CLEMSON, SC -- Granted, not everyone is a college football fan.
There is the native in the deep, dark South American rain forest that's never seen a
television. Or Death Valley.
If it were up to College Sports Southeast, the native wouldn't go without
college football - Clemson football in particular.
College Sports Southeast will be broadcasting Clemson's games at 1 p.m. on
Sunday afternoons this fall.
But you'll need a big dish and a digital receiver if you want to see the
action if you live anywhere near Clemson. Only the Charleston area, served
by Knology cable system has signed up for CSSE in South Carolina. In fact,
other than Knology in Charleston, you would have to drive to Alabama to find
the closest cable system that is carrying CSSE this fall.
"We launched CSSE last August," said spokesman Matt Hays. "It was a local
network out of Birmingham. We took it over and expanded from 300,000
subscribers to 700,000 in the nine state Southeastern area."
Hays said that CSSE has a large library of classic college football games
that it will show during the week. Of interest to Clemson fans, though, is
the broadcast which will feature Doug Bell on play-by-play and former
Clemson coach Hootie Ingram with the color commentary.
Hays said a condensed version of the broadcast will be a part of a quadruple
header on Sundays. In addition to the Clemson game at 1 p.m., the Alabama,
Auburn and LSU games will all be replayed by CSSE.
The problem now, though, is getting cable systems to carry the channel.
"A lot of it, they tell us, is channel capacity, especially on analog
systems," said Hays. "I think we're making some headway with some of the
systems. They're starting to respond. We're a lot further along than we were
three weeks ago."
Collegiate Sports Partners, which has the rights to Clemson's radio
broadcasts, will introduce a tailgate show that will have a new flavor from
those in the past.
Gone are Love and Hudson's version of the tailgate show and in is Whitey
Jordan and Dan Cagle. Jordan was a receiver at Clemson in the 50's and an
offensive coordinator on a couple of occasions while Cagle is an IPTAY rep
and a Greenville executive.
"It will focus entirely on the Olympic sports," said Brenda Rabon, who heads
the broadcast operation in Clemson. "It will be a tighter format. With the
increase in attendance, it's gotten hard to maneuver the golf cart around
So Jordan and Cagle will be on the Littlejohn lawn with a coach or two
available to sign autographs. It will be a drastic change from Love and
Hudson's show which featured a one-man band and plenty of biting humor aimed
at the other teams, in particular South Carolina.
"We had talked about not doing it for the past three years...really after
the first year," said Love. "It was really quite tiring after working all
week and then being out of town with the show. I'm not saying it takes a
tremendous amount of stamina or anything like that, but it does wear you out
after a while."
Jordan and Cagle's show will be lower key. They're the latest to take over
the tailgate show, which started in 1977 with Dan Kelly and a two-way radio,
according to Love. Love was an engineer back at the WFBC studios at the
time. "The thing that amazed me when we took the show was how much bigger it
was now than back then," he said.
In subsequent years the show was hosted by Russ Cassell, Jane Robelot, Mike
Galagher and Dale Gilbert among others.
"The show will focus on Clemson," said Rabon. "It will focus on Clemson in
the best light possible. There will not be a one-man band and jingles. It
will focus on Clemson."
The broadcast will also shorten some. "The length of the total broadcast had
been eight to nine hours and we found out that some of the affiliates were
not picking up the entire broadcast," said Rabon.
The post game show will last an hour and a half and will involve Jordan taking
calls about the game with score updates.