question: Is it true you could hit a Mike Huggins curveball?

Answer: OK, Mr. Huggins is family. He's my brother-in-law. His sister, ie my wife, would kill me if I told the truth!

Question: Were you the Orange Shadow (little known internet columnist)last year?

Answer: No

Question: Ok, who's the most knowledgable Bobby Hartin or Edog? :-)

Answer: Me!

Question: Are you leaving as Clemson's beat writer?

Answer: Unfortunately, yes. I'll still go to games and do sidebars and notes packages.

Question: What do you know about our Golf team for the upcomming season?

Answer: I shoot 100, then i play the back 9. Golf is not my sport.

Question: Andrew I was wondering what you think our strategy should be this saturday in order to beat the Crimonoles?

Answer: Score in the red zone. you're going to need to get some turnovers.

Question: On Mark Packer's show yesterday, It was said that "college football has passed Clemson by." What do you think about that?

Answer: I don't think so.

Question: Are you going to take over for Gene Sapakoff? That guy is terrible.

Answer: Just because he said Wake doesn't belong in the ACC, you're going to hold that against him!

Question: Are you a big fan of college football, or do you just do this as a writing gig?

Answer: I'm a fan.

Question: I no longer read your paper online. I know registering to read is the trend lately for newspapers but I get enough spam already. Your thoughts on this?

Answer: Spam is bad

Question: You mentioned that expectations of success were too high at Clemson for current conditions. How would you change to conditions to match up with expectations?

Answer: Good question. It's not easy. I think Danny Ford did a great job, but he was also on probation for three years after winning national title.

Question: As a graduate of the University of South Carolina are you pleased to be represented on Tuesdays on Phil Kornblute's show by Russ Perry?

Answer: Read by above comments about the State. If it looks like a chicken and talks like a chicken, it's definitely a chicken, no matter what he says. Korn tries to be objective, but it's hard to be when you live in Columbia.

Question: Okay, who plays Okalahoma for the national title? Does Clemson get a bowl game, if so which?

Answer: USC or FSU! I think Clemson has a good shot. Maybe in Charlotte.

Question: speaking of Wake, settle an argument for us: Should we be mad about losing to Wake?

Answer: Absolutely.

Question: Andrew, I enjoy listening to you on Will Merritt's show each week. I think that you are the most informed guest of any of the Upstate sportstalk shows. I know that TDP has not spelled out what he means by improvement. What, though, do you see "improvement" meaning for TDP in TB's case? Thanks

Answer: They need to be competitive. I think until last Saturday, the Tigers were a better team than they were last season.

Question: Do you think if Tommy Bowden had been asked to resign, he would have admitted it in the press conference this week?

Answer: No to both questions!

Question: Do you think Lou purposely led the team to an 0-11 season his first year to accentuate the progress he would make?

Answer: He's not that smart!

Question: If Wake only won by 3-7 points, do you think it would be this bad?

Answer: No.

Question: Do you have any feelings or thoughts on Danny Ford getting back into coaching?

Answer: He didn't get it done at Arkansas. What makes you think he'll get it done at Clemson?

Question: Explain the comment about TB being gone without the blowouts. Do you mean that he would be somewhere else coaching?

Answer: I think had Tigers been blownout in eight games this season, he'd be gone already. Maybe i didn't read the question right.

Question: Are you figuring TB will keep his staff intact if he stays?

Answer: That would surprise me.

Question: Would you agree that the Newberry Indians are the premier team in the state this year?

Answer: With respect to my wife and her family, absolutley.

Question: So you think that there is no way Spurrier will leave the NFL this year, and be our coach

Answer: Nothing would surprise me after lou going to USC.

Question: Your "anti-Lou" campaign is weak, you said you don't like him because of the media's lovefest for him. Why don't you complain to your employer?

Answer: Weak!! The guy's got a losing record in five seasons. If Clemson beats USC again this year, what's USC excuse going to be because listening to chicken fans, they've got WAY more talent!

Question: Landscape, landscape... I believe that is a crutch for not being successful. Whatcha think?

Answer: It's being realistic. TB's right. Your facilities stink. It matters.

Question: Do you know someone by the alias of Catahoula?

Answer: Yes

Question: Where did Ken Burger go to school?

Answer: Georgia

Question: Spam is bad, DUH! I mean, what kind of impact do you think this registering nonsense is having on online newspaper's readership?

Answer: I think it hurts. There's got to be a way to include circulation with the internet.

Question: No, the question was take away blowout losses to FSU (more than once) Wake, UM, Texas Tech, NC State, but he has the same record (in otherworlds losing close ones) Is he still as much on the hot seat?

Answer: No. I don't think he'd be on the hot seat. OK. Guys, I've actually got to go back to work. Great questions. I really enjoyed it.

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