Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Boys are back in town...

The boys of summer are warming up. Practice for the #3 USC Baseball team began recently and the Carolina faithful can not wait! Maybe becasue we are actually the powerhouse in this sport and don't float near the bottom of the SEC like we do in basketball or sometimes football.

Over the last eight years - since the start of the breakthrough 2000 season – the USC baseball team has won a remarkable 71.5 percent of its games and has registered the fourth highest win total in the country (388-155) in that span.

USC has won 40 or more games in each of the last eight seasons, and is one of only two teams to advance as far as the Super Regional Round in seven of those years.

Here is a article from The State to get you primed - here.

Oh, and here is our pitching projections and know that pitching is the key to a CWS visit this year.

Spurrier gets a cool million

The executive committee of USC’s Board of Trustees amended Spurrier’s contract to create a tax-deferred retirement plan worth $250,000 per year for the next four years. Spurrier, who turns 63 in April, would forfeit all the retirement money if he leaves USC prior to Dec. 31, 2011.

Spurrier, who makes a guaranteed $1.75 million annually, is signed through the end of the 2012 season. The former Florida coach is 21-16 in three seasons at USC.

Read more ---Board grants Spurrier million-dollar incentive

Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson received a three-year deal worth $350,000 a year, making the Winnsboro native the highest-paid assistant coach in any sport in school history. And Special Teams Coordinator Ray Rychleski, a former Maryland assistant, received a two-year deal worth $160,000 the first year and $170,000 in 2009.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Poll Question of the Day

Who do you predict to win the Super Bowl?

The New England Patriots
The New York Giants

Questions surround the 08 USC Football Team

Here are some questions going into the 2008 Football season, I know it is like 7 months away but these are my questons (concerns) going into 08. I raise the questions because "signing day" is right around the corner, here goes:

  1. Will Stephen Garcia be the starting QB in 08 or Smelly?
  2. Who will replace the "heart" of the team - Cory Boyd - and be the leader?
  3. Heck, who will be the starting running back in 08? (Davis, Wallace or Maddox?)
  4. What will the "new look" of the USC Defense be with a new Def Coor?
  5. What will the SC O Line step up in 08?
  6. Can USC overcome a tougher schedule in 08?
  7. Will any other WRs step up to provide options to the SC QB (beside McKinley)?
  8. Will the SC defense do a better job of stopping the run in 08? (Ellis likes the 4-3 and forcing the throw)
  9. Will the SC secondary be ranked high like they were in 07 against the pass?
  10. Will USC beat Clemson in 08?

What do you guys out there think?

Thursday, January 31, 2008

super bowl half time shows

Since the super bowl is almost here and we haven’t really talked much about the most hyped event in the world, I figured I would throw this out there. Everybody loves the commercials, but a lot of people also enjoy the half time show. So please check out these half time acts from the past and let me know which one is your favorite. I personally like 1992 and 1993, I don’t really remember them but I am sure anything with Gloria Estefan ,Brian Boitano and Dorothy Hamill would be awesome. We will also have a open forum on Monday about the performance by Tom Petty during this years half time show. I hope he plays “last dance with Mary Jane.”

Drop bows on 'em...

It is reported by the AP today that an errant elbow will cost Renaldo Balkman some time.

The NBA suspended the backup forward of the New York Knicks on Wednesday for one game without pay for hitting an opponent in the face with his right elbow. Balkman will sit out Wednesday night's game at Utah and lose just over $15,000 in salary.

With 7:07 remaining in the second period of Tuesday's 120-109 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Balkman, with the ball held in both hands above his head, was challenged defensively by guard Sasha Vujacic.

After trying to fend off Vujacic, the 6-8 Balkman swung his right elbow into the jaw of the Lakers defender, sending him to the floor, holding his face while Balkman was called for an offensive foul.

Balkman, in his second year out of South Carolina, is averaging 2.9 points and 2.8 rebounds in 34 games for New York this season.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

USC wins against UGA

What has been a year of lost leads for the University of South Carolina. The Gamecocks beat UGA tonight for the first time in 6 games by the score of 62-56.

UGA had beaten USC 5 straight times but no more! It is also important to note that the team that has won the first game between USC and Georgia has also swept the regular-season series in each of the five years, with Georgia winning the last two years as well as 2002-03. USC swept the series in 2003-04 and 2004-05.

Up next Ole Miss on Saturday, a top 25 team, which will be a tough one.

One of my favorites

Yum Yum Chinese buffet

If you ever visited the cast and crew of real world Juarez house then you knew that every Sunday afternoon after drinking all night Saturday, we always went to Obie’s favorite place. Yummy Yummy Chinese restaurant on Forest drive, which was featured this week in The Free times here in Columbia. It brought back many memories of Juarez house as well as hung over dinning favorites. So if you are bored of all the super bowl hype, please feel free to tell a story about Juarez house, or your favorite hung over food eatery.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Oh to get inside Terry's head

Do you think this man on the left has any second thoughts?

So we got Davis leaving...wait....staying. This is a good thing for Clemson and the running attack at Clemson if they choose to stick with it (remember Korn). But there are some bigger issues at clemson and that is not being able to win the big games nor take advantage of a less than stellar ACC...not to mention the loss of Merring; which creates a little more questions on defense and most likely will force CU to mix things up concerning their coverage in 08. Not to mention a depleted linebacking core and you know the heat (rightfully so) for allowing Vincent play in Atlanta (DUI arrest over Christmas) will come up again in the future. Back to Davis for a second....CU was sure quick to take him back in....what about the question if he took money from sports agents'....Oh and what about Willy "the great white hope" Korn? How will this affect Harper and you know that Korn is the fan favorite so Bowden will have to play the kid. But that is not all important and not why I am writing this....

The real issue at Clemson since Bowden has been coaching there is that the team hasn't been able to move from its good-but-not-great status to a legit Top 25 team. I mean take away "cake" wins against poor ACC foes (i.e Duke) and some weak non-conf team...whatca got?

At the end of a 9-4 season that included an 0-3 record against Top 25 teams, the Tigers have fallen to 7-27 against Top 25 teams since Bowden arrived, which reveals much about the program.

For instance, the 7-27 record is hard evidence that Clemson is not one play or one game away from reaching "the next level" that Bowden so frequently mentions. You don't identify your program as one of the elites when you win only 20 percent of your games against those teams.

We always hear, as Carolina fans, how Bowden has got them 9 wins this season, etc. Well let the facts speak for themselves. Looking at those 9 wins and winning season after was not until Bowden’s ninth year at Clemson (2007) that he was able to match Holtz’s best two years at SC. Both Holtz and Bowden amassed win totals of 17 in two years. Holtz did it in years two and three at SC and Bowden did not do it until years eight and nine. USC, under Holtz, won two New Year’s Day bowl in those years, while Bowden has lost two bowl games, and has never won an NYD bowl game. So big whoop right? Well, it is not Carolina fans running their mouths about being "almost" ACC champs; we know as Carolina fans that our program has some work to do before we compete year after year.

Let's be honest hear and that is what we, as Carolina fans, desire - a football program that is consistent in winning against top rated teams not win 6 here then 7 then a splash of 9 but back to 6.....(also see Clemson on this point too)....we want a program that does not have to rely on beating some lousy non-conf foe (or in conf) to be a winner for that season.

BUT it is amazing to me that Clemson has not been able to get over the hump b/c the ACC seems to dip in quality each year. (Sometimes I wish USC had that easy of a road.) Yet Bowden has failed, even when a crown has been virtually laid at his feet (i.e 07). Clemson, even with the talented Davis, was pretty much an under-performing offense, so it lessens the big-game opportunity for Bowden in the future. Yes, there is something to be said for Bowden meeting a level of mediocrity annually in an ever-slipping ACC, but the fact that he has stumbled so visibly when his chance was handed to him.

Oh it is important to look at this fact..... Coach Spurrier has had 7-5, 8-5 and 6-6 records in that order for his first 3 years. Bowden was 6-6, 9-3 and 7-5 his 1st 3 years with an easier schedule I might add. And Clemson fans, love to mention 81 and the ACC championships but what have you done for me lately? Here is a interesting fact -

Clemson's record against opponents in the ACC since 1992 is:

  • FSU 4-12
  • GT 8-8
  • UVA 5-7
  • VT 0-5
  • BC 0-3
  • Duke 12-3
  • Wake 10-5
  • NCst 10-6
  • UNC 8-5
  • Mary 11-5
  • Miami 1-1
Overall 69-60

Back out Duke and Wake from the list above and that total is 47-52 against the rest of the league.....also 5-21 against the four "expansion" schools.

At Clemson, a program that has had the same coach for almost a decade, the local Police Department has not made an arrest of a Clemson football players since 2001. Players charged with Driving Under the Influence or pleading guilty to alcohol-related charges, involving a fatality, are allowed to negotiate down the offense, with little media scrutiny, and the players miss little or no playing time. Other serious offenses (a gang-fight) by players are handled by a student court, and scarcely make news, while players remain secure on the football team. And until post-season 2007, player dismissals for academics at Clemson were extremely rare. Thanks to either a cleanly run program (extremely doubtful) or crafty maneuvering of the rules and media (probable) attrition, has not hampered the Tigers in the least. And still the team seems to be no better in Coach Tommy Bowden’s ninth year than it was in his second year.

So do you think Terry is wondering to himself - "why do I keep this guy around?"

Monday, January 28, 2008

Getting over our prior D.O. addiction...

It all started about 2001. The staff at LOHD was excited for our program. We had a coach coming in who had led his team to a Final Four and perennial Top 10 rankings. Not to mention found a hidden gem in a guy by the name of Tim Duncan....boy if he could do those very same things at USC it would be great. Just give Dave Odom (aka D.O.) time.....

The LOHD staff was thrilled when he lead the team to the NIT finals his first year. The LOHD staff became addicted when a team that was picked to finish last in the conference made it to the Big Dance (albeit a short trip). We use to run out and tell everyone who would listen how wonderful Dave Odom was and all we have to do is give him time to develop the program. The LOHD spent time telling anyone who would listen that he would turn this program into a contender....just give him time. He has a proven track record and always runs a good program from A to Z.
But then came reality.....USC won the NIT with a team that has a slow start, but should have been in the Big Dance. USC became back to back NIT champs...great...can not wait till next year. But nothing happened and the team never took the next step despite having talent and 3 players on the roster that would play in the NBA (granted only Balkman is left today).
Then last season, despite the fact friends and co-workers were telling us we were was insane, the LOHD still said "Odom will get the job done. He's only got 11 guys elligble. His best player is hurt. You have to give him a chance." I also said just wait...he has two new transfers coming to play for USC so 07-08 will be special.

But towards the later part of 2007, the LOHD hit rock bottom. We still try to spin the recent losses to provide a glimmer of hope in a fading team. The UNC-A loss sent LOHD over the edge, then Vandy, then UT....we here at LOHD just can not take it. But alas, LOHD writers' finally came to realization that we needed to kick our Odom addiction this season.
Odom is 123-94 at USC, which includes two NIT titles but just one trip to the NCAA tournament — in 2004, when the Gamecocks lost to Memphis in the first round. Under Odom, the Gamecocks have never finished above .500 in the SEC, with their best mark 8-8 in 2003-04. Overall, USC is 37-62 in the SEC with 13 regular-season games left. Odom came to USC after 12 years at Wake Forest, where he led the Demon Deacons to the NCAA tournament eight times and the NIT three times. In his first year at USC the Gamecocks lost to Memphis in the NIT finals — one of three trips to Madison Square Garden for the Gamecocks under Odom.
So he steps down and our D.O. addiction has ended....
Retiring basketball coach Dave Odom will receive almost $320,000 from South Carolina after stepping down April 1. Odom had two more seasons remaining on his contract after this year. Odom's contract calls for payments of $250,000 for next season and $50,000 for 2009-10. The 65-year-old coach will also get paid almost $20,000 during April. A year ago, Odom was given a two-year extension for a package that paid him about $700,000 per season.

Odom had his chance and was a overall good coach if you look at his career but at the end of the day he could not get the job done at USC. We are glad USC and Odom parted ways. The LOHD hopes that a new 'young' coach with a 'fire' in his belly will come in and shake things up. And invest the time and energy to take Gamecock basketball to the level the fans deserve!

Oh --- we lost against UK this weekend too! With the 78-70 loss the 'cocks fall below .500 for the season!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Blake could follow A1

Look-y at Blake-y sitting at number 22 out of the crop of NFL QB prospects!

I know he probably will not get drafted but is he the next Anthony Wright {A1} and make a career out of being a back up NFL QB? Heck, riding the pine pays well, right?