Monthly Archives: December 2011

TRC Unleashed Episode 16 IS HERE

If you’re working today, we know you’re not really working. If you’re not working today, we know your still in your pajamas. So, that being the case why don’t you give a listen to the final TRC Unleashed of 2011. You’ll hear our take on the newly released 2012 schedule, Buck’s take on the “win anyway” crowd, a preview of the upcoming Cap One Bowl, and our top moments of 2011 in Gamecock sports.

Happy New Year’s folks!

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Snapping Some Judgments – Quick Thoughts on 2012 SEC Schedule

Yes, he is apparently in charge

The 2012 SEC schedule is officially out, and it turns out the rumors are true:  Craig James DID kill a bunch of coeds back in the 1980s.  Allegedly.

No, no, not that – the other rumors, the ones that assert UGA and Bama are pulling the strings at the SEC home office down in Birmingham.

Consider the following:

Each western division team has to face at least 4 teams ranked in the 2011 final BCS rankings (poor Ole Miss has to play FIVE).

*Except for Bama, that is, which only has to play THREE.

On the eastern side of things, each team has to play at least three teams ranked in the 2011 final BCS rankings.

*Except for Georgia, which only has to play TWO – one of which (Auburn) was ranked 25th (last).

Georgia will end the 2012 campaign having played almost four full years of conference ball without facing LSU or Alabama.

Good deal, if you can get it.

As for South Carolina, the schedule is a mixed bag.  We get to open college football nationally on a Thursday night against Vandy, but we have to face what is arguably the toughest three game stretch in the conference with Oct. 6 Georgia, Oct. 13 at LSU, and Oct. 20 at Florida.  We also don’t get an open date until the first week of November (prior to facing Arkansas at home on Nov. 10).

Obviously we will spend the offseason alternately shouting “Win Anyway!” and “”We Got Screwed!” and be right on both counts.  But the question that begs to be answered is why some schools seem to be on the inside, and some (Ole Miss, Carolina) seem to be out?  Is it our administrations apparent benign approach to conference negotiations, or is it something more sinister?

Maybe Craig James is innocent, I don’t know.  But UGa and Bama sure look guilty.

TRC Unleashed, Episode 16 – Dec. 29 at 6 p.m.

Please join us for TRC Unleashed – Episode 16 on Thursday, December 29 at 6 p.m. This will be our final episode of 2011, and we’ll be discussing the upcoming Capital One Bowl against Nebraska, the newly released SEC schedule for 2012, and some of the memorable plays and players from the Gamecocks’ 10-2 regular season.

We look forward to talking at you then.

Rumored 2012 Schedule Proves USC Still the Redheaded Stepchild of the SEC

One might think that after 20 years of SEC membership, and (somewhat) steady athletic progress, that the University of South Carolina would have earned a little respect; that we would be able to exert  just a small amount of influence when it comes to things that impact the success of  our sports program.  Well Gamecock fans, if the rumors about 2012 football scheduling are true, we aren’t even close on the respect or influence fronts.  Very much to the contrary, it’s abundantly clear that we are still the red (garnet?) headed stepchild of the SEC.

The So-Called Facts:  Based on unofficial reports, our 2012 schedule will include a game against our still permanent Western Division opponent Arkansas, and a previously scheduled game against LSU.  LSU is replacing Auburn on the rotating schedule while Missouri comes on board as a permanent Eastern Division foe (in place of Mississippi State, our other 2011 rotating opponent-who was scheduled to visit Columbia prior to expansion).  In contrast to this, UGA, our chief Eastern Division rival at the present, is strongly rumored to be retaining Ole Miss as its rotating Western opponent (the 2011 equivalent of Mississippi State to us-as these schools played in 2011), while its previously scheduled home and home rotation against ALABAMA is being dropped.  Meanwhile, UGA retains its games against its permanent Western Division opponent Auburn.  In summary, we get ARKANSAS and LSU.  Georgia gets auburn and mississippi.

The Screw Job:  While our home and home against Mississippi State is cut off in midstream, UGA’s home and home against Ole Miss is preserved.  In return, we get LSU and UGA avoids Alabama.   Call us TRC guys crazy (and many people do) but we see some home cooking here for the Dogs.  Following a year where they somehow skirted Alabama, Arkansas AND LSU (due to pure luck), the schedule  appears to be working out so that they miss them ALL again in 2012 (due to something other than luck).  Instead of playing perennial power Alabama coached by a guy named Saban, they get the absolute worst team in the entire SEC (with apologies to Kentucky) coached by a guy named Freeze (who, I must admit, had never heard of until they hired him).  Now ain’t that as sweet as a Georgia Peach.

This is supposedly all being done so Missouri, the new kid on the block, can secure a marquee opening game against Georgia to kick off their entry into the league.  Gee, SEC brass, thanks for taking care of Mizzou.  That down home Southern hospitality really makes us feel better. 

Well, we don’t buy for one second that this is being done for Missouri.  It’s pretty clear to us that this has nothing to do with the Tigers to the north and a lot to do with the fact that we currently have our best team ever – something that evidently does not sit too well with the ruling elite of the SEC (don’t forget that Bama also gets to avoid Georgia, whom we grudgingly admit is back on track) and those folks who run college football nowadays (i.e., ESPN).  With Florida and Tennessee “down”, a powerful Georgia is theoretically better for business than an upstart like us.  Therefore, the wheels went in motion and we ended up with LSU while Georgia got Ole Miss.

The USC Response:  Evidently nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  As one of my TRC cohorts tweeted:  “It appears that Eric Hyman took a banana to a knife fight.”

The TRC Response:  ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING US?  Let’s be honest.  Most of  us rational fans realize that we are currently in a window of opportunity that may not appear again for quite some time – if ever.  Steven Orr Spurrier is our football coach while Dooley, Jr. (still has the training wheels on) and a guy willingly called “Boom” coach UT and Florida, respectively.  Now is our chance to supplant Tennessee in the East.  Florida will rise again, it’s just a matter of time.  With the state of Georgia to recruit, UGA can’t help but be decent every year.  

Due to a certain set of unique circumstances South Carolina has the chance to become an upper echelon (top six) SEC program.  The only way to accomplish this is by winning, and winning in a such a way that forces others to take notice.  Otherwise, the national media folks will continue to give ink to the traditional powers, as that’s what sells to most casual fans. 

Without national attention and the perception that we are an upwardly mobile program, the top recruits outside SC will continue to look elsewhere.  And at the end of the day, winning football games is about having better players than the other guys.  Make no mistake about it, this scheduling business is about the preservation of power and the ultimate delivery of dollars to outstretched hands. 

We at TRC were always of the opinion that expansion, no matter how it was sliced, was bad for USC.  If this colossal screw job actually takes place, there’s a more than a decent chance that UGA will waltz to Atlanta once again. Even if we beat them. Again.

The Buck Sweep: 2011 TRC Gamecock Football Superlatives

Well, the holiday depression is now in full swing – the day after Christmas, almost a full week to New Year’s, boring no-name teams playing in boring strangely named bowl games, cold, wet winter weather – ugh, it almost makes you want to sleep until about 6 p.m. on December 31. Well folks, today I have good news for you – it’s time for the first annual TRC Gamecock Football Superlatives!

Now calm down and don’t read through these too fast. It’s like that present you couldn’t wait to open yesterday, so you tore through it like Travian Robertson through the CTU offensive line, except you didn’t get the satisfaction of a sack dance. (OK, maybe a few of you did do a sack dance because that’s how you roll, but I digress.)

So take your time to savor these people and moments from a very special 2011 Gamecock football season.

Plays of the Year

Defensive Play of the Year – Jadeveon Clowney came to South Carolina more hyped than any player in its history, and showed why late in the fourth quarter of his second career game against Georgia.  With the Gamecocks hanging on to a three-point lead with a little over three minutes to go, Clowney came through the UGA offensive line unblocked, grabbed quarterback Aaron Murray by the jersey and slung him to the ground like a rag doll.  The sheer force of the sack separated Murray from the ball, and big Melvin Ingram scooped and scored for a 45-35 South Carolina lead. That would be the deciding score in a 45-42 win in Athens, the ‘Cocks second straight over the Bulldogs.  Honorable Mention: Antonio Allen’s interception return for TD against UGA; Devin Taylor’s interception return for TD against Arkansas; D.J. Swearinger’s game-saving interception against Mississippi State; pretty much any sack against Tajh Boyd and CTU.

Offensive Play of the Year – The Gamecocks were on the verge of a devastating loss in Starkville against Mississippi State, trailing 10-7 when they took over on offense midway through the fourth quarter.  Connor Shaw took the team on a methodical drive down the field and had them in position for at least a tying field goal, facing a third and goal at the four yard line.  Alshon Jeffery had only 20 yards receiving up to that point in the game, but with Marcus Lattimore sidelined with what turned out to be a season-ending knee injury, Jeffery was the obvious option, as evidenced by the Bulldogs double coverage on him.  Shaw lofted the ball towards the corner, and Jeffery out-jumped two MSU defenders for the winning score.  (Scrub video to the 2:10 mark.) Honorable Mention: Stephen Garcia’s first TD run against ECU; Marcus Lattimore’s 52-yard catch and run TD against Vandy; Bruce Ellington’s 61-yard run for TD against Kentucky; Connor Shaw’s 60-yard TD run against The Citadel; Alshon Jeffery’s TD catch against CTU.

Special Teams Play of the Year – Also the overall play of the year, you didn’t really think I was going to leave this one out did you?  Not only is this the play of the year, I’d dare say it’s a serious contender for play of the decade in USC football.  It is certainly a great play in and of itself, but it also came at a critical time in the Georgia game when the Bulldogs had seized momentum.  The play was a message from Steve Spurrier that we were going to do whatever it took to win, and we needed every break we could get that day.  It is also the only single play in over thirteen months of TRC blogging that deserved it’s own post.  Honorable Mention:  Ace Sanders’ 68-yard punt return for TD against ECU; Jay Wooten’s 49-yard field goal against UGA; Ingram’s leap and grab of a UGA onside kick.

Drive of the Year – A 20-play, 98-yard touchdown drive against Tennessee epitomized what kind of team and program South Carolina is becoming.  A drive like that against UT in Neyland Stadium would have been unthinkable just a couple of years ago, but this team showed serious heart, determination and talent that night.  Honorable Mention: The aforementioned 12-play, 79-yard drive against MSU; a critical 9-play, 60-yard drive just before half against CTU after they had tied the score 10-10.

Players of the Year

Team Most Valuable Player – Melvin Ingram. What a ride for this kid. I’m only going by memory, but I believe he came to USC as a linebacker and spent a little time at fullback before settling into the defensive line rotation.  It took him some time to learn the nuances of the DL, but once he did, boy did he make a difference.  You saw glimpses of it last year, and his freakish athletic ability jumped out at everyone who saw him play this year.  He’s had the tag “unblockable” placed on him, he’s intercepted passes, ran fake punts, been a mentor to young guys like Jadeveon Clowney, and I’m sure at some point he’s washed towels and handed out Gatorade.  A consensus first-team All-American, Melvin will be a first-round draft pick and will go down as one of the Gamecocks’ greatest ever.

Defensive Player of the Year – Antonio Allen. Led the team with 81 total tackles and tied for the lead with three interceptions. Allen always seems to make a play when the Gamecocks need him most. Unheralded when he got to South Carolina (heck, even unheralded coming into this season) Allen matured into an All-SEC performer and will be an NFL draft pick in the spring.

Offensive Player of the Year – Connor Shaw. With the trio of Garcia, Lattimore and Jeffery on the team, it was impossible to see this coming. But when Garcia was benched and then dismissed, Shaw stepped in and guided the team to six wins in seven games, and only the second 10-win season in school history. He was solid and rarely spectacular, until the last game of the season that is, when he dumped the Shaw kitchen sink on CTU and gave Gamecock fans reason to be very optimistic about the quarterback position for the next two years. Shaw completed 63 percent of his passes and threw for 12 TD’s, and gave the Gamecocks a controlled running threat from the position once he got comfortable.  The one thing he did not do that was a pleasant surprise – make backbreaking mistakes.

Special Teams Player of the Year – Vacant. Oh, ok, if I have to pick somebody let’s go with…uh…Jay Wooten.  Congratulations Jay.

Freshman of the Year – Jadeveon Clowney. Really an easy pick and I don’t think I have to rehash why. All I know is he is going to be a beast for the next two years at USC.  I’d be remiss without acknowledging the contributions of newcomers Brandon Wilds, Mike Matulis, Bruce Ellington, Buster Anderson, Kelcy Quarles and Victor Hampton.  The Gamecock football program will be in good hands with these guys over the next few years.

Coaches of the Year Not Named Spurrier

Offensive Coach of the Year – Shawn Elliott. The South Carolina offensive line has been a problem since Steve Spurrier’s arrival in 2005. But this year Shawn Elliott patched together a group that should be talked about for one primary reason – because nobody talked about it. There were times when the OL didn’t play particularly well, it happens, but those moments were much fewer and farther between than recent years.  Under Elliott’s tutelage, and with the young talent we have returning on the line, look for the OL to be a strength instead of a weakness going forward.

Defensive Coach of the Year – Ellis Johnson. This guy has gotten it done with many teams over many years, but this might have been his best coaching job. Granted, he had a lot of talent to work with, but he also had a hand in recruiting the talent to fit his system. After a rough first two games, the South Carolina defense rebounded and is now mentioned in the same breath as National Championship contenders Alabama and LSU. Johnson’s defense held two teams under 100 total yards (Vanderbilt, Kentucky) and two more teams under 200 total yards (Tennessee, CTU). He will be a tough man to replace.

 

Tebowing vs. Daboing – A Graphic Representation

 

 

The Buck Sweep – An Ode to Ellis

I'll miss the hat most of all.

If you would’ve asked me a month ago if Ellis Johnson would be a candidate for the Southern Mississippi head coaching job I would’ve said no way. If you would’ve asked me if he would want it even if offered I would’ve told you no way. But coaches in general are a nomadic bunch, and the more I look at the situation, the more it makes sense.

It’s easy to be tempted by the young offensive coordinator with the flashy “new” system, but Southern Miss didn’t want to be the proverbial stepping stone that many mid-major schools are. USM has had only two coaches in 21 years, Jeff Bower and Larry Fedora – Bower for 18 and Fedora for three. Now, the 59-year-old Johnson surely will not be at USM for anywhere near 18 years, but he will also not be looking to move on to the next big thing if he has success. It’s very easy to see EJ finishing his career at USM, and I hope he has enough success to make that a reality.

From Johnson’s side of things, a lot of people cited his satisfaction with his position at USC and his wife’s business as reasons for him to stay. But ultimately Johnson wanted to be a head coach again, and with Steve Spurrier’s recent contract extension it didn’t look like he would even have the opportunity to become head coach at South Carolina for at least 4-5 years.

I’m frankly impressed that Southern Miss was open to hiring Johnson, and that Johnson was able to convince the USM brass that he was the man for the job.

As South Carolina fans, all we can do is tip our hat to EJ for the job he has done here, turning the USC defense into one of the elite units in the nation. Not bad for guy who wasn’t Spurrier’s first choice.

Good luck Coach Johnson.

Who’s Next? Already people are speculating on who the next South Carolina defensive coordinator will be. Here are four names that have been mentioned, with only one I believe to be a true possibility:

  • Mike Stoops – late of Arizona, currently unemployed. Rumors are he’d like to reunite with brother Bob at Oklahoma, but there are no openings on his staff at the moment and he’s not willing to re-shuffle without a departure. Spurrier obviously has connections to the Stoops family, and this might be a viable option.
  • Randy Shannon – the former Miami coach would be an excellent choice for many reasons, but is a bad choice for one reason – the NCAA investigation at Miami. At this point, whether he’s guilty or not, we don’t need to thumb our noses at the NCAA by hiring a guy with a cloud hanging over his head.
  • Ron Zook – many South Carolina fans might cringe at the thought given the Zooker’s head coaching stint at Florida (an unmitigated disaster) and then at Illinois (less of a disaster, but then again, it is Illinois). He’s a great, great recruiter, but as an X and O man, I tend to cringe a little as well.
  • Lorenzo Ward – possibly a promotion for continuity? The HBC has a lot of respect for Ward and loves him as a coach, but it ain’t gonna happen. Spurrier is going to go get someone with a pedigree, and I believe we’ll be willing to pay handsomely for it.

Two other names have been mentioned, but it appears Everett Withers will wind up at Ohio State, and Vic “Goat Boy” Koenning at North Carolina.

I’m sure contacts for our open positions will be continue to be made up until the bowl game, but don’t be surprised if neither a new DC nor a new running backs coach come on board until early January.

The Rationalization Continues. CTU writers and fans continue to downplay their three-game losing streak to the Gamecocks. The latest is a blog post from Scott Rhymer of “The Tiger Pregame Show”, entitled  “Championships are Our New Rival”.  First he pulls out the tired old “all time record” just in case we haven’t all heard that one before, then goes on to speak of CTU football as if championships are somehow a God-given right of which they have been deprived for 20 years.

You know the old saying “if one team wins all the time it’s not much of a rivalry”? Well, then championships can’t be their new rival, because championships have been kicking their ass for the last 20 years.

These pathetic rationalizations about their ACC “championship” can only provide temporary relief because…well, because 34-17, 29-7, 34-13.

Booyah.

The NCAA Cometh. Ohio State has been given a one year bowl ban, some additional scholarship reductions and an extra year of probation in addition to its previously announced self-imposed penalties. If this doesn’t make you swallow hard as a South Carolina fan then you must not be paying attention. If you look at them line by line, the indiscretions by folks “on behalf of the Gamecock program” pale in comparison to what we’ve heard about coming out of Ohio State, Miami and North Carolina. But when the NCAA is involved, you really never know what you’re going to get.

I’ll need to take a shower after admitting this, but I actually agree with Fits News when they ask Why Wasn’t Jennifer Stiles Fired? You have to take a hard line and at least APPEAR to be contrite even if you don’t believe you did much wrong. Part of that contrition should have been the termination of Jennifer Stiles.

DB U. I watched a little of the Pittsburgh-San Francisco game last night and saw Chris Culliver getting a lot of action for the 49ers. Gman brought up the fact that we should be known as “DB U” because of all the DB’s we put in the League. The list includes Culliver, Dunta Robinson (Falcons), Andre Goodman (Broncos), Sheldon Brown (Browns), Captain Munnerlyn (Panthers), Jonathan Joseph (Texans) and Darian Stewart (Rams). Fred Bennett and Ko Simpson are currently out of the league, but also spent quality time on NFL rosters recently. Not too shabby.

Merry Merry. This will probably be my last post before Christmas, so I’d like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

An Ellis Johnson Carol

Act I – Morrison’s Ghost

Scene: filmroom at the Charles F. Crews Football Facility, deep within the bowels of Williams Brice Stadium
Enter Assistant Head Coach in Charge of Defense, Ellis Johnson

Johnson: (searching) Where’d I set that hat down? Where? You’d think a brim that big would be easy to find! Hey, what the heck is that?

Enter a Ghost, dressed in black, chain-smoking.

Ghost: Elllllliiissssssss. Elllllllliiiiiiiiiisssssssssssss.

Johnson: (startled) Uh, yeah?

Ghost: You cannot leave us, Ellllliiissssss.

Johnson: Um yeah, about that, I’m not commenting on that right now-

Ghost: DO NOT TRIFLE WITH ME, ELLIS! I know you interviewed for another job – a head coaching job at a mid-major school. You cannot do this Ellis.

Johnson: (blinking hard) Hey now, wait a minute, who the heck? – I’m, I’m not commenting on it, and STOP STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THAT WALL, YOU ARE FREAKING ME OUT!

Ghost: My apologies, Ellis. (floats to a more natural, non-wall, position) but we both know it is true, you are planning to leave and I am here to warn you of the dire consequences of such an action.

Johnson: (recovering somewhat) Hey look, buddy I’ve gotta be me. I’ve got only so much time on this earth- no offense, mind you – and I’ve always dreamed of being a head coach. This looks like my last opportunity.

Ghost: You will be visited tonight by three ghosts–that’s three counting myself, as (ahem) space, time, and internet literary memes are somewhat limited–and each will show you the folly of this course of action. (floats into dark hallway)

Johnson: (aside) I musta sucked on one too many chiclets.

ACT II – The Cadillac

Enter 2nd Ghost, wearing a garnet #37 jersey

Ghost 2: I am the ghost of Gamecocks Past! Ellis, you must not leave us. We have worked too hard.

Johnson: But, hey – its my big shot. Well, its my shot, anyway. I want to be the head man.

Ghost 2: Remember Ellis, remember? You were the head man before – at the Citadel. How’d that work out for you, Elllliiiiisssssss?

Johnson: You forgot about my year as Head Coach at Gardner Webb!

Ghost 2: Of course I did, EVERYONE forgot about it. Which brings me to my point: Name the three head coaches before Fedora at Southern Miss. Go on, name them.

Johnson: There was Bower, and then there was – wait, wait I worked for one of them!

Ghost 2: You see? You see, Ellliiisssss – if you go to Southern Miss you will never be heard from again! Plus, and this is why I’m here as the ghost of the past: most of your career is already behind you – why uproot your family now? SC Vested Retirement, Ellllliiiiiiisssssssss!

Johnson: Hmmm – listen! This is too big of an opportunity to turn down!

Ghost 2: Too big? Too big! What do you think is bigger, Elllliiiisssss? Head coach at the third best college in Mississippi, or Defensive Guru in the best football conference in America? Think about it Ellliiiisssssssss (fades into cloud of mist)

ACT III – Another Ellis

Johnson: One more – there is supposed to be one more – hey who’s there?

Enter tall Ghost wearing a suit and carrying a microphone.

Johnson: Hey, Todd! Todd! Man I can’t tell you how glad I am to see a friendly face!

Ghost 3: Hold on Elllllllliiiiiissssssss-

Johnson: Not you, too? You’re still alive – you can’t be a ghost!

Ghost 3: Have you ever heard me call a game, Ellliiisssss? Haven’t you ever wondered how a normal human could speak and think the way I do? Have you ever seen the movie Beetlejuice? Well then you have your answer: I’m already dead, Elllllliiiiiissss.

Johnson: (whimpers)

Ghost 3: Don’t take the job, Elllliiisssssss. Don’t take the job. It will turn out worse for you than the ’89 season did for me.

Johnson: But, but, I don’t understand – If you’re dead, but currently employed by SC, but not a future coach or player, how can you be the Ghost of Gamecock Future?

Ghost 3: You misunderstand Elllliiiissss, I’m not the Ghost of Gamecock Future, I’m the Ghost of Gamecock FutureS. See, I’ve worked out this little revenue sharing system, it’s very innovative. Just let me explain it to you with this pyramid graph, Elllliiiiisssssss . . . . .

Johnson: (passes out)

ACT IV – Head Ball Coach

Scene – Several days later. Southern Miss Athletic Department Press Room (also serves as supply closet and locker room).

Johnson: . . . So for those reasons I am proud to accepted the head coaching position for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles

Ghost 1: DAMN IT
Ghost 2: DAMN IT
Ghost 3: We may not be Alabama, we may not be LSU, but we sure aren’t Souther. . . Ah, DAMN IT.

-fin-

#C1B – Some Historical Context

[note, #C1B is the twitter hashtag we are INSISTING everyone coalesce around ASAP - its madness out there in the twitteratti.]

South Carolina / Nebraska is not the most – ah hem – shall we say, heated and fresh rivalry out there, so I was pleased to see some video highlights from the last two meetings between the schools (h/t to trucheck on GCC for the links).  I remember listening to both games on the radio and thinking we were gonna win both times.  What?  I was young and foolish.  Geeze, people!

First, the 1987 contest in Lincoln.  Interception city, wasn’t it?  Ellis kept throwing to the Black Shirts, but we were still leading going into the fourth quarter.

Then he threw it to yet another Blackshirt.  Witness:

Then we have the 1986 game, memorable for a great defensive effort and the legendary swaying of the East Upper at Williams Brice.  I think this was the last “swaying” game, as the administration sadly (and wisely) decided to have some remedial engineering work done at the conclusion of this season.  Both fun and apocalyptically dangerous while it lasted, I guess:

The Buck Sweep – Holiday Party Edition

Tusings (Tuesday Musings) is now The Buck Sweep.  Reason #1 is I always hated the name Tusings.  Reason #2 is that name put too much pressure on me to publish on Tuesdays and I always felt a little guilty if I didn’t.  So isn’t it serendipitous that I’m posting this on a Tuesday…

If the TRC team seems unmotivated the last week or so, you’re very perceptive.  The post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas, non-football period is upon us and we’re a little depressed.  Don’t worry, we’ll snap out of it, but in the meantime here are a few things that have been spinning around in the Buckster’s head, beginning with Sammy’s big holiday party!

“Lady with the nicest dress will recieve 100$ to Victoria’s Secret! 100$ Bottles of Anything!”

What could possibly go wrong?!?  Uh, putting Sammy’s name on the flyer, that’s what:

 

The Carolina Coaching Carousel.  Jay Graham must really love Tennessee.  I mean REALLY love Tennessee.  Yes, it is his alma mater, and there’s something to be said for that.  There’s also something to be said for returning to a division contender (USC) and coaching a potential Heisman trophy candidate (21), neither of which the Vols can claim for 2012.  What the Vols can claim is a coach that’s very much on the hot seat and more instability than they’ve had in decades.  Good luck Jay, no hard feelings.

Also, I hope Junior gets the CCU job, I think it will be good training for him and if he’s successful a good stepping stone for bigger and better things. 

Finally, I sure hope Ellis Johnson stays.  You have to wonder if EJ was hoping to succeed the HBC at USC at some point, but with Spurrier’s latest contract extension maybe sees that window closing.  I feel like he’d do a fine job at USM, but I have a hunch they’ll go with a young hotshot as opposed to an older established guy like EJ.  Bad for him (I guess) and bad for SEC offenses, but certainly good for us.

Shrine On. Three USC wide receiver commitments are having a big week at Shrine Bowl practice. Lexington’s Shaq Roland sounds like the star of the bunch, and will contribute as soon as he steps on campus.  Jody Fuller and Kwinton Smith are having solid camps as well.  But can someone tell me what the heck is the deal with Quinshad Davis? Are we cool on this guy or what? He sounds like a potential star, but USC appears to be in take him or leave him mode.  Kind of like we were with this other kid out of Gaffney a few years ago…what was his name again…oh yeah, Sidney Rice.  

What is Right With Sports, Part 1. Robert Griffin III.  How impressive is this guy?  He’s obviously a great, great college football player.  But after watching the ESPN Heisman megahypefest, you couldn’t help but come away impressed with this kid’s humility, polish and poise.  He talked about what a great day it was for the “Baylor Nation”, and I’m not sure he knows the meaning of “I” or “me” when it comes to his football accomplishments.  Great job parents of RGIII.

What is Right With Sports, Part 2.  Tim Tebow.  That’s right, Tim Tebow.  For all the haters, please tell me what HE has done to make you despise him so much.  I’ll accept being a Florida Gator as an answer, but not much else.  Don’t blame Tebow for what the media has done and is doing to hype him at every turn.  Tebow is working hard, playing football and his team is winning games.  He doesn’t believe the Broncos winning has anything to do with God’s favor, despite what others may say.  Tebow is a great story in what has been a pretty mediocre NFL season.

(On a side note, what’s with people saying “God doesn’t care about a stupid football game, he has bigger things to worry about”?  So, if you believe in God, believe he created the earth, the universe, etc., do you not believe he can multitask? “Ugh, with this Greek financial crisis going on there’s just no way I’ll have time to watch the Bears-Broncos game.”  I’m not saying he favors one team or one player over the other, I’m just saying he’s not bound by human limitations, know what I mean?)

What is Wrong With Sports. Cincinnati-Xavier, that’s what.  Mick Cronin nearly pulled this situation out of the dumpster with an inspired post-game press conference, but then both schools followed it up with light suspensions for borderline criminal behavior.  The fight itself was bad enough, with Cincy’s Yancy Gates throwing cheap haymakers and prancing around like a prize fighter, but the post game comments of Xavier’s Tu Holloway (“we got a whole bunch of gangstas in the locker room”) and Mark Lyons added to the disgrace of the situation.  I know two teams I will NOT be pulling for come March.

See you guys at Sammy’s Christmas party OK?!?

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