Author Archives: buck

TRC Unleashed Episode 64 – Best Week

TRC Unleashed welcomes a special guest to the podcast – USC head volleyball coach Scott Swanson. Coach Swanson walks through what it takes to recruit and become a top flight program in college volleyball. He brings tremendous insight to a program we might not follow closely, but should.

We also discuss:

  • The best four-day stretch in USC sports history?
  • What the weekend sweep of Clemson means
  • The Gamecocks’ upset of Kentucky
  • Harris Pastides is the coolest college president ever
  • The powerhouse program Dawn Staley appears to be building
  • Andy Demetra was once courted by an NBA team

All this plus we answer Twitter questions. It’s a fun but very disjointed show, so hang in there, you’ll be better for it!

Click here, or click the graphic to listen, and enjoy!

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TRC Unleashed Episode 63 – Tackling the Tough Issues

You guys think we’re funny? You think we’re here to amuse you? Here to make you laugh? Well not tonight my friends…

Well, ok, maybe a little, but in the latest episode of TRC Unleashed we also tackle the tough issues, like Michael Sam being on a path to become the NFL’s first openly gay player, the Confederate flag on the State House grounds, and global warming.

Of course, we also talk about the Gamecocks – football’s freshly minted recruiting class, the fifth-ranked women’s basketball team, and the super high expectations for the 2014 edition of the USC baseball team.

All that and more, just click here or click the graphic to listen, and enjoy!

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Wait Clemson! Don’t Turn Off the Fax Machine Yet!

Someone has one last Letter of Intent to send you.

Happy National Signing Day y’all!

LOI

Fun with Blog Posts: Tigernet Edition

We don’t have a lot of time to blog these days, and I wish we had more to say about recruiting or the state of our basketball program or give an in-depth baseball preview. Unfortunately life is just really busy these days so it’s hard to find time to blog.

But when we come across pieces like this gem, or what our friend Avery Wilks (@AveryGWilks) alerted us to over on Tigernet this morning, it’s just hard not to write about it. These types of articles basically write our posts for us. (Which we like because we’re kinda lazy.)

The rivalry is as hot as it’s ever been, so it’s natural to want to talk/write about them or for them to want to talk/write about us. People love clicks on their articles, and they long to read the praise in the comments section of their blog (we have first-hand knowledge).

Sometimes this leads to “I’M JUST SAYING WHAT EVERYBODY’S THINKING” posts like “Prophet to Dabo: Don’t respond to ‘crazy uncle’ anymore”. It’s designed to rile up the reader and make him/her feel better about themselves and their beloved university.

But it lacks a lot of sense and a few important facts. Let’s take a look:

“(Talking smack) makes the rivalry relevant, and even though Clemson has owned bragging rights since Moby Dick was a sardine, the Gamecocks have won five in a row and written their own revisionist history and given the rivalry a little kick.”

HAHA THE MOBY DICK THING

The “Pigskin Prophet” doesn’t identify what the revisionist history is that Gamecock fans have written. The last five years are not revisionist history, those are fact.

Any Gamecock fan that claims anything other than a barely mediocre football history prior to Steve Spurrier’s arrival at USC is either delusional or just flat-out lying. I’ll say it – we sucked. We sucked at football for more than 100 years.  Sucked in regular season games. Sucked in the rare bowl games we played in. Sucked as in independent. Sucked in the SEC. For 100 years we were arguably the most underachieving football program in the country.

So, noble Clemson* fan, if you want to claim football superiority from 1892-2008, have at it. There’s really not much we can argue.

But if you want to talk about where both programs are situated on January 23, 2014, we’ll be glad to have that conversation as well.

“…he took the mic away from the guy at the Capital One Bowl and started his own little rant, totally taking away the accomplishment of his team’s win over a good Wisconsin team and throwing it back on himself.”

Here’s the clip, tell me exactly how he takes away from the accomplishment of his team. I know not of a single South Carolina player, coach or fan who was upset at how he handled the post-game. It was quite entertaining actually.

“(This past weekend) Spurrier again looked like a drunk sailor grabbing for a mic at a karaoke bar…”

I didn’t see the video so I’ll take Mr. Prophet’s word for it. In my head it looks something like this:

vj-day-sailor-kissing-nurse-world-war-iijpg-774e301a93aa563e

“…and again showed his obsession with all things Clemson when he talked about the streak.”

Spurrier plays to his crowd just like Dabo plays to his. It’s called a rivalry. (Except for those who still deny it’s a rivalry I guess.)

“…he went on to talk about Clemson’s Sammy Watkins, who to my knowledge has never said anything bad about South Carolina or Spurrier.”

No, Spurrier went on to talk about Bruce Ellington, one of his favorite players, whom he is trying to help get a better draft position. In a sense he was actually complimenting Watkins, a consensus top-10 pick, by saying “hey, my guy had more TD catches than a bonifide superstar, you scouts should pay more attention to him.” I can guarantee you Steve Spurrier has the utmost respect for Sammy Watkins’ football skills. Lighten up, Francis.

“(If I’m Dabo) I take the high road, and show the kind of class other people will never find by going shirtless in public or rolling around on rubber balls in videos.”

CLASS is now defined by keeping your shirt on and not exercising, or at least not being videoed while exercising. Check.

(FYI – South Carolina fans were delighted by the video of Spurrier on the exercise ball. I’m not sure why Clemson fans feel that’s going to get under our skin.)

“Or talking about student athletes from another program. That crossed the line.”

I guess they edited the part of the video where Spurrier called Watkins a no-talent POS. Did I miss that?

“Heck, even the people who cover college football nationally are beginning to wonder what is wrong with that man…”

Got any names to associate with this statement? Kirk Herbstreit? Joe Tessitore? Chris Low? Dennis Dodd?

I got news for you, national writers and broadcasters LOVE Steve Spurrier and love what he brings to the sport. I’d like to see or hear evidence of any respectable journalist who thinks Spurrier has lost his marbles. (Please nobody link anything from Bleacher Report, have some respect for yourself.)

“So, every year they get invited back to the South Carolina Memorial Outback or Champs Bowls…”

What?

“…and they play a team from somewhere in the Midwest and they win and go home and wonder what Clemson is doing in recruiting.”

Clemson played a team from somewhere in the Midwest and went home and wondered what South Carolina is doing in recruiting. Let’ s call it  a draw.

“In short – Spurrier has turned into a South Carolina fan.”

Well hell, I hope so.

“A friend of mine once gave me his login and told me to go to (South Carolina’s) message boards…”

Because message boards are a haven for fair and reasoned discussion.

“…and asked me if I noticed a trend.”

Yes, there was a trend – idiots bantering back and forth over nonsense was trending.

Message boards indeed. Mr. Prophet should be banned from writing for a year for even bringing that up.

“Examples, if you will.”

He gives examples of what he saw on the message board, but no links or proof that he didn’t just make stuff up. Actually, I believe what he wrote, but if you substitute “Clemson” anywhere you see “South Carolina” then you have a Clemson message board. THEY’RE ALL THE SAME.

“See what I mean?”

Good point.

“The Tigers have gone on to steal the bowl spotlight, if you will…”

I’m still trying to figure this one out. It was a great win for them, no doubt, but the only reason they “stole the spotlight” is because they played two days after us. I got news for you, people stopped talking about Jan. 1 bowls on Jan. 2, and stopped talking about Jan. 3 bowls on Jan. 4.

“…and the Ole Ball Coach has to find someway (sic) to keep his fans on his side.”

33 wins in three years will do that. He just talks smack because it’s fun. Probably his second favorite hobby behind golf.

“The rivalry will turn, and if you follow recruiting or were paying attention this season, it’s closer than they want to think.”

Well, at least he admits the rivalry is currently in our favor. And it is close, nobody should deny that either. Clemson has a good football team, we just happen to be a little better. But their fans are not paying attention if they think it’s ever going to return to the way it used to be. Those days are over.

“It’s like I tell my friend – you can’t argue with stupidity.”

Says the guy who just spent 5000 words arguing with alleged stupidity.

“Just sit back and smile – they know how they sound and it frustrates them.”

I do wish I was a better singer, dammit.

“They know that despite the streak, we still laugh at them. And now, their head coach embodies the very reason we laugh at them. We get it. They don’t.”

This is one helluvan inside joke they have going on us given it’s been 1800+ days since they’ve beaten us.

“They know we laugh at them.”

And it makes us so sad.

“Dabo needs to teach Spurrier the same lesson, and let the rest of the country sit back and laugh at the crazy uncle with us.”

The rest of the country is laughing at the guy who has won 33 games in three years and beaten his school’s rival five straight. Meanwhile, the guy with the five-game losing streak to his school’s rival just negotiated an 8-year deal with buyouts of $24 million the first year and $20 million the second year.

Yep, the country is laughing at Steve Spurrier.

“Oh yeah, and just win baby.”

 Sound advice, they should use it.

Shaw: This is Our State!

As if Connor Shaw needed to do anything to further endear himself to Gamecock fans, Andy Wontor (@AndyWonter) of WCBD in Charleston filed this report on Connor Shaw signing autographs at an establishment in Charleston. Not normally big news, except Connor did the most awesome/trollsome thing possible:

Photo courtesy WCBD-TV Charleston

Photo courtesy WCBD-TV Charleston

 

We don’t know why a person would want him to sign a Clemson* helmet (there’s no mention in the accompanying video). Maybe it was a Gamecock fan planning on gifting to a Tiger friend, or a Tiger fan who lost a bet, or perhaps a Clemson* fan who has finally come to understand what Gamecock fans have known for some 1500+ days:

This is OUR State.

TRC Unleashed Episode 62 – Bowl Review and The Rivalry Heating Up

Note: At the beginning of the podcast Buck says Episode 61, but rest assured it is Episode 62, you are at the right place. Numbers are hard.

TRC Unleashed welcomes 2014 with the first podcast of the year. Buck, Tbone and the Gman break down the Capital One Bowl, and talk about how the rivalry with Clemson* has reached all time highs in smack talk the last few days.

Click here or click the graphic to listen, and enjoy!

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Printable “We Beat You” Cartoon

Admittedly, none of us at TRC are more than moderately adequate at what we do on this blog – writing, graphics, producing a podcast, etc. – but we do try to give our readers what they want. So, with that in mind, below is a more printable version of the “We Beat You” cartoon, with a  PDF link so you can print if from your very own computer. (I did it and it looked fine, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you, so good luck.)

If you get a chance to print it out, we’d love to see where you hang it – at home or in the office or maybe even somewhere around Clemson’s* campus – so send us a photo on Twitter at @rubrchickens or send us an email at rubberchickensblog@gmail.com. We’ll re-tweet them all.

Thanks, and again, good luck!

PDF: WeBeatYou Cartoon

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How to Deal with the Modern, Angry Clemson* Fan

At last night’s Orange Bowl, Clemson* escaped Ohio State and claimed the state of South Carolina’s first ever BCS bowl victory (SUCK IT WOFFORD!). After the game Twitter exploded with some amazing hot takes about the Clemson* program, many coming from “professionals” who cover the school every day and are paid to report on said program. Hot takes like this:

Screen Shot 2014-01-04 at 11.23.02 PM

Eat it indeed. Others chose to be more verbose, albeit much less clear in exactly what they were trying to communicate:

Screen Shot 2014-01-04 at 11.23.46 PM

When a posse of twitterati and I gently asked Mr. Thurn to explain himself, he kept asking us to dispute what he was saying when we didn’t exactly understand what he was saying. So, what Clemson* “has done nationally” will somehow vault them past South Carolina, but only once the streak ends, at a time which he does not identify? I guess he believes the two BCS bowl games (ahem, 70-33) and one ACC conference title have given them a national relevance we cannot match. Our five-game win streak and higher rankings while the Tigers are making bank “nationally” are conveniently not addressed.

But I digress.

To the point – arguments with angry Clemson* fans should be easier than we’re making them out to be, even in a medium of brevity such as Twitter. The game of football is designed to match two teams, play 60 minutes, and at the end determine a winner and loser. Most of the time the winner is considered the better team, but we do encounter upsets on occasion.

But upsets between the same two teams do not happen five times in a row, especially in games determined by double-digits. The team who wins five in a  row by double digits is the better team, no matter the number of BCS games or conference championship (singular) the losing team can claim. The easiest way to win this argument is three words, or a variation of three words:

We beat you.

To illustrate, literally, I took a few minutes to mock up a hypothetical conversation between a South Carolina representative and a Clemson* representative. Feel free to print this out and hang it on your refrigerator, in your cube or office, or in the living space of a real live Clemson* fan to help them free up time to do more important things like trim their ear hair or pull their underwear out of their butt.

Enjoy.

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Snap Judgments – Capital One Bowl Edition

A final toast to 2013, and to number 14. (photo courtesy of gogamecocks.com)

A final toast to 2013, and to number 14. (photo courtesy of gogamecocks.com)

Some short, quick, barely researched, not fully formed thoughts from South Carolina’s 34-24 victory over Wisconsin in the 2014 Capital One Bowl:

Final word. As I was finishing this piece I started to realize all the players and coaches I was leaving out, and how the accomplishments of this team and its seniors deserve more than what I have time to write. For all the Shaws, Clowneys and Ellingtons I mention, there are the Suttons, Quarles(es?) and Hamptons whom I don’t. For all the credit Steve Spurrier deserves, his staff of guys like Ward, Elliott and Mangus are second to none. We have tremendous individual talent on the field, on the sidelines and in the stands, but this program has become the epitome of TEAM. Everyone who has had a hand in our success deserves a handshake and a sincere thank you. This is indeed the Golden Age of Gamecock football.

11. A number with which all South Carolina fans should be quite familiar. For the third consecutive season the Gamecocks will finish with an 11-2 record and a top 10 finish. Our handful of seniors leave with a record of 42-11, easily the best four-year stretch in USC history.

Maybe you haven’t lost perspective during this run, but since I have I’ll remind everyone we only had ONE 10-win season in school history (1984) and ZERO top 10 finishes in school history before 2011. The record book continues to be re-written under Steve Spurrier.

Team Shaw. In retrospect, I’m not sure why I was ever worried we might lose to Wisconsin. There was no way number 14 in garnet was going to walk off that playing field in Orlando with a loss. Gman nailed it in a text to us shortly after the game yesterday – every time we think Connor Shaw can’t top his last feat, he somehow finds a way to amaze us in a new way.

Yesterday’s game was perhaps the best of his career, a tour de force performance that included 312 yards on 22 of 25 passing while accounting for five touchdowns – three passing, one rushing, and his first ever receiving touchdown.

The most remarkable stat? Shaw finished the season with 24 touchdown passes against only one interception. That is asinine. Also of note, yesterday’s game took him over 6,000 yards passing for his career (6,074), and he finished with 56 touchdowns against 16 interceptions.

Oh, one more thing – he finished 27-5 as a starter. The debate as to whether he is the best quarterback in Gamecock history is long over. We should probably be talking about where he ranks in terms of the best PLAYER in Gamecock history.

Stand of the game. After Wisconsin extended their lead to 17-13 via a bruising ground game to start the third quarter, Connor Shaw promptly made his only mistake of the game and fumbled on the first play of the next drive. Aided by a holding penalty, the Gamecock defense bowed up and eventually the Badgers missed a 42-yard field goal. The way Wisconsin was moving the football late in the first half and early in the second, a touchdown after the could’ve completely changed the complexion of the game

Play of the game. Following that missed field goal, USC quickly moved across midfield into Badger territory. Facing 3rd and 5 at the Wisconsin 42, the Gamecocks committed back-to-back false start penalties. An eight yard gain made it 4th and 7, and Steve Spurrier decided to go for it in no man’s land as opposed to risking a Tyler Hull punt (which is indeed risky).

Shaw floated a pass to Bruce Ellington near the left sideline that was behind him. Ellington reached up, tipped the ball, then spun around to make a spectacular catch and give the Gamecocks a much-needed first down.  Two plays later Shaw hit Ellington for a 22-yard touchdown strike that put USC ahead to stay.

They’re not saying boo, they’re saying Bruuuuuuuuce. Ellington finished with six catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns in perhaps his final game at South Carolina. If you had told me six weeks ago Ellington might leave for the NFL I would’ve said you’re crazy. But really, Bruce has nothing left to prove in college, and another year will probably not improve his draft stock. The downside for him is the 2014 wide receiver class is very deep.

I have no idea if Bruce Ellington will be successful in the League, but I wouldn’t bet against him. As someone who panned his decision to play football in the first place, I’m in no position to make judgments about number 23.

The HBC. Steve Spurrier was as happy and proud as we’ve ever seen him at the trophy presentation yesterday. He was downright giddy, thanking the fans, proclaiming Connor Shaw the best quarterback in the country, and yes, taking the obligatory shot at Clemson*.

Long live the HBC.

Gimme gimme gimme. The Gamecocks forced three turnovers in the fourth quarter yesterday, matching the three they forced in the fourth quarter against Clemson in their last game. That’s finishing strong.

Clowney goin’. JD, it seems like yesterday I closed the door to my office in the middle of the day just to see you announce your college choice. Thank you for coming to South Carolina. It has been nothing but an absolute pleasure watching you play football here. I’m glad you didn’t pay attention to the media/haters as much as we did. Best of luck, your place in Gamecock history is secure.

Shaq attack. Shaq Roland (6-112) continues fulfill his promise, and if Bruce leaves like we believe he will, becomes the number one receiving target next year. Some of his catches are Alshon-esque, and if he can work hard in the offseason and stay on the straight and narrow, he’ll be an all-conference performer in 2014.

The Rocket. Mike Davis faltered down the stretch this season. Despite his protestations, it was obvious he was not healthy from the Missouri game on. His violent running style caught up with him, and I hope he starts to realize avoiding contact as opposed to taking it head on (literally) is going to extend his playing days.

Young bucks. For our young linebackers yesterday was a microcosm of the season. Early on they seemed a little lost and confused and were having a hard time shedding blocks. By the middle of the third quarter they were more confident and flying to the ball with abandon.

I feel like this season has gone as planned for the linebacking corps. We have seen them go from a group that was a weakness for much of this season, to a unit that should be a strength in 2014. And I know I’m not telling you anything you haven’t already heard, but Skai Moore has a chance to be the best linebacker we’ve had on campus in several years.

Knight moves. Not only does the three-point win over Central Florida look better after yesterday, keep in mind without a Mike Davis fumble deep in Knight territory, and a brutal secondary breakdown late in the game, we win that game by two scores or more.

Happy New Year and here’s to a productive offseason! Go Cocks!

TRC Unleashed Episode 61 – The Capital One Bowl Preview

TRC Unleashed returns after a four-week hiatus to discuss the Capital One Bowl and have a recruiting conversation with Michael Carvell from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Also on the show:

  • The game: excited or not excited
  • Prospects for victory
  • What if Connor Shaw played safety for Wisconsin?
  • Why are we underdogs?
  • What is “blue shirting”?
  • Tbone tells Brandi in grand detail where Jupiter is
  • A hoops update

As a bonus, if you hang around after a short music interlude at the end you’ll hear more intro bloopers.

Click here or click the graphic to listen, and Happy New Year!

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