Friday, December 28, 2007

A new day is ahead for Carolina - Mr. Philpot

Wait until next year right? As most Gamecock fans are growing accustomed to saying. But just maybe we mean it this time...

This week there was a article on Clemson's site that pissed not only our friend 'JR' off but many from the gamecock nation. You can read it HERE. Seems Mr. Philpot has been "drinking the kool-aid" from Clemson.

I will be the first to say "hats off" for the 1981 national championship even if it is a wee bit tainted (I will get to that towards the end of this). Danny did well at Clemson no doubt about it but by him doing good he was asked to leave or Clemson was going to be hit hard with NCAA sanctions for "him doing good." But that is not the point here - the issue is Mr. Philpot does not think USC will ever be a consistent winner which I, along with the USC rebuttal, disagree. Read the rebuttal HERE.

So what is in store for USC in 2008 and can Spurrier & Co. turn it around - I say yes. This blog has gone on the record that by 2010 USC will be playing for the SEC title. Spurrier has been at SC for 3 yrs. Give the poor man time! It is not like he inherited a great program from Holtz like Les Miles did from Saban. Spurrier is not a miracle worker despite some Carolina fans thinking he is. It takes time to build a program. That is what Spurrier is doing....building a program at USC that has consistent winning seasons and tradition NOT a winning season here and there. Don't you get it --- he is laying the foundation that will lead to great things.

Coach Steve Spurrier believes the Gamecocks could be a stronger team in 2008 – and he has plenty of evidence to back up his belief. As he’s said on more than one occasion, last year was the program’s best recruiting class in his three years (also it looks like the next class could be a good one) combine that with the fact that USC also will return two key defenders who were hurt, middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley (provided he doesn’t change his mind and opt to turn pro) and defensive tackle Nathan Pepper along with the Lindsey brothers (Dustin and Jordin) and Captain, who was hurt down the stretch.

The Gamecocks also return the majority of their players. as this blog as stated many times but it is not a excuse...that the 2007 squad was young. On offense USC loses five seniors (all starters) among its top 24 – QB Blake Mitchell, TB Cory Boyd, C Web Brown, TE Andy Boyd and FB Lanard Stafford. Losing the heart of the team in Corey Boyd, he will be missed, but I am sure someone will step up and I think that will be Jasper. Speaking of defense, USC loses six seniors, although only one was a full-time starter, DE Casper Brinkley. Also gone will be DE Ryan Brown, DT Joel Reaves, OLB Cody Wells, DB Brandon Isaac and SS Chris Hampton. There are any number of question marks, however, starting at quarterback, where red shirt Stephen Garcia will get his shot to replace Mitchell and beat out Chris Smelley and Tommy Beecher for the job. But the biggest question is up front on both sides of the ball, which was a problem all year and the main reason USC could not run the ball on offense and couldn’t stop the run on defense.

Keep in mind that every year USC plays a top ten schedule and ends up with an average record and maybe a top 25 ranking. But Clemson on the other hand plays a laughable schedule and ends up a top 20 team with a respectable record. I truly think that the next two years will be some of the best ever for USC. Maybe a SEC championship will finally come to Columbia. But with the rest of the SEC east getting better with us it will be a challenge. I predict that Steve Spurrier will win a SEC championship at South Carolina before Tommy Bowden will win a ACC championship at Clemson.

So what will happen in the SEC in 2008.....after a one-year hiatus, Florida should be back in the national title mix as Tebow, Harvin and the entire defense return. I think in the SEC East there are 3 teams in the mix in 08 - UGA, UF and USC. In the West, LSU could be better offensively with quarterback Ryan Perrilloux stepping in for Matt Flynn, although the Tigers’ defense has holes to fill. Alabama will have a senior quarterback in John Parker Wilson. And it will be interesting to see what Nutt does with the mess he inherited from Ed Orgeron in Oxford. But the SEC West is LSU's to lose and the sleeper is Auburn.

The USC schedule next season closes with a five-game stretch against LSU, Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida and Clemson. Every game will be difficult, as it should be. There are no off weeks when you’re competing in the SEC or against your arch-rival. What should USC do? Step up to the challenge. Make plays. Play with effort. Play smart. Go for the kill when it has the chance.

Oh --- back to Mr. Philpot and his article. He failed to mention some things that Marc Hudgens on August 6, 2007 wrote so let me post them here.

"The year after the National title, the NCAA investigated Clemson for recruiting violations committed by Ford and ex-coach Pell and subsequently hit the football program with two years probation including no bowl appearances during '82-83. Because Pell was already underway in rebuilding Florida at the time (and committing more infractions there as well), Ford was the lone responsible party to take the fall.

Once that wind blew over, another came along. In early 1985, South Carolina investigators determined that three coaches were dispensing prescription drugs to athletes. Then, in 1989, the NCAA began formal investigations into the program to see if major rules violations were committed. If found, the Clemson football program would be hit with the 'death penalty', which basically means a total suspension of football for two years. This by far was the most serious time for Clemson, and Ford was under tremendous pressure.

Ford also had other problems in addition to NCAA violations. In 1985, former Ohio State administrator Max Lennon was named Clemson's president. Upon his arrival, Lennon declared that athletics would be subordinate to academics. Given the football program's immense success, Lennon's hiring spelled doom; it led many to believe that not even the school's president was willing to defend the program.

Between Lennon and the looming death penalty, Ford and Clemson football as a whole were in major trouble. In 1989, rumors swirled that Ford was going to be fired, and they proved to be true. On Jan. 18, 1990, under three weeks after a solid 27-7 Gator Bowl win over the West Virginia Mountaineers, Ford was forced out and, quite possibly, the death penalty may have been averted as a result.

Clemson made quick work on Ford's replacement. On Jan. 22, only four days after Ford's firing, the Tigers named Arkansas' Ken Hatfield as their new head coach. Enraged fans erupted and students marched on the president's home to protest the firing of Ford and hiring of Hatfield. A player boycott was also threatened. However, their outcries fell on deaf ears -- an era was over and a new one was beginning."

Since the end of the season in 1991---Clemson has a 56% winning percentage since 1991. Clemson won 0 conference championships. Clemson has finished 2nd in the conference 0 times, unless you count within the little Atlantic division. Clemson has a powerful 9-45 record against ranked teams since 1992. Clemson has an average conference finish of 5th. Clemson has a bowl record of 4-6, which includes 1-3 against the SEC. Oh, but Clemson won a national championship, and we beat their rival (USC). Well congratulations Clemson,here is a toast to your great football program for being average....please quit thinking that you are so storied as a football program...please.

Let's do something....let's look at Spurrier in his 9th season and compare records with Bowden. Heck let's look back after 10 years from today and compare records, etc.....I have a pretty good feeling that the canary will be singing a 'different tune'. I know you will be quick to point out history and the overall record but history is learned from and Spurrier is about to re-write the future of USC. As my father would say - "all in due time."

Enough said or am I missing something?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great article and great points!