8/30 - vs. Alabama (Georgia Dome)
9/06 - vs. The Citadel
9/13 - vs. NC State
9/20 - vs. SC State
9/27 - vs. Maryland
10/09 - @ Wake Forest (Thursday)
10/18 - vs. Georgia Tech
11/1 - @ Boston College (DFIG road trip)
11/08 - @ FSU (DFIG roadtrip)
11/15 - Duke
11/22 - @ UVA
11/29 - vs. Sakerlina
Cullen Harper is in fantastic form this preseason and has an excellent cadre of backups behind him (WILLY KORNNNNNNNN) in case something was to happen to him. Our backfield is arguably the best in the nation with CJ Spiller and James Davis backed up by star freshmen Andre Ellington and Jamie Harper. Aaron Kelly leads a good receiver corps that includes Xavier Dye, Jacoby Ford, Tyler Grisham, and heralded frosh Marquan Jones. The offensive line has been described politely as “talented but inexperienced” and has been the topic of much discussion. Our season largely hinges on how well they perform this year (NEWSFLASH!) and stout run defenses could cause similar problems to some of last year’s shitty rushing performances (see: GT). The starting five look to be Chris Hairston at left tackle, Cory Lambert at right tackle, Jamarcus Grant and Barry Humphries as the guards, and returning starter Thomas Austin at center. If the OL stays healthy, the offense should be among the most productive in the nation (outside of those gimmick ass Texas Tech bastards).
Defensively, safety Michael Hamlin and DE Ricky Sapp anchor a defense that lost its top four linebackers from last year. Daquan Bowers, the #1 ranked recruit in the country according to ESPN, has proven explosive in practice thus far and is fighting for a starting spot. Stanley Hunter, Brandon Maye, and Josh Miller are currently battling for the middle linebacker spot. Defensive coordinator Vic Keonning has expressed some reservations about his defensive unit (LOL, unit), but he’s rarely been overly positive in describing his squad in preseason.
Dawson Zimmerman is believed to be the leading candidate for starting punter after separating himself from the pack during scrimmages. We don’t have much to say about our special teams, other than they’ll probably continue to be average.
CHILI: Mainstream perception of Clemson this year is generally positive, if not a little misinformed. Admittedly we here at DFIG are perhaps too biased to judge whether another outlet is objective or not, but we try to keep a level head about us (thanks for the advice, Kipling) and not look at everything through orange colored glasses. Bowden has certainly had a rollercoaster ride of a tenure at Clemson, but I think that recruiting and facilities are finally starting to overcome some of the deficiencies we've faced in the past. I don't think it's fair for the punditry to say that Clemson ALWAYS shits the bed. Speaking of media, some asshat from the NFL Network predicted Wake Forest to win the division and backed it up by trying to rattle off all the talent they have at various positions. There is no team in the league with the level of talent Clemson boasts this year. Period. See what I did there? I typed out the word "period" to emphasize how super fucking serious I am. Whammy. There? I lightened the mood with some onomatopoeia.
Of course Clemson can catch their proverbial nutsack on the unforgiving 10 penny nail of failure, but I think that any losses the Tigers will incur this year will be in some of the tougher road games. Legitimate losses, if you will. All the puzzle paces are in place for this to be a very special season for Clemson. I normally tend to be a realist, but I can't help but be a little optimistic about the upcoming season.
PREDICTION: 10-2 regular season + ACCCG victory over VT, loss in BCS game. Man, this is way too fucking optimistic for me. My only caveat is that obviously the OL is flimsy with some injuries, so beware of that. I can see us losing to Bama, Wake, FSU, and/or BC. Sakerlina could be a loss, depending on how they improve over the season. Certainly their defense will be disgustingly good, but the offense looks to again be a bunch of limpdicks.
In conclusion, scuppernongs are tasty and don't ever try to snort BC powder. Just don't do it. *points at you and winks* Also, I don't buy the UNC as dark horse ACC champion thing for one fucking minute. Butchie's gonna need more than a year to turn that ship around that much.
WILLY MAC: Stage door left blasts open and slams against the wall as the hinge breaks. A hearty and ear piercing metal-slamming sound reverberates in the auditorium. The door begins to sway closed as a foot barely manages to block it open at the last second creating a sack-of-potatoes-thud. Willy Mac drags a very basic steel soap box across the floor to center stage making not only terrible screeching noises, but pausing every so often for you to hear him gasp for breath in a half "way-to-excited-about-this-season", half needs to get his fat ass on a treadmill sort of fashion. Finally, the unnecessary noises ceases as he brings the box to a dead halt at center stage. Willy Mac steps up onto the box, clears his throat, and proceeds in his best possible "Resident of Honea Path" accent:
WE GON WIN IT. WE GON WIN IT ALL. ALL DEH WAY BABY. TAKE AT SHYIT TO DUH BANK! OH YOU KNOW IT, SON! HELL, I'D PUT MY DOG AND ALL FOUR TIRES OFF MY TRUCK ON THIS BEYAT. CLAMPSON OVER JEEYORJUH IN DEH BEE-CEE-EYASS DIS YERR!
On a serious note, I worried myself to death starting in July about the coming season. Then all of a sudden, last week I became extremely comfortable and confident. I can't tell at this point whether all the sunshine blown up my ass has gotten to me, or if I can trust my instinct. I'd say its about 20% sunshine at this point, but who knows. As Chili stated, we've got some glaring holes, and if the injury bug from 2006 comes around we might be screwed. Really, I trust Vic Koenning to take care of the linebackers and I trust Brad Scott to take care of the line. I feel we finally have enough talent to overcome inexperience. Also, I feel that the whole Bowden fight policy put me in a good mood as well. It was pretty obvious that as of the VT game last year, we were as fake as a bad horror film as well as unbearable to watch. We'll do fine, I promise. Woooooosssahhh. Goose-frabas.
PREDICTION: An 11-2 season is most probable as well with a win over UNC (Yeah, I said it, let's see what happens. VT is not lookin hot right now) in the ACCCG and a BCS win over either Louisville or a BCS loss to WV. Either way, we lose two games later in the season, not earlier. We've got too much talent. Also, if we lose to BC, you can count on me getting time traveling drunk, pants optional.
You see that? That's right, the glory days are back.