This is my weekly Big-Play Breakdown for for the Clemson game (which we won 34 to 13 in case you missed it.) (Click here to read it on their website.)

Nothing more to this post!

If Clemson loses to Virginia Tech by double digits Saturday, and then goes on to lose to Auburn in a bowl by double digits, I think it will mark the first time in college football history that a team defeated two opponents by double digits during the season and then went on to lose to those same two teams by double digits in the very same season.

Factinistas, get on your horses and help me verify this stat.

I don't even think the double digits part is necessary to make this a truly remarkable stat. Clemson beat Auburn and Virginia Tech this season by double digits. They could go on to lose to both of those two teams over the next six weeks.

How amazing would that be?

I'm All-in.

For those saying, "It won't happen, I am hearing differently," just check out this link to see where I am getting this information. And remember, unlike many journalists out there, I don't let simple things like "facts" affect my informed opinions.

Check out my next Columbia show (December 9th and 10th in the Vista) by clicking here.

The Famous "Y'all Win" Text Message

Thursday, November 24, 2011 0 comments
One of my former quarterbacks from when I coached is an avid Clemson fan. He loves to rub in anything he can about Clemson to any South Carolina fan. One of his favorite things to do he did to me a while back and I have to admit I find great humor in it.

He waits until about two hours after South Carolina has lost a game (like the Auburn game this year) and then he sends you a text message with two simple words, "Y'all Win?"

The simplistic elegance of this is wonderful. He knows the outcome has already been decided and he knows you know too, but he pretends for the time being to have "not gotten the score" and texts you with the question, "Y'all Win?" The beauty of this is that I know full well he checks the South Carolina scores on his iPhone and keeps up with the Gamecock games to the minute. So getting a text from him two hours after the game that says, "Y'all win?" is like him saying to me, "I know you guys lost, but I am willing to be a complete jack-leg just to make you laugh."

If you are reading this and judging him for his jerkiness, I suggest you try it the next time Clemson loses and test how good it makes you feel. Maybe after the ACC Championship game. Wait about an hour or two after the results are in and then text your best Clemson friend with two simple words... "Y'all Win?" Thank me later.

I recently wrote an article for discussing whether or not I hated Clemson enough. During that article I explained how I gathered my research using the email-list I was a part of during football season that included South Carolina supporters and Clemson supporters. I quoted that email list's responses several times in that article. It can be found at

Below are numerous email responses that didn't make it into the final article but are still very entertaining. Think of this article sort of like the DVD-extras on a movie-dvd. These are the "deleted scenes" or "bonus features."

These emails are all valid comments made in the email thread. I did not embellish or make up any comments to make Clemson look bad. Anything that makes a team look bad was truthfully said via email by that Gamecock or Tiger supporter. All I did was pose questions to the group for the purpose of publishing my story. Below are comments that didn't make it into the story, but I thought were worth posting to my blog.

(Before getting lost in this long post make sure to check out the famous "Y'all Win?" Text Message article here too.)

Why do you hate Clemson (or Carolina) ?

From a Carolina Supporter:
I hate Clemson because they are orange and smell like a mixture of gun-powder and Redman spittoons.

From Carolina supporter:
My hatred of Clemson is based on three things:
1. Clemson fans I know that are complete jerks.
2. Clemson fans I don't know that are complete jerks.
3. Clemson fans that will be born in the future and grow up to be complete jerks.

Marty's question to the group:
So if someone is taught by their parents the same in-born hatred of Carolina (as you have been taught to hate Clemson), and goes through life never changing that opinion, and thinks of you as less of a person for your love of Carolina ---- which one of you is wrong?

And to a larger point -- does this mean that half the people in the world are indeed less of a person for liking the wrong team in the mix? Is it the Michigan fans or the Ohio State fans that are less of a person for liking their team? I have already concluded it's the Auburn fans that are less of a person in that one.

Carolina supporter's response:
Neither. It's called a rivalry. I actually think less of those Clemson fans (and Carolina fans for that matter) that pull for the other school when they're not playing each other. It's a rivalry - hate each other dangit. It's not right vs. wrong. It's sports. It's not abortion or atheism. We all have our opinions, our backgrounds, our allegiances. Each of us can pull for, or hate, whoever we want to and I reserve my right to hate Clemson and everything orange.

I hate Clemson

(Noteworthy: This person signs all their emails with "I hate Clemson" even if those emails are not about football.)

Marty's Follow-Up Question:
So what about Wingo's dad? He's a traitor?

Carolina supporter's response (same guy as response above):

Another response from someone else in the email thread about Wingo's dad:
I'm fine with Scott Wingo playing for Carolina. Leggett didnt recruit him. What I'm not fine with is Wingo's mom being all "They wanted him" on a Nationally Televised Interview spitting in Clemson's face. Yes, we didnt want your son and he's a good player. Clemson probably made a mistake but don't be talking crap so you can get pats on the back at Fountain Inn Baptist Church and at your local Fatz Cafe on Half Off Wings Night.

New Question From Marty
Would you say it's reasonable to assume, that as a child, you also thought that anyone that disagreed with you for hating Clemson was somehow less of a person?"

Carolina supporter's response:
I've never found any good reason NOT to hate Clemson. Yes, certainly less of a person. Not just sports, though mainly sports. I did have friends growing up that hated Carolina and loved Clemson, and yes, I do think less of them for that fact alone.

Question From Marty:
Why do Clemson folks act like they have had TOTAL DOMINATION over the years when the truth of the matter is Clemson has really only won about 2 for every 1 of Carolina's wins. USC is 35% or so over the last 100 years. That's not total domination like UT has over Vanderbilt. Clemson does have the upper-hand historically, but not total domination.

Clemson fan's response:
I will not sugarcoat it. These past 2 butt kickings have been beyond awful and unbearable. It feels like it's been 10 years since Clemson beat South Carolina. There is no rationalizing out of this total suckfest. And if I am around in 40 years and South Carolina has gone on a 28-12 run and I am saying things like "well at least it hasn't been 29 out 30", just end it for me. I will clearly have lost it.

New Question From Marty:
Do you hate the FANS of the rival more than the actual TEAM/Players/Coaches/School etc...?

Carolina supporter's response:
Kind of a mixed reaction here. I hated Danny Ford. I hated Tommy. Dabo is just annoying. I've never hated a Clemson player I don't think. I loved Jad Dean. It's hard to "hate" a college kid who's just out there playing ball. So, I guess it's just the fans. And it's not personal, it's just sports. But the disdain is real. Really real.

Carolina supporter #2's Response to the Same question:
I hated Reggie Bush, Scam Newton and Matt Leinert - because they were tools and got away with murder and they were just smug.

I actually was happy for Gaines Adams getting a big pay day and I pulled for him in the NFL before he died. I'd like to think most Clemson fans felt the same about Kenny Mckinley when he turned pro - then were genuinely sad when he died. This is because I liked the actual players. I think that clemson fans also probably would pull for Lattimore in the NFL because he's just a good guy.

I'm also sure clemson fans hated Tanneyhill and rightly so.

Clemson supporter #2's response to the same question:
I've actually got a story where I was treated poorly by a Carolina fan who was just plain angry about the score. I didn't do anything to him, yet he thought I did and tried to have me arrested. It was other Carolina fans who talked to the cops and convinced them I didn't do anything wrong. True story. End of story was Fletcher Anderson kicking our 63rd point.

New Question From Marty:
When is your first memory of losing to either Carolina or Clemson?

Clemson supporter's response:
1992 was my first real memory of Clemson losing to USC. I was 11 years old & I didn't think it was possible before that. My world was shattered. Then my uncle shows up at Thanksgiving in the Taneyhill fake pony tail dirt-neck hat. We still aren't on speaking terms.

Marty's comment back to this response:
Just to be clear.... Taneyhill hair is bad... Watkins hair is good?

Other Generally Funny Comments Made in the Email Thread

From Clemson Guy: (after the NC State game)
South Carolina will pillage Clemson. I will be there to witness.

From Clemson Guy:
Clemson also lost to Cremins in bball tonight. Dumpster fire on all fronts. Btw I am on the way to Clemson and am going to egg the ever living crap out of Tajh's house.

After the NC State Loss from a Clemson guy:
Here’s what’s going to happen:

USC’s front will DESTROY our OL, absolutely destroy. You’ll be able to drop everyone else back and do enough to disrupt routes. Taj will try to make something happen but be over aggressive and have 3 Ints (maybe one for 6)

Shaw will rush the ball for 106 yards and a score (see Maryland) he’ll also have two score’s through the air, One to Ace on a deep ball and one in the corner to Jeffrey.

The Blythewood kid will rush the ball 22 times for 125 and a score.

Final will be 28-3.

I am very confident in the coaches from the other side formulating a game plan (and working successfully) and have no confidence in our coaches formulating a game plan (see GT (Steele), see Maryland (Steele), See Wake (Steele, Morris), See NC State (Dabo (if you can call him a coach) (Morris) (this is one game I’ll give steele a pass bc our offense sucked a nasty one).

After this…Jonathon Bullard commits to USC. Marshall goes to ND. Gurley commits to GA. We go home to prepare for the ACC championship…get manhandled by VT…Dabo looks confused. And we go to Nashville for the Music City Bowl…

From a Carolina Guy:
I’ve thought about doing this on every South Carolina game where the line is less than a touchdown. I’ve never gambled money on a game and I have no idea how to do it (perhaps one of you could send a tutorial).

But I’ve often thought – hey, this is a game that I really want to win. I’ll bet 50 bucks that we won’t win, and if I’m right – at least I make some money – and if I’m wrong the gamecocks win and I’m glad to see that 50 bucks leave. The classic ‘hedge your bets’ scenario. Am I the only one?

From a Carolina Guy the Sunday after the NC State game:
So, this church my wife and I have been going to has a pastor who is a Clemson fan. Every week since football season started he has said something in his sermon about Clemson winning (and usually something about Carolina losing or almost losing), which I think is kind of annoying, but not a big deal. We were out of town the weekend of the GT game, so I don't know what he had to say about that. Yesterday, he got up and gave his sermon and didn't say anything at all about the game. I wanted to go up during the "response time" and tell him that he was remiss in not doing so, but I decided to stick with communion. But if you are going to talk smack to your congregation (which might just alienate half of them), you've got to be fair about it, don't you?

My response (Marty's response) to the question asked of the group, "Who makes a better Civil War General, Spurrier, Dabo, or Saban?"

Spurrier on why his troops lost the battle:
"We're just not that good a troop right now. We make stupid mistakes. Guess I gotta do a better job trainin' 'em up."

Dabo on why his troops lost the battle:
"Must not have been God's plan for us to win this bleeping thing... bleep! Whooooaaa!! I love my troops and I'll fight for 'em till they all are dead. Amen. (wipes a tear.)"

Sabon on why his troops lost the battle:
"Don't bleepin' talk to me right now, I got some butts to cut."

From a Carolina Guy:
My sister-in-law went to Clemson and graduated in 09. We try not to talk about her much. She and her boyfriend came over to our house for dinner last night along with the rest of my wife's family. He had on a Clemson hat when he walked in the door and immediately realized his mistake and threw it in the corner. As I was turning out the lights later I noticed he'd left it in the corner. I shot him a text that I'll give the hat quarter until sundown today. If it's still in my house at that time I'm going to burn it in my front yard. I don't even want it seen in my trash. Yes, I secretly hope he forgets it today.

I hate Clemson.

To all the Clemson fans that keep telling me that you guys never bad-mouth your own here is one response in the email thread after the Georgia Tech loss.
From Clemson supporter in email:
Steele sucks & I hate him. He will never beat Georgia Tech as long as he coaches.

On the topic of 30 Conference Championships AND 30 Losses to Clemson or vice versa.

From a Clemson supporter:

Best possible scenario for USC is for Clemson to be 0-12 every year. And vice versa. This cannot be disputed. That's not hate, that's just logic. That being said, there has never once been a second of my life that I did not hate with every fiber of my being the Raging Toilet Bowl Fire that is the University of South Carolina.

From Carolina supporter:
If we curb stomp Clemson and so does everyone else every year we get our pick of the best recruits in the state rather than split an already small state with another competitive school. So, it's not just hating Clemson, I mean that's part of it, but it's wanting there to be only one real choice to stay in state and play major college football... if in fact the ACC is "major."

From a Carolina Supporter:
If Clemson lost every game ever played from now till the end of time - All would be well. I will probably never go back up to Clemson for a game because I get physically Ill - I just do - I hate that place. While I wouldn't want to harm anyone - I wouldn't mind if that whole place burned to the ground.

From Carolina supporter discussing whether or not he wants Clemson to beat NC State and be ranked fifth playing USC:
Nope. Best thing is for Clemson to lose Saturday. And then lose to USC. And then lose in the ACC Championship game. And then to lose bowl game. And then to go 0-12. And then repeat this process for fifty years!

From a Clemson supporter before The Citadel game:
I don't care what USC is ranked when we play. Tomorrow, I want The Citadel to walk into that pathetic excuse of an adandoned crack whorehouse of a stadium, score 70, leave the entire football team in stretchers, then go into the stands and begin pillaging the fans.

From a Clemson Supporter during the second quarter of the NC State game:
My son is wearing a clemson shirt. He is still in diapers. Somehow the diaper didn't stop him from exploding his boopy all over his shirt. Maybe he understands what is happening to the Tigers right now. I am taking a picture of this and sending it to Steele.

From Clemson supporter near the end of the NC State game:
Anyone that thinks Clemson has any shot whatsoever against South Carolina is a raging idiot. I have never be more sure of anything. But the San Fran Bowl opponent better watch out.

Feel free to continue the discussion below!

Go Cocks!

This is my weekly Big-Play Breakdown for for the Tennessee game. (Click here to read it on their website.)

Nothing more to this post!

If Notre Dame has the luck of the Irish, then the Gamecocks have the fate of Odysseus. Often while traveling I will get asked, "Isn't pulling for the Gamecocks sad?" I always respond the same way. "No! Pulling for the Gamecocks is not sad, it's tragic."

There's a huge difference.

You see, pulling for Rutgers or Tulane is sad. The Gamecocks, on the other hand, always make their heroic rise to good fortune and give everyone hope that something great will happen. Then those same hopes and dreams are dashed by some cosmic outer force that is seemingly uncontrollable.

This year that would be the loss of Stephen Garcia, the loss of Kyle Nunn, and most devastating of all, the injury to Marcus Lattimore. Their response to that "fate," if you will, will determine their success or failure. In the past, they have usually brought about their own downfall. But this year's team is different.

What Homer would call fate, and what the Gamecock fans would call the chicken curse, this year's team calls bull malarkey!

The 2011 Gamecocks have quietly worked their way back into the top 10 in the polls after an early fall from grace delivered by their Achilles' heel, Auburn. No national media outlet has given these Gamecocks a chance. They have all ignored the fact that Arkansas was lucky to beat Vanderbilt and Ole Miss in back-to-back weeks, and in their usual biased, ridiculously incompetent ways, have all picked Arkansas to roll past the Gamecocks with ease.

To read the rest of this article click the image below or click here.

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This is my weekly Big-Play Breakdown for for the Tennessee game. (Click here to read it on their website.)

Nothing more to this post!

It turns out the $10 I bid on a Fantasy Camp Training Week with SEC Football Officials paid off. That's right, I got to spend a "week in training" with the referees of the SEC. Oh boy!

I kept a journal of my experience, sort of a "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," except mine is called...

Diary of a Mad Black and Garnet Place-Kicker

Day 1: Check-In and Registration

As soon as I indicated I was from South Carolina, I was promptly told to wait in the back of the line with guys from Vanderbilt and Kentucky. They said they were getting Alabama, Florida and LSU checked in first.

I said, "Can't I register before the Ole Miss or Mississippi State guys?" The head of officials just shook his head and pointed to the back of the line.

At the welcome meeting the emcee had everyone from Alabama stand up and made us all applaud for them. Then he said, "And the rest of you, thanks for coming."

Day 2: Officiating 101: How to Throw the Flag

This morning we had a great speaker discuss in complete detail the fundamentals of how to make a call.

First rule of SEC officiating is to know the teams' records of the game we are calling. If we think there is a foul on a team, we reach for our flag and grab it, and have it "ready" to throw. Then we assess whether the team we are calling the foul against is undefeated, and if so, we wait two seconds.

During this two-second pause, we must decide beyond all fear of contradiction if this penalty would jeopardize the team's chances of playing for the BCS title. If we are in doubt, ... (Click here to read the rest on GC website.)

Nothing more to this post!

After watching Clemson play Maryland, here is my complete, in-depth analysis of the upcoming South Carolina versus Clemson game (in a few weeks.)

If South Carolina voluntarily kicks the ball to Sammy Watkins,
I will never forgive the coaches and I will never pay for another game ticket - ever.

If South Carolina is obviously kicking the ball away from Watkins but he somehow still gets it, I will forgive the coaches, and will spend the following ten to twenty years praying for the constitution to attend another game at some point.

If we lose in a hard fought game in which we never kick the ball to Sammy Watkins, and it is obvious that we are actively trying to NOT kick it to Sammy Watkins, I will continue to support everything the University does whole-heartedly.

If South Carolina accidentally kicks the ball to Sammy Watkins, it won't matter what I decide about attending a future game because my head will have exploded.

But, PLEASE, Coaches, swallow your pride and don't kick the ball to Sammy Watkins.

I don't care how athletic you think our guys are. I don't care how we "should be able to make that tackle." (See C.J. Spiller 2009, Rocket vs Colorado 1990 [I know it was called back but still!], or SAMMY WATKINS vs Maryland 2011!)

I would like to clarify something that has been brought to my attention about this blog post sounding, "scared." I am not scared of Sammy Watkins. I simply want to have our Gamecocks be in the best position possible to win the game using all the strategy at our disposal.

Another way to look at this would be like this:

If we played the entire game and Clemson chose to NOT ever get the ball to Watkins we would all say,

"Wow, they were SO STUPID."


Well, if we WILLINGLY give it to him, what does that make us?

I think if we don't kick it to him, it makes us "NOT STUPID" as opposed to "scared."

Please click the like button below if you agree!

Nothing else to read on this blog post, just make sure to click LIKE on on the facebook page so your voice will be heard! Do that here.

This is my weekly Big-Play Breakdown for for the Mississippi State game. (Click here to read it on their website.)

Nothing more to this post!

The football program's state right now is not what some fans would have hoped for at this point in the season. We just lost a fifth-year senior quarterback after losing to a completely sub-par opponent in Auburn. However, I am here to say that the football program is in much better shape than it could be had events 20 some odd years ago turned out differently. But before I outline all of that I have something else to say.

I am officially banning one "commenter" from my blog website. It has been a few months coming now, but I felt like this was the right week to do it.

This has been weighing on my chest, and I'm getting it off my chest right here today.

As all of you know I've got a negative guy over here who tries to hurt my personal blog website. He's got a right to do that. The criticism he shows me is okay. I don't mind that. I just don't like comments that are posted to my blog about me or my career that aren't true.

That's the only thing I take exception to from a dedicated blog reader... is when they write stuff that isn't true.

In 3 years as a blogger, I've had two comment-posters that I have had to disassociate with. The first had a handle name of "Grammar_Cock" and kept incessantly posting comments pointing out all of my split infinitives. When I realized "Grammar_Cock" was my mom, an English teacher of 25 years, I got her to start sending me private emails instead.

The other comment-poster that I am banning from my website will go unnamed in this article, but he is over there (I am pointing to my left.)

(Before concluding anything from this "teaser" make sure to read the entire article over at by clicking the picture of their logo below.)

To read the rest of this article click the image below or click here.

This is my weekly Big-Play Breakdown for for the Kentucky game. (Click here to read it on their website.)

Nothing more to this post!

Steve Spurrier was recently quoted saying he felt like the other teams may have successfully picked up some of the Gamecocks' offensive signals.

"We have not done a very good job of hiding our signals," Spurrier said. "Sometimes when you call it at the line of scrimmage, you wait and see if the other guys are yelling something and they haven't been yelling anything. So we had two guys signaling last week."

It's reasonable to assume that Auburn had Spurrier's signals. This would explain why many of the Gamecocks' offensive plays this past Saturday looked like plays on Tecmo Bowl when the defense "predicted" the offensive play and it just blows up like popcorn popping. Remember that on Tecmo Bowl? (I realize that's two Tecmo Bowl references the last few weeks but didn't some of the Gamecocks' running plays look like that?)

How did it happen?

If Auburn does indeed have Spurrier's signals, the question becomes, how did it get them?

I propose that it started at some point after the 2006 season. A special group of people were watching Spurrier's Gamecocks defeat the Florida Gators in 2005 and then almost beat them again in The Swamp in 2006 and decided that they must do something about it. This group of people were loyal to the Gators, but went out of their way to hate Spurrier. Who would fit such a description? Surely all Gator supporters would worship at the feet of Spurrier, right? Wrong.

I believe there exists an Underground League of Ex-Spurrier Quarterbacks. They do everything they can to foil Spurrier's efforts now. Spurrier has made no apologies about how he handles his quarterbacks. Some of them have flourished under his "coaching to perfection" becoming Heisman Trophy winners, All-Americans and All-SEC performers. Others... have not. It is these "others" that concern me.

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Big-Play Breakdown: Auburn Game

Monday, October 03, 2011 0 comments
This is my weekly Big-Play Breakdown for for the Auburn game. (Click here to read it on their website.)

Nothing more to this post!

After I posted my latest story on (read it here) some early responses on the message boards were emailed to me. I have reposted them here. Please spread these to every Gamecock fan that you know is going to the game Saturday.

sclaw03 says:

Great article. This Saturday every Gamecock fan in attendance needs to do everything phusically possible to affirmatively show support for Garcia. That means cheering for him, chanting his name, making signs, etc. As fans a lot of times we have the "what have you done for me lately" attitude when deciding how intensely we should support a player or coach, and expect them to always pick us up. Well, now it's time for us to pick up one of our own, especially when it's a player who has recently lost a loved one, and has unfortunately spent the better part of the last 5 yrs being used mostly as a punching bag by the local media. Maybe a little fan support will help him get his mojo back.

savannah gamecock says:

What would happen Saturday if all gamecock fans when the team takes the field begin chanting "Stephen-Stephen"? Yes, Stephen can play better, we know that and he wants to play better - we should know that too. This kid needs a pick-me-up and I think a cheer for Stephen on Saturday would be a good first step, not because he necessarily deserves it - but because he needs it. Where would you and I be if all we got was what we "deserve"? I thank God I don't always get what I deserve. I'm thankful for God's "mercy".

Please spread these all around. How awesome would it be if seventy-five thousand folks were chanting Stephen! Stephen! Stephen! at the start of the game? Seriously. Instead of allowing the media to influence his confidence, let's FORCE the crowd to influence it in the RIGHT DIRECTION!


All I have heard this week from the radio call-in shows is how everyone is so down and out about the Gamecocks. Everyone seems to think that Stephen Garcia's confidence is somewhere in the Sarlacc pit rotting away with Boba Fett.

What the media fails to understand is that guys like Garcia don't get rattled like normal people. The media expects these athletes to react like normal human beings when the truth is they aren't normal human beings, they're superheroes. The swagger that allows a kid like Garcia to lower his head at a future first-round draft pick linebacker is that same swagger that causes him to not be phased by throwing a few interceptions at Williams-Brice.

He has proven his decision-making ability is somewhat unorthodox. But we should stop judging his poor decision-making skills. It's not fair for us to bark about his bad decision to throw a certain pass, but then turn around and cheer on his "decision" to throw his body at a 320-pound defensive tackle like he was jumping into a swimming pool. Neither of these decisions were made by a rational thinker, people.

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This is my weekly Big-Play Breakdown for for the Vandy game. (Click here to read it on their website.)

Nothing more to this post!

Ever hear of "backyard football?" Well, probably not played like this!

This is an instance when having a comedian as a dad comes in a little handy. Walt told me he wanted me to have an official football game party for his birthday. He said he wanted to kick extra points and have lines painted on the field. Well I took it one full step further by getting the microphone and amplifier I use for local gigs and downloading all the sweet college football music from and blasting it out in the yard while I called the game like Al Michaels.

Oh yeah, then at the suggestion of my wife's close friend, we dumped a cooler of water and ice on him as we said, "Happy Birthday!"

Here four videos below, including one where Walt gets dumped.

Walt gets dumped at the end of this video.

Just more fun stuff on this video.

Savannah scores her touchdown versus the boys in this video.

National Media Ignores the Gamecocks

Why does the national media go out of their way to ignore the South Carolina Gamecocks?

The baseball team already had won one national championship and couldn't get Orel Hershiser to research the names of the Gamecock players well enough to pronounce them correctly during their second national championship. It pained me to listen to him discuss how high the UCLA pitchers were going to be drafted as we spanked the Bruins in 2010, and in 2011 all he wanted to talk about was how special it was for Florida to make the title game. Really, Orel?

Football season is even worse. 2011 hasn't been that stellar a beginning for the Gamecocks to most national media outlets. Basically all the preseason hype is working against the Gamecocks as the expectations were set so high that only blow out victories would satisfy them. The national media is buzzing with “the Gamecocks are overrated, and Florida is now the team to beat in the East.”

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This is my weekly Big-Play Breakdown for for the Navy game. (Click here to read it on their website.)

I discuss how our passive approach to the defensive scheme hurt our ability to stop the triple-option.

I have already seen some comments asking some questions so I will address them here.

Question #1: We can't gamble on defense every play and get way behind to the Navy offense, they will just grind it out on us then. Why do you think we should gamble every play?

Answer: I never said we should gamble every play. I merely pointed out that we should gamble "some." Until the fourth quarter Coach Johnson NEVER gambled. Also, I think our schemes tended to be passive never allowing our players to force action but rather read and react. I was not saying we should try and blow up a blitz on every play.

Also, gambling that pays off would have been worth it. We would have been just as likely to create a turn over as we would have been to give up a touchdown. That was my point.

Question #2: I heard Brad Lawing say that Travian, our nose tackle, has got to win the battle in the three man front. Therefore Clowney never was assigned the fullback on the dive in a three man front. Marty, you said in your analysis that Clowney should have the dive and Brad Lawing is saying that he didn't. So you were wrong about this. What gives?

Answer: Let me clarify. In fundamentally sound defensive schemes designed to stop the option, the unblocked man on the line has got to account for the first man through, which would be the dive. Any other plan is taking into account the talent levels of the players at each position and therefore game planning, not the same as "fundamentally sound defense."

Since Ellis Johnson said to the media that the option removes athleticism from the table, I assumed he would have developed a scheme that would be the most sound on paper. Instead, he developed a scheme that included assuming our nose tackle could defeat a play-side double team (or beat the center individually.) Not taking into consideration that every offensive triple-option coach "HOPES" that the defense will assume this. Every option coach finds their center first, then builds their offense around them. This is option 101.

Next time the South Carolina High School Coaches Association has a coaching clinic, sneak into it and raise your hand and ask a question. Ask Dr. Jerry Brown or John McKissick how they think their option attacks would do against a team that had a decent nose tackle and that defense assigned the nose tackle to the dive and the unblocked man to the quarterback.

Report back here with what they say.

One last thought on this as well. If Clowney was responsible for the quarterback in three man fronts, then why were there several times in the game when he is tackling the dive man when the dive man doesn't have the football? Also, why didn't Clowney blow up the quarterback every play?

Watching the Mississippi State versus L.S.U. game made me think of something. I only played at Starkville one time in my career. That one game was ugly though. We lost 26 to 0. From the getting off the plane in the middle of nowhere, to the strange smelling hotel, to the two hour drive to the stadium, it was, by far, the weirdest, toughest place to play in my opinion. (Fayetteville is second, but a distant second.)

Starkville is like a weird city set in an M. Night Shyamalan movie. I was constantly thinking I might see zombies with cowbells come around the corner saying they wanted to eat my brains. (Yes I know that M. Night doesn't write about Zombies, go back to your video games!)

Even the normal looking students have a glaze in their eye as they whack that bell that is bothersome. It's like they are going to whisper to you as you walk by, "I see dead players..." (Better M. Night reference, right?)

I think Gamecock fans should unite in their journey to Starkville by all buying vuvuzelas to blow at the game to drown out the cowbells. Announce our presence with authority!

The only thing that would be more annoying than going into their stadium and beating them would be to do it with vuvuzelas!

And if the vuvuzelas are too expensive (you can buy them here) then we can use the video below to make a homemade vuvuzela sound making device!

Wouldn't it be awesome?

But we have to agree to ONLY DO IT for this one game! No vuvuzelas allowed into Williams Brice!

This is my weekly column for (Click here to read it on their website.)

I outline 5 reasons that why fans shouldn't care that the Gamecocks haven't looked as good as we thought they would. Maybe you will agree, maybe you will disagree, but either way, I am interested in your feedback.

Take a look at their website and let me know what you think of the article.

There is nothing more in this article to read! Go Cocks!

Make sure to go over to and check out the new "Video Breakdown" section on their website. I provided the football analysis and commentary on a handful of they key plays from the Georgia game. I have a formed a strategic alliance with and this will be a weekly article posted on their website after each game this year.

Below is an example post which includes exclusive video highlights as well as screenshot chalkboard type breakdowns.

Read what folks are saying about it here.

I have to credit my father, Bill Simpson, with this observation.

Something no one mentioned at the start of the Mississippi State, Auburn game yesterday was their football slogan working on behalf of the entire country.

The Auburn locker room at Jordan-Hare Stadium leads on to the Pat Dye Field through two huge swinging doors which are painted blue with orange lettering to read from the outside:

Which apparently is a slogan for the football team. On television yesterday, they opened only the left door for the team's entrance, so that what was shown as the team filed through accidentally confirmed the rest of the country's opinion about Auburn and its story about Cam Newton:

Sorry, Cam, "Less True" is more accurate.

Sometimes real life writes better stories than journalists or comedians.

While the Gamecocks didn't win by the 17 points that I had predicted, they did indicate that they are a different breed of rooster than in the past. I have rarely seen a team come out and play more inspired and emotionally driven than Georgia did. (Props to Coach Richt for this effort.) I also didn't expect the Gamecocks to come out so flat. It reminded me of the bowl game versus Iowa. I guess playing on the road in the SEC is harder than it looks on paper.

But as I watched the entire first half, I kept thinking of how we are "The Other Team." This year's Gamecocks are the team that is usually playing against the Gamecocks. While Georgia was playing perfectly, the Gamecocks were playing poorly, but the score was only 6 to 0 when it should have been 21 to 0. The anxiety was thick on the faces of the Georgia students whenever they would show them on television. They could sense how difficult it was going to be to beat the Gamecocks.

It was so reminiscent of Gamecock games from the past. Games played in Baton Rouge, Gainsville or Tuscaloosa in which an outmatched Gamecock team played with heart and emotion and hung tough for a few quarters only to be defeated in the end. It seemed like deja vu in which the Gamecocks had gone in and played flawlessly for two quarters and given everyone hope... false hope. Except this time, the Gamecocks were on the other side of the equation.

At the half it felt like the Georgia team was beating the Gamecocks in all phases of the game and doing it with style, yet the Cocks led 14 to 13. That strange feeling associated with being outplayed while your team was still winning on the scoreboard was a new sensation for Gamecock fans. It is a feeling that is only present when your team has an abundance of talent at multiple positions able to cover for your team's many mistakes of the day.

Not only do we have an All-American tailback and wide receiver, we also have a defensive tackle who weighs 276 pounds and can sprint 68 yards for a touchdown on a fake punt, scoop and score on a fumble, and recover an onside kick on the hands team! (I also heard Coach Spurrier say that Ingram can throw a ball 60 yards, was the emergency punter, and he punts left-footed. Seriously! Ingram for Heisman!)

While today's game was ugly on many fronts, it was glorious on the only front that mattered! We won! On the road! In the SEC! But like all great weather-worn Gamecock fans, we will spend the next five days arguing about how Shaw should get another shot at quarterback, or how the defensive secondary really is a problem, or how the play calling seems predictable, because, as seasoned Gamecock fans, we truly just don't know how to do anything else.

So, did we win by 17 points? No, we didn't. But you know what? After Ingram batted and scooped that fumble into the endzone for his second touchdown of the day, we were leading by 10 with three and a half minutes to play. If the defense had come up with one more stop and we had added a cheap late score, it would have been a 17 point win! I know. I know. It is a stretch, but not as far a stretch as winning a game "between the hedges" by three points when your defensive tackle has two touchdowns!

Are there huge questions left that need answering before we can compete for an SEC and National title? Of course. Are we undefeated still? Yes! Remember last year in the early part of the season the Auburn Tigers played a game against Clemson that they should have lost. Then they went on to become the best team in the country in the end. Are we playing like the best team in the country right now? No, but the good news is we don't have to be. We only had to play better than Georgia this Saturday, and we did that.

And while doing so, I am sure the Georgia fans kept thinking to themselves, "Man, I wish our jerseys were on 'The Other Team!'"

And when was the last time that a South Carolina game pre-empted the start of the Michigan, Notre Dame game? Do you realize that the South Carolina game ran long and they moved the start of the Notre Dame, Michigan game to ESPNU and finished the South Carolina game on ESPN? Come on! South Carolina is finally "THE OTHER TEAM."

These Gamecocks are
"The Other Team"
My father and I have discussed this concept a number of times over the past two baseball seasons. How the Gamecock baseball team always came through in the clutch and always seemed like they were playing like the "other team" that we are always playing against. I think this year's football team is finally "The Other Team."

With the hype going into the Georgia game, think about what the news lines are. Georgia is relying on true freshmen. Georgia is hoping the weaker secondary can be exploited. Georgia's coach is on the hot seat and in a must win situation. These are all things that are usually being said about the Gamecocks whenever they go into a place like Tuscaloosa or Baton Rouge.

Picture a conversation Georgia fans are having right now about our Gamecocks.

(For the sake of this hypothetical conversation the Georgia fans will be named Lewis and Bubba.)

Lewis: Well, maybe if we stop Lattimore we can beat these guys... wait, we have to stop that All-American wide receiver too.

Bubba: If we stop those two, then we have to really cover punts and kick-offs well too. Did you see last week?

Lewis: And don't forget the Wildcock formation with this new kid that looks really good too.

Bubba: Well at least we will be able to throw on their secondary.

Lewis: Unless we get sacked! Their defensive front is awesome.

Bubba: But that kid is just a true freshmen, we'll be able to block him. Besides he wears number 7. What defensive linemen wears single digits?

Lewis: Ones that run a 4.4 forty maybe?

Bubba: But at least we are playing at home.

Lewis: Yeah, it is a home game. Maybe we'll be alright. Besides, it's a must win for the Coach and the players will really step it up for him! Especially all the true freshmen we are relying on!

Doesn't this sound like a conversation we have all had a dozen times going into a tough SEC game?

Come together Gamecock nation and realize we are all in uncharted territory. The University of South Carolina Gamecocks are actually The Other Team in the equation. We are finally sitting on the side of the team that we are usually playing against!

The true metal will be revealed tonight in the culmination of the Coach Spurrier era. I predict that the Gamecocks will go to Athens, and amidst all the hype of the surrounding madness, simply prove to the country that they are the better team.

The difference in this Gamecock team and the teams in the past will be that this team will do its job. When they are the better team, they will simply BE the better team!

The Virtuoso Coach
The mainstream media just doesn't give Coach Spurrier enough credit in the department of "controlling the message." His comments last night after practice were nothing short of brilliant! I only heard them on the radio, so I will paraphrase them below.

When asked about how good Georgia was, Coach said,
Well, all those sports writers wouldn't have picked them to win the east if they didn't think Georgia had some good players over there. They're a good team.
Clearly, Coach Spurrier wants the buzz in the air to be about how good Georgia is. He is injecting this thought into dozens of reporters at practice so they will scurry home and write these quotes up and play this audio on the radio. That way Coach Spurrier can go back to his team and say, "Can you believe all they want to write about is how good Georgia is!!?" Again, I say this is all orchestrated genius!

Coach Spurrier was also able to put on the record that the Georgia freshmen class of recruits has branded themselves the "Dream Team." That way when Coach goes back to the locker room he can point out to HIS freshmen that Georgia thinks they are the "Dream Team."

All of this is on purpose, people! Coach Spurrier is a mastermind of this art form. He doesn't care that some average joe thinks he is a little cocky or arrogant. He doesn't care that some reporters are turned off by his antics. He only cares about the good of his team. And his team benefits when he is controlling the message.

Coach would never say that any of what he is doing is orchestrated or on purpose because that would not help his team. If he were asked I am sure he would say, "Naw... I just coach football, you guys write the stories." And when he answered this way, he would perfectly control the message!

I would also like to put on the record that I don't believe Coach is being dishonest or deceitful with his techniques either. Quite the contrary actually. I think his acumen in this department is unmatched and made even sharper by the fact that he only says things that are actually truthful. Sports writers everywhere did pick Georgia to win the east. Coach just knows that reminding everyone of that fact now will help his overall plan.

The average person reading his comments or watching him speak might think that he is blowing hot air, and I am saying that is all part of his master plan. The beauty of it is he doesn't mind if some folks think that, because it doesn't hurt his team for them to think that. You can question whether he is doing it on purpose or simply gets the benefit of the consequences of his accidental actions, but would it matter? Would it matter if Beethoven was just jamming in a Vienna garage but at the end of that session realized he had written his Fifth Symphony?

I will continue to point out times when I see the virtuoso Coach at work to help you all see what I see. And what I see is a coach that can bring about something at the University of South Carolina that no other coach has been able to accomplish! Let's just hope he will put up with all of us long enough to actually achieve it!

Georgia Will Go 10 and 2, but Is No Match for the Gamecocks This Year

No matter you think of Coach Richt
and Georgia Uga is a great mascot!
R.I.P. Uga VII. Much Respect.
As impossible as it seems to do, recovering from those awful uniforms worn versus Boise State will only be part of Georgia's problems this week. In addition to facing Lattimore and company, the dawgs are once again going into this game with their second tier interim mascot, "Russ" instead of "Uga" who passed away last February. It seems unreasonable to ask so much of a program in one short week, but that is what Georgia fans are doing. Not only do the dawgs have to figure out a way to stop Lattimore, block the Gamecocks' stellar defensive front, contain Ellington and Sanders on kick returns, but they also have to do it all with RUSS instead of UGA! I don't know if Coach Richt can survive the fury!

Now For Some Serious Analysis (Sort of...)

Georgia is going to go 10 and 2 (Ok, maybe not 10 and 2 but they will still win a lot!) and lose to two of the best teams in the country. Don't forget, CBS sports played the EA Sports' NCAA Football mock season and it had Boise St. losing to the Gamecocks in the title game. Georgia's schedule is very favorable this season so look for them to rebound quickly and for Coach Richt to win huge in a bowl game versus a Big 22 team. (How many teams are in the Big 10 now?)

Georgia's need to play their true freshman tailback (Crowell) to have their best player on the field will lead to several sacks and pressures. Asking a true freshman back to pick up our defensive linemen won't fair too well for the dawgs. This in turn will lead to turnovers. Look for a big day out of our defensive front. We all know that our d-line is the strongest thing on our team depth wise, and this game will really showcase that.

Historically, the Georgia, South Carolina ball game is a tight race governed by the team that makes one less mistake than the other. It will be different this time, simply because of the caliber of athletes on either side of the ball. I believe the trenches are a complete mismatch in favor of the Gamecocks this week and that will affect all aspects of the game. The Georgia offense will capitalize a few times on screens and draws taking advantage of our pursuit and aggressiveness, but over time this attack will take a toll on their own linemen. (Offensive linemen don't enjoy running down field multiple times on screen plays, just ask any former linemen.)

I picture a third and fourth quarter similar to the swamp last season in which the Gamecocks take control and look like a top five team doing it. South Carolina will be the team that "looks" like the physical, dominant SEC force in this one. The main reason we will "look" like the more physical and dominant team is because we will actually BE the team with the better players!

The best part of this victory for the Gamecocks though will be that Georgia will be wearing their traditional "silver britches." Even though Boise State did come to Atlanta and defeat an SEC opponent, I am sure the players never really felt like they were playing the real Georgia in those hideous outfits.

The post game hype will be about how Georgia is overrated. This will keep the Gamecocks off the radar for a little while longer, which is a good thing. We will probably have a few mistakes that cause the game to not quite be as big a blow-out as it should be, which will actually help us stay humble and keep us away from any front-runner media morons. If we route a Georgia team at home it would cause other teams preparing for us to spend more time and effort on us than we want. Inside the locker-room though each player will know the truth. This is a year in which we will be able to physically dominate programs like Georgia if we play up to our potential!

And as respectable as this win will be for the Gamecocks, we all know it would be MORE respectable if a true "Uga" roamed the sidelines. Maybe "Russ" just isn't up for the long haul of a grueling SEC schedule.

Last season, true freshmen phenom, Marcus Lattimore gashed the Georgia defense like they weren't wearing pads. This fact upset the defensive coaches at Georgia so much so that they were referencing how poorly they played later in the season based on that game. "Well, we played bad today, but not as bad as we did versus South Carolina."
Bruce Ellington while
at Berkeley

I believe that the Georgia defensive coaches will do whatever it takes to stop Marcus Lattimore this season. This will open up huge opportunities for Bruce Ellington. Of course Alshon as well, but everyone knows he will be summoning double coverages all day. Alshon and Ace will get their chances and they will play well, but this weekend will be remembered as the Bruce Ellington day! (I have no inside information on this, I just have a very strong gut feeling!)

My hypothesis is that we will finally get to see what all of Moncks Corner, South Carolina has known for two years. Bruce Ellington is a game changer! I would go so far as to say had he played last season we win two other ball games at a minimum. Not trying to take away from any of the back-up tailbacks last season, they all played extremely well when called upon, I am just merely pointing out that this young man, Bruce Ellington, is a special athlete. Now we have multiple special athletes in multiple positions on offense. The Gamecocks are finally the other team. You know what I mean by this, right? It always seems like the other team has all the good players! Well, we are finally the other team!

I believe Bruce may only have six to ten touches, but they will be KEY touches. He will get the ball in the open field, in space, and we will get to see exactly what he can do. Because our defense is going to play well enough to keep the kickoff return game off the field, we will see Ellington in the Wildcock, in screens, on short passes off the inside zone read (look for a future article breaking this play down, as it is complicated but a fun concept), bubble screens, jailbreaks, and possibly see him throw a pass or two!

My multimedia company, Blue-Eyed Panda, was fortunate enough to be contracted to put together Berkeley's 2009 season highlight video, so I have cut together a few choice plays from Ellington in this Youtube video below. Keep in mind, every play you see is Ellington versus some of the best competition in the state of South Carolina. Summerville, Stratford, Byrnes, and Northwestern, are all in this video. He makes them look like they might be playing versus single-A teams sometimes! (No offense Coach Taneyhill, I am just stating the facts.)

If you agree with me about Bruce Ellington, spread this video around and post your comments of support below! If you disagree with me, make sure to post those comments below PRIOR to the game, so we can come back here on Sunday morning and give you a hard time about how wrong you were!

Is Garcia the "REAL FACE" of the NCAA?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011 3 comments
Peter Schrager wrote an article on the Fox Sports website titled, "Garcia is True Face of College Football." (linked here: Yes, he was talking about OUR Stephen Garcia. Upon reading the headline I was struck by the fact that maybe someone sees what I see in Stephen Garcia. A gutsy, tough as nails kid that is "righting the ship" of his colorful career. But as I read the article I was moved by the backhanded nature of the compliments he was giving to the Gamecocks and to Garcia.
Andrew Luck of Stanford

Schrager points out the the natural choice for this year's "NCAA Golden Child" is Stanford's, Andrew Luck. Given his flare for the big game and the nature of his "former valedictorian self," Luck seems like the natural poster child for the NCAA according to Schrager.

The oddities start flowing near the middle of the story when it becomes apparent that Schrager is actually calling out the NCAA for causing itself to look like an organization that would be better represented by a quarterback with five team suspensions on his record than a squeaky clean Stanford honors student. He is not actually complimenting Garcia as much as dogging the NCAA.

As much as I love Garcia, I sort of see his point. However, I would like to take it a step further.

Schrager writes,
South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia, the college football media’s resident punching bag and punchline for all that’s “wrong” in the game, could be the man who represents the sport the best in 2011. Battered, beaten and chided for poor behavior...

While I agree that the current state of the NCAA does appear battered, beaten, and chided for poor behavior, I think it is a little harsh to state that Garcia is ALL that is wrong with the game. Isn't he in graduate school? Didn't he already get one degree? So he is a little bit of a loose cannon, sure, but is he really all that is wrong with College Football?

I picture him limping back to the huddle several times versus a then fourth ranked Ole Miss team two years ago, with blood on his uniform, and I think to myself, "This is a gutsy kid!" Has he made some really stupid decisions, YES he has! But haven't we all at some point in our lives? (Insert sarcastic reference here to Cam Newtown's father... oh wait, don't do that it might offend the NCAA since last year he was their poster child.)

The NCAA is currently in the midst of a complete public relations tsunami and it's reshaping from the ground up. Who better to change the face of the NCAA than Steve Spurrier and the South Carolina Gamecocks? Because you know if South Carolina actually did win the SEC and even the national championship that it could rip a hole in the space-time continuum setting off a chain reaction the likes of which have never been witnessed.

Think back 20 years to "The U" winning games by routing their opponents while rapper Luke Skywalker (From 2 Live Crew) bankrolled their expenses and the NCAA turning a blind eye because "The U" is the face of college football. Think back to the epic battles of Vince Young and Reggie Bush and picture Bush's family watching the game from their private space-shuttle in orbit (exaggeration added, but only slightly!) Picture Ohio State's players getting free tattoos and now the entire program is in disarray! OH NO! Not free tattooes! All the while, the bagman is still not affecting Auburn's National Championship at all. The sad truth is the NCAA needed Cam Newton to play and to be innocent! Oregon, on the other hand... (On a side note I will admit Cam Newton has a nice smile, but he refers to himself in the third person too often for my taste.)

Enter Stephen Garcia and the South Carolina Gamecocks, led by everyone's favorite coach to hate, Steve Spurrier. Garcia's tumultuous career somewhat mirrors that of the NCAA to it's fans. Every "violation" committed by each is not quite severe enough for us to give up on either one, and deep inside we hold on to a hope that it will all work out! Secretly inside all true college football fans we fantasize about how it should be enough to only get a free education and that players are not taking extra benefits at some schools out there. (Seriously, some people still believe this. I know, right? I can hear the Duke basketball fans getting uneasy that I would claim that no one is innocent.)

As it pertains to Garcia's case, I do not condone any underage drinking, but I have to admit that if the fraternity houses I had friends at were held to the same scrutiny would any of them survive?

The NCAA slaps Auburn on the wrist and reinstates Cam Newton and makes themselves look like a punchline. After they totally put the hammer down on Southern Cal when faced with the inevitable NECESSITY of it, which gave us all hope that someone at the NCAA actually cares about major violations. This inconsistency in behavior from the NCAA seems to match right up with Garcia's, no?

Garcia, meanwhile, is somewhat set-up and called out in public but continues to get the full support from his teammates which I see as the key element here. It's more than just the ability to deliver in the game. The guy must have something that the other players see. Something they know can help them win a championship. Something intangible. Meanwhile, the members of the NCAA are all getting restless leg syndrome, wondering when its leadership will actually start to lead. Garcia is not suffering from that same growing mutiny from his constituents.

Peter Schrager points out what I think is the most important aspect to this entire ordeal.
If he does what he does best — regardless of aesthetic appeal — Garcia and the Gamecocks could very well be the story of the 2011 season. [ ... ] Garcia — like the sport itself [and the NCAA for that matter] — could make for one heck of a redemption story this season.
The Face of the NCAA, Stephen Garcia!

Everyone loves the story of the underdog or the comeback or the redemption. I think of the scene in Tombstone when Doc Holiday clarifies that Wyatt Earp is not out for revenge, but "the reckoning..." Maybe a tattooed up, long haired, loose-cannon, with a few suspensions under his belt is actually THE BEST THE NCAA CAN DO in the way of professional spokesperson at this time! So the NCAA needs the Gamecocks to win it all behind their wonderfully flawed leader, Garcia. That way their new "poster child" will at least have a championship under his belt, and the folks at the NCAA can start "righting their own ship" the way Garcia did this summer with his teammates!!/PSchrags wrote the original article. Follow him here.

This morning I was fortunate enough to spend some time on the phone with the guys at 107.5 The Game. I love Tommy, Bob, and Captain Dave (and even tater-head Benji.) Captain Dave hit me on Facebook saying the guys sort of blew off my hypothesis that Coach Spurrier starting Connor Shaw proves he's a genius! when he mentioned it yesterday, so he wanted me to call in.

Well that turned out to be pretty fun. I spent a half hour on the show answering questions about it all, and by the end, Bob Shields stated that after hearing me explain it he was somewhat convinced! Bob even branded this "The Marty Theory" to the incoming callers.

My favorite call was from a lady named Judy. She was fired up and mad at Coach Spurrier and said she "totally disagreed with Marty." And that Coach Spurrier was just out to make Garcia look bad.She went on and on about how Garcia is the man and there's nothing Coach Spurrier can do about it. I calmly responded with a thank you and explained that this just illustrates my point. The Coach Spurrier has women, children, and EVEN RON MORRIS, in a lynch mob mentality defending Stephen Garcia... THE MAN IS A GENIUS!

Just four months ago the forums were littered with folks calling for Garcia's head! So rock on Coach Spurrier with your bad self doing what you do!

Look out for my game preview coming Thursday. I am hoping to discuss how Georgia's heavy concentration on Lattimore will open the flood-gates for the break out player of the week, BRUCE ELLINGTON!

PS - I would be remiss if I didn't mention T-Bone's story from this morning. It was actually my favorite. In 1992, versus Clemson, Toby Cates had just caught a touchdown pass to take the lead and T-Bone went crazy in the endzone cheering wildly. The lesson he says he learned that day was to never take his eyes off a Marty Simpson extra point, because he says the P.A.T. smacked him square in the face and spilled his alcohol everywhere! (I assume that T-Bone was sitting somewhere between the uprights, because I made them all that day, but I bet he was slightly right of center from my vantage point on that kick, as that is where most of kicks landed!)

Worst Uniform? Maryland or Georgia?

Monday, September 05, 2011 0 comments
As we prepare to play Georgia, the serious question needs to be addressed. Which uniform was the worst? Maryland's or Georgia's Nike Pro Combat Uniform? You may be surprised at my answer.

As crazy as this is going to sound, by the end of the game, the Maryland uniform had sort of grown on me. I know I am going to be in the minority on this one, but there is just something bold and cool about a villainous "Two-Face" uniform. I sort of liked how the arm bands matched each particular side.

At first glance, I was repulsed. (And for good reason, as my former student, Tim Kallgren pointed out, we have all seen these uniforms before on the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland!)

But then as I watched the entire game, I was sort of won over. Maybe I just wanted Maryland to win, maybe the rain made the game more fun to watch, maybe Randy Edsall running up and down the field with his freakishly long arms waving around made me like the uniforms, I am not too sure.

Or maybe the very idea of the Georgia Bulldogs looking like they were some make-believe team for the next installment of "Airbud: Golden Receiver, Part XII" on the Disney Channel just bothered me.

At least the Maryland team looked like a World League team. The Dawgs just looked like a football doll that was made by a company that didn't want to pay any licensing to anyone! Just awful!

My company, Blue-Eyed Panda, handled the end of the year highlight video for Berkeley when they won the championship behind the amazing efforts of Bruce Ellington. Coach Jerry Brown said to me then that he thought Ellington was the best player he had ever seen on the field since Freddie Soloman and thought Ellington was better than Soloman.

Bruce in high school for Berkeley
on the night they won the
state championship!
I have maintained from the beginning that whenever Ellington stepped on the field it would be obvious to everyone how true Coach Brown's statements are! And I think everyone saw a taste of that last night, but there is so much more to come. (For validation of this point just call 107.5 The Game and ask Tommy Moody or Bob Shields to back these statements up. I started calling in last year talking about Ellington and predicted this summer all summer long that Ellington was a game changer. I would like to point out that I sensed SERIOUS doubt on Tommy Moody when I made the Freddie Soloman comment though!)

Yes, Ace Sanders looked amazing on that punt return! Yes Bird is a lightning fast freshmen! And I am not knocking on the Lattimore/Jeffery All-American-DUO! But I am just throwing some prediction-love onto Ellington! He is a game changer and will prove that soon and very soon!

I am working on getting that highlight video cut up into a short highlight segment of just Ellington to post on my blog for all to see! Check back later this week for that.

Evidently someone got a hold of my blog post over at and posted it there. Some of the forum users over there are discussing it and I wanted to do my responding here, if that's alright with everyone. Oh it's not? Well then stop reading. (Otherwise read on!)
Quotes taken directly from forum threads.
The Real Atlanta Cock has over 700 posts in the
While discussing my blog post (at this link), he wrote:
Not knocking Simpson, but it's just one man's opinion, I'm not sure I buy all of it. He makes SOS sound like a villain in a James Bond novel the way he orchestrated this whole thing.

I addressed this quote in my earlier blog post about how I didn't think Coach Spurrier was being evil per se. I just needed a quick metaphor to communicate the fact that I truly believe that most of what Steve Spurrier does that gets called cocky or arrogant by the media is being done on purpose as a charade to help put his players in a position to win.

But also, too often the villains in the Bond films come across as bumbling idiots monologue-ing themselves into the jaws of defeat! HBC is much more shrewd than those guys. Although it would be super cool if he ever whipped his visor off and threw it at an official that made a bad call and it flew like Odd-Job's razor hat and then came back to him as he caught it and put it back on his head. I think that would be awesome!
Odd Job from Goldfinger and Coach Spurrier with their magic hats!

And for the record, I have never read a Bond novel, so I am only qualified to respond to the villains in the movie versions.

Evidently someone got a hold of my blog post over at and posted it there. Some of the forum users over there are discussing it and I wanted to do my responding here, if that's alright with everyone. Oh it's not? Well then stop reading. (Otherwise read on!)
Quotes taken directly from forum threads.
MotorCityChicken has over 11,400 posts in the forum so his opinion is well documented to say the least. His comments are very well thought out and very reasonable. While discussing my blog post (at this link), he wrote:
Although the result I think is what he [Marty Simpson] wrote... I seriously doubt Spurrier put Shaw out there knowing he wouldn't play well. That's just silly. I think Spurrier put him out there to see if he could carry over the practice play to the real thing. We are going to need Shaw to play in pressure situations, and what better then to start a game with half (or more?) of the fans almost against you, with one quarter to prove your worth? That's ballsy, and Spurrier was going to find out if Shaw had it or not. And right now he doesn't, but the great news is that Spurrier knew he had Garcia on the bench, so no harm no foul. If Shaw doesn't cut it right away, you go to Garcia. If Shaw does, then you have a great problem. Nothing to be worried about - Garcia will be the man and Shaw will continue to prepare for next season.
I completely agree with MotorCityChicken's assessment. I do not believe that Coach Spurrier put Connor Shaw in the game with intentions of seeing him play poorly. Nor do I think he sabotaged Connor Shaw's efforts. In fact as I re-watched the game this morning Shaw did have a deep ball thrown to Alshon Jeffery. However, I do think it was a simple Win-Win decision for Coach Spurrier to make. Meaning, if Shaw drives down the field and scores and takes charge then the more the merrier. Either way, starting Connor Shaw puts the underdog mentality squarely on Garcia. Coach knows we need Garcia down the stretch and we need the full backing of the fans.

But I do agree with MotorCityChicken that Coach did not WANT Shaw to play poorly. I think HBC is too competitive for any orchestrations that would jeopardize victory!

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