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Archive for August, 2009

ACC Predictions

Posted by cuorange on August 31, 2009

cuorange_exclusiveAtlantic Division
Much like last year, the Atlantic is a jumbled mess of mediocrity, with three teams really having a shot: Florida State, Clemson and N.C. State. While I can’t say I’ve totally bought into the N.C. State hype, Tom O’Brien has a way of winning ugly and his team won their last 4 ACC games last year.

One thing in Clemson’s favor is that Florida State travels to Clemson. The game I am not confident in for Clemson is the Miami game. Clemson could easily win that game or could easily lose it, as Miami has the most talent in the league (by recruiting standards). If Clemson wins at Miami this could vault them into the top spot, assuming the rest of my scenario plays out as anticipated.

Boston College is always an interesting case. I’ve consistently picked them to fall down only to look up and see them playing in the ACCCG. A new coach and a new quarterback didn’t stop them last year, but the same scenario this year will.

Atlantic Division

Team ACC Record Overall Record
Florida State 6-2 9-3
N.C. State 5-3 8-4
Clemson 5-3 7-5
Wake Forest 4-4 8-4
Boston College 3-5 6-6
Maryland 2-6 4-8

Coastal Division
The Coastal is a lot more top heavy with Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech ruling the roost. While I think Virginia Tech’s national title hopes are much ado about nothing, especially in light of the injury to Darren Evans, I do think they continue to win in the ACC with a top notch coaching staff. While most of the Hokie schedule is favorable, the one trip up I see is playing at Georgia Tech – and this will make the difference in the end.

North Carolina and Miami have the talent to make noise, but I don’t see them at the top of the heap here. Randy Shannon is not Knute Rockne and Butch Davis may be a year away in Chapel Hill.

Duke and Virginia will battle it out for the cellar, with each team only returning 11 starters from losing teams.

Coastal Division

Team ACC Record Overall Record
Georgia Tech 7-1 10-2
Virginia Tech 7-1 10-2
North Carolina 5-3 9-3
Miami 3-5 6-6
Duke 1-7 4-8
Virginia 0-8 2-10

Posted in ACC Football, Clemson Football, College Football | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Money Line

Posted by cuorange on August 29, 2009

cuorange_exclusiveWhile pondering the point spreads for week 1 I realized how difficult picking against the spread is and the variety of factors that can conspire against you in that pursuit. So, I decided to test a theory – yes, I needed ONE more thing to keep track of this season – the theory being that betting on the money line is, well, easy money.

Here’s how it’ll work: I’ll start with an imaginary $10,000 and pick a game (or two) each week and bet the money line. At the end of the season we’ll tally up my winnings (losings). I’ll add a cool little widget somewhere on the page to let you know where I stand and update my record from time to time.

For week 1 I am looking at two possible games: Clemson vs. Middle Tennessee State and Oklahoma vs. Brigham Young, both at -1800. For the neophytes out there, that means I would risk $1800 for every $100 I would win.

I could split it up and take both OU and Clemson, or I could lay all $10,000 on one team in an effort to win $555. Cool. I’ll take OU at -1800 and lay it all out there.

Remember, if OU wins I have $10,555. If they lose my experiment is over after one week.

Posted in Clemson Football, College Football | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Designs by Eargle

Posted by cuorange on August 28, 2009

You may have noticed the creative designs I sometimes use when posting articles. These are not my designs, they are done by Clemson graduate Adam Eargle, a professional graphic designer.

Purple Square Heisman

Adam has done outstanding work for me on everything from email marketing campaigns, to the “cuorange exclusive” print, to business card design. Each of the graphic designs within this post was done by Adam.

I post this not as an “ad” as Adam did not ask for this post nor did he pay anything for the upwards of 20 hits that will be generated, but as a satisfied and grateful recipient of his skill and generosity with his time.

Purple Heisman

I’ve also enlisted Adam to assist in the design of the next Texas Bash T-Shirt for our Carolina Viewing Party.

Adam offers more than just stickers and magnets. You can click on any of the designs within this post to go directly to Adam’s online store and see all of the products he offers or you can find it all here.

If you have a need for graphic design services you can contact Adam directly at

Posted in General | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Practice Reports Aug 24-27

Posted by cuorange on August 28, 2009

Next to zero on the practice report for Monday other than the Tigers having a good tempo and Spencer Benton and Richard Jackson both hitting 40 yard field goals under pressure.

Dabo was not happy with Tuesday’s practice with the exception of a few players, notably Jamie Harper and Rendrick Taylor. Swinney also noted that the quarterbacks made some “good” throws.

On the other hand, Swinney noted that there were too many mistakes on both sides of the ball, busted assignments, inopportune penalties in the red zone and a lack of attention to detail.

Swinney was more pleased with Wednesday’s practice, saying there was more enthusiasm and attention to detail.  In addition, Dabo mentioned that he was not worried about Jacoby Ford’s hamstring (I am).
Richard Jackson had another good day kicking and would kick field goals if a game was being held today.

On Thursday Dabo said the team had a good practice and spent the practice working on Middle Tennessee’s tendencies.

Posted in ACC Football, Clemson Football, College Football | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Forecasting C.J.’s Numbers

Posted by cuorange on August 27, 2009

cuorange_exclusiveAt the risk of setting off a case of bad ju-ju and alienating every Clemson friend I have, I decided to attempt to project C.J. Spiller’s all-purpose yardage this year.

I used a hybrid method in coming up with these, using common sense, historical averages and yes, a little leap of faith.  His rushing numbers are based on the workload of James Davis last year (40% of teams rushes) using last years run/pass ratio and with a 10% increase in the teams plays to account for the much anticipated up tempo offense.  The touchdown, 10+ and 20+ gains are based on C.J.’s averages from last year.

You could argue this is a conservative estimate, that C.J. will get more than 40% of the carries, that the offensive line is better, etc. and I certainly understand that.  As I said, part of this is a leap of faith.

Personally, I believe Spiller will catch between 50-55 passes this year and that shows up in these numbers.  While I used his 4.1 average receptions per game under Swinney from last year, I didn’t use his 13.0 yard per reception average from the last 6 games of 2009 because I felt that would be a little high for a RB and this was proven by his career average of 10.5 (which I used).  The touchdowns and 20+ yard gains are extrapolated from last years statistics based on these estimates.

On the punt and kickoff returns I began by using last years numbers. Then I heard Jacoby Ford’s hamstring may be a lingering issue, so I assigned C.J. 1/3 of Jacoby’s kickoff and punt returns from last year. Again, you can argue he’ll have more or less and I wouldn’t necessarily disagree, but from what I have heard Spiller’s number of kick returns (and punt returns) is going to vary from game to game depending on the situation, and specifically the situation with Ford’s hamstring.
All expected statistics are based on a 13 game season.  2009 statistics are forecasted.

Year Rush Atts Yds TD 10+ 20+ Rec Yds TD 20+ KO Ret Punt Ret Total
2008 116 629 7 20 6 34 436 3 7 516 189 1,770
2009 188 1,016 11 32 10 54 567 6 11 734 242 2,559

Before you haul me off to the nut farm remember that to accomplish this seemingly astronomical number Spiller only has to average 50 more yards per game this year than last – and stay healthy.

He only averaged 9.7 carries per game last year. If he averages 18 this year and matches his 5.4 average from a year ago he would add about 43 yards right there. Add on the fact that I expect Napier to use him out of the backfield as a receiver early and often (considering the lack of experience at WR) and Spiller could easily reach this mark.

One thing about averaging close to 200 yards a game though – one bad game or missed half due to injury or illness and your shot is kaput.  It will be almost impossible to make reach the magical 2,500 yard marker in that case.

Posted in ACC Football, Clemson Football, College Football | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Week 1 Early Lines

Posted by cuorange on August 26, 2009

Here are the predicted lines for the Week 1 games that are part of our Pick ‘Em Challenge.  I’ll update these next Monday.

Date Game Favorite Underdog Spread
9/3/09 S. Carolina @ NC State N.C. State South Carolina 4
9/3/09 Oregon @ Boise State Boise State Oregon 5
9/5/09 Georgia @ Oklahoma St Oklahoma State Georgia 6
9/5/09 Missouri @ Illinois* Illinois Missouri 6.5
9/5/09 MTSU @ Clemson Clemson Middle Tennessee State 18.5
9/5/09 BYU @ Oklahoma* Oklamoma BYU 21.5
9/5/09 Alabama @ Virginia Tech Alabama Virginia Tech 7
9/5/09 Maryland @ Cal California Maryland 21.5
9/6/09 Colorado St @ Colorado Colorado Colorado State 10.5
9/7/09 Miami (FL) @ Florida St Florida State Miami, FL 5.5

Posted in ACC Football, Clemson Football, College Football | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Couple more depth chart notes

Posted by cuorange on August 25, 2009

Purple Square HeismanYesterday I opined in this space about having a former walk-on tight end who has been practicing at tackle for about oh 5 minutes listed as the number two left tackle and how this meant the end of the world for Clemson.

However, Paul Strelow of The State (August 23rd post) says that even though Phillip Price is listed as second team, Cory Lambert would actually move to left tackle if Hairston were to be injured and Landon Walker would play right tackle.

Which then begs the question:  Why list Price as the 2nd team left tackle if he is not in fact the second team left tackle.  Perhaps this means Price will be second team in blowouts and other non-critical situations, but Lambert would be there if needed?  Feel better now?  Not exactly.

All of this is fine, but it still means one thing:  The Tigers depth at tackle consist of three (3) players, and two of them are struggling.

Posted in ACC Football, Clemson Football, College Football | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Updated Depth Chart

Posted by cuorange on August 24, 2009

cuorange_exclusiveClemson released an updated depth chart yesterday and while there doesn’t appear to be any huge changes, there are some interesting ones.

First, the battle at right tackle is being won by Cory Lambert.  At this point, I’m not sure if this is a positive reaction to the way Lambert has played in camp or a negative reaction to Landon Walker’s camp play.  Let’s just say this is not the strongest position on the line.

Phillip Price, a walk-on tight end a few days ago, is now listed as second string to Chris Hairston at right tackle.  Talk about a thin line.  Price weighs only 265, but the coaches think he can gain weight and become a serviceable lineman “some day”.  If Hairston goes down Clemson is in a world of hurt.

Red-shirt freshman Dewayne Allen is listed at second team tight end ahead of senior Durrell Barry.

Rendrick Taylor is listed as first team FB/TE ahead of Chad Diehl.  This may be a function of Diehl spending some time playing linebacker in short yardage situations.

Former walk-on Terrance Ashe is listed as the starting “Z” receiver, with red-shirt freshman Jaron Brown at second team.  One has to wonder if this is a “matter of time” thing, while Brown gets his feet underneath him during games.  From everything I’ve read Brown is the freshman receiver that has caught the coaches attention the most.

Xavier Dye is listed as the starting “X” wide receiver, with Brandon Clear listed second and Brandon Ford listed third.

On the defensive side of the ball true freshman Malliciah Goodman is listed as Da’Quan Bowers back up at DE.

Besides Goodman there are plenty of freshmen sprinkled throughout the chart on the defensive side of the ball, especially in the defensive backfield.

The other notable, but expected, change is that Marcus Gilchrist is listed as the first team strong safety, with Sadat Chambers now backing him up.

Posted in ACC Football, Clemson Football, College Football | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Introducing the Spill-O-Meter

Posted by cuorange on August 23, 2009

SpillerLook to the left and you will see the Spill-O-Meter.  The Spill-O-Meter is a high tech, state of the art electronic representation of C.J. Spiller’s total yards for the 2009 season.

After 638 hours of project planning and development, 67 hours of programming and 38 seconds of cutting and pasting…there it is…

This will be updated each and every week as C.J. adds to his total yards for the 2009 season and remarkable career yardage total.

Go C.J. go!

Posted in ACC Football, Clemson Football, College Football | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

August 20 and 21 Practice Notes

Posted by cuorange on August 22, 2009

dabo_at_the_rockIf you want to know all the details from practice for Thursday and Friday, you can find them here and here. Yawn. Closed practices mean a bland press release without a lot of information.

In case you don’t want to spend the 30 seconds to read the links, I’ll sum it for you: 

On Thursday Dabo talked to the team about the importance of special teams and they got a few guys back from injury including Rendrick Taylor (yay Rendrick!).  Must be an NCAA rule against actually practicing special teams on Thursdays.

On Friday, the two hour practice was highlighted by “a good day” for the kickers.  I’m assuming this means better than a combined 3/12 on field goals.

Friday was also the day that 39 walk-on hopefuls showed up to try out.  I’m not sure whether to be encouraged that Dabo is scrounging the student body for anyone who can help or scared that he has to.  Leaning towards scared.

There was a time when I was at Clemson when “Big Dave” (6’5, 325), an offensive lineman, lived next to me in Thornhill Village.  He introduced a guy at a party as being a linebacker on the football team.  Not recognizing said guy, I later asked Dave if dude really played linebacker (he was shorter than me and outweighed me by maybe 20 lbs) and his reply has stuck with me all these years: “He’s a tackling dummy in practice”. 

Big Dave went back to Inman after that year to run his father’s hardware store and never played another down for Clemson. 

This post is for “Big Dave”, wherever he is today.

Posted in Clemson Football, College Football | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »