There’s a pretty big game this weekend. Just thought I’d share…
1. Is it Florida State-Clemson? No, but that’s a pretty important one too. There are some interesting elements at play in this rematch, however.
First of all, both teams are well aware of how dominant the Seminoles looked in the first installment. The Tigers couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean from the beach, while FSU just methodically pulled away.
The matchup still stinks for the Tigers, and this one is in Tallahassee. Even though most fans of both teams have a feeling how this one will turn out, extra motivation goes to Florida State because the Noles are still behind the Tigers in the ACC standings.
2. It’s tough to remember after such a bad week, but Clemson is actually in a very good place right now. The Tigers are alone in fifth place in the conference standings. Only Syracuse, Virginia, Duke, and Pittsburgh are ahead of them. Wake Forest, Maryland, N.C. State, and Florida State are only a game back in the loss column.
Let me remind everyone for the 193rd time that Clemson was picked to finish 14th in the standings before the year began. Even if things go according to the way they will be predicted, Clemson should be 5-5 heading up to South Bend for a winnable road game against Notre Dame at the end of this brutal stretch.
Don’t let the recent horrible play, coupled with excellence from the past two opponents, cloud the big-picture view of this season.
3. Signing Day might be a rather boring affair for Clemson this year. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Clemson’s staff doesn’t seem concerned about losing any of its commitments. There are a few prospects the Tigers are waiting on, but there aren’t a ton of available scholarships anyway. Boring doesn’t win headlines on Signing Day, but making a splash also requires risking a bad day.
Personally, I’d rather be safe than sorry. I’m sure Dabo Swinney appreciates a nice, quiet day watching faxes reliably roll in.
4. It’s good to see Ralph Friedgen back in coaching. It’s no secret that Friedgen is an offensive wizard. Just ask Georgia Tech and the San Diego Chargers.
His new gig as the offensive coordinator at Rutgers is a good thing. Football needs Friedgen’s intellect and pedigree. He was the first person I thought of to replace Billy Napier at Clemson—after Mike Bobo at Georgia, who wasn’t available. I’m glad Friedgen, who was fired at Maryland after being named the ACC’s Coach of the Year in 2010, gets a chance at retribution next November. I’ll be rooting hard for the Scarlet Knights.
5. I’ve got the Broncos in the Super Bowl. The press has been raging about the matchup between Denver’s offense and Seattle’s defense, and for good reason. But this game will be won based on something else.
Arguably the most improved aspect of either team in the postseason is Denver’s run defense. After finishing seventh in the league during the regular season, the front seven has stepped up in the playoffs, giving up only 64.5 yards per game on the ground.
If Seattle can’t control the clock with Marshawn Lynch, the passing game isn’t good enough to carry the Seahawks. I think Peyton Manning gets his second ring.