|Wednesday, December 27, 2017, 9:21 AM- -|
The next three weeks will be huge for Clemson football. By January 15th Clemson will know which underclassmen will be a part of the program in 2018. What will Deon Cain, Ray Ray McCloud, Mitch Hyatt, Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell, Austin Bryant, Kendall Joseph, Van Smith and Mark Fields do?
On January 10, the spring semester begins, and early enrolled like Trevor Lawrence, Derion Kendrick, Jackson Carman, Xavier Thomas, K.J. Henry, Josh Belk, Darnell Jefferies and Mike Jones will officially enroll and get ready for spring ball and PAW drills.
But the biggest of bigs happens Monday in New Orleans and hopefully the following Monday in Atlanta.
This is what we have all wanted....The Trilogy.
Clemson and Alabama have come down to the final few plays of the game in each of the past two seasons, and I expect another classic New Year’s Day.
This game is different because it is a national semi-final instead of the national title game. It is also different because so many stars that played in the first two games are no longer with their teams. I think Alabama was better in 2015 than they were in 2016. I think they were much better in 2016 than they are this season. However, I think Clemson was better in 2016 as well.
Also, I think both teams will be better in 2018 and in the next few years than what we will see Monday night. If I am right about that opinion, it speaks volumes that these two programs can send teams to the college football playoff in slightly rebuilding years.
How many programs can make the playoffs despite not being at their very best? Georgia is the third-ranked team this season, but it took decisions to come back for their senior seasons by stars like Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, Davin Bellamy and Lorenzo Carter. I doubt very seriously that the Bulldogs would be in Pasadena if those guys don’t come back.
Oklahoma is ranked second, but they are here because Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield came back for his 17th season. I also doubt the Sooners would be in the Rose Bowl if their superstar quarterback skipped his senior season.
Clemson lost almost every underclassman that could go pro, and the Tigers are once again the number-one team in the country. Bama is back for the fourth straight year making them the only team to make the playoffs each year.
In my opinion, Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Florida State entered this season as the elite programs of college football over the last few seasons. FSU fell on its face and has exited from that elite class. Ohio State missed the playoff for the second time and is now on the fence. Oklahoma made their second playoff, and if the Sooners can win the title this season, they will enter that elite class.
Alabama has been the best program in college football. If Clemson beats the Tide for the second consecutive season and goes on to win back-to-back national titles, maybe that crown moves to the Tigers. If Clemson beats Bama but loses in the title game, then I think Bama still has a slight advantage over the Tigers. If Bama beats Clemson, the Tide surely hang on to that distinction. There is nothing that could happen Monday night that could move either out of the elite status though.
In my lifetime, I have seen some bad trilogies like The Godfather 3, and I have seen the best of the trilogies like Ali-Frazier. I think this third Alabama-Clemson game has the makings to top the Thrilla in Manila.
Finally, the way these two programs are recruiting, we could see more of episodes of Bama and Clemson and being more like George Lucas’ Star Wars or Sly Stallone’s Rocky instead of the three that Coppola or Ali-Frazier gave us.
The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency
|src="https://www.tigernet.com/img/ads/plyler/allstate_logo.gif" border=0> border=0>|
The prayer list is a medium for our community to recognize those that are in need. If you would like to add someone to the list, please email me at email@example.com. Please let me know when it is appropriate to remove a person off the list.
Those who need our prayers include: 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, Stacey McKeown, Dale Childs, Larry Lentz, Jr., Carl Sharperson, Scott Hannon, William Perry, Tyler Swaney, Lillian, Mark Feit, David Frame, the family of Matthew M. Watson, the Dowis family, Alan Putnam, the Olivers, Lee Tate, Ronnie Abrams, Eddie Greene, the Jackson family, Bill Vader, Jim Taylor, Tina DeWitt, Rock Horne, Bobby Wayne Thomas, Emma and Danielle Carothers, Robert Ditty, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Smith, Millie Heatley, Lynn Martin and family, Michael Pinson, Jake David family, Angie Crowley, Ira, Poly Wells, Dr. Muriel Bishop, Jack Cunningham, Emily Jefford Meister, Aaron Clackum, Pat James, Cortney Moore, William Moore, Angelia and Savannah Anderson, Scott Johns, Frank Carroll, Brandon Thompson, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, 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, Amanda Peake, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, the Sturkey family, the 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, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Jenna Phipps, Mark Lawrence, Jonathan and Jacki Sullins, Peter Laboy, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Jack Cunningham, Mia Daughtery, Tee Senn, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, Sean Rowell, George Parker, Levon Kirkland and family, Catherine Sewell, Randy Davenport, David Vaughn, Keith Dalton, B.T., Bill Hilbig, Rita Elrod Hammond and family, Jim McKeller, Tony Alewine, Sharon Storck, Richard Bagnal, Dustin and Brittany Peurifoy, Jan Allan, Gregg and Sylvia Lewis, Travis Hamrick, Kaki Harmon, Jammie McKellar and babies, Karen Edwards, Cathy Hutson Gregg, Kristin Heckman, Jennifer Johnson, Lyndsie Johnson, Emily Davis, Hayes Davis, Judy Towe, Johnny Towe, Ken Brown, Elaine Brown, Rhonda Thompson, Tim Davis, Jacob Greinke, Jack Finley, Richard and Clara Crawford, Israel, Frankie Allen, Bobby Allen, the Wessinger family, the Parsons family, Todd Price and family, Rosemary A Flynn, Dr. Mickey Shealy family, Mr. Gillespie, Bobbi Nicholson, Dr. Matt Stower, Tyler Kemmerlin, Parks Hutto, Robert Summerville, Michelle Richey, Julie Moore, Ashley Fitch, Kevin Anderson, Lyn Price, John Robert Smith, Allison Williams, Nicholas Wickiser, Hammond Family, Elaine G. Duvall, Addison Grace, Bennie Cunningham, Kevin Orcutt, Alan Finley, Keith Wells, Steve Byrd, Jessica Hernandez, Wayne Mullins, Rita Alexander, Tony Osterman, family and friends of Gary Cooper, Derk Denton, Tim Vacek, Mike Vacek, Alma Jean Sullivan, Lindsey Motley, Riley Cook, Dwayne Wood, Eileen Thomas, Larry Nimmons and Family, Annie Gregory, Amy Black, Will Black, Sam Smith, Dixon Family, Joe Lazorik, Mark Smith, Rene' Nelson, R. Bruce Harnage, Norris Brown and family, Tanner Cain, Avery Cain, Ted Wilson, Sandra Wilson, Leoffels family, Wren Jansen, Gail Culbreth, Jody Sinex, Donald Sikes, Carolyn and Richard Helderman, Jimmy Hutto, Christina M. Facen, John Harrison, Mike Vigdor, Oscar Pullen, Tim Mayberry, John McMahan, Karen Louthian, Samantha Molnar, Bob Dobson, Deshaun Watson, JJ Watt, Lenue Hayes and family, Lamont Johnson and family, Karen Vague, Dwight Clark, Karen Lake, Laura Lake, Blake Holliday family, Jerrold Collins, Jennifer B. Adkins, Mark Nizolek, Mark Forbes, Lorrie Ahern, and our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day, plus their families.