So Close ...

>> Monday, June 22, 2009

After 5 long and gloomy days, what were we left with at the conclusion of the 18th hole at Bethpage Black? A dull and disappointing ending to the 2009 U.S. Open that saw more rain delays than excitement and more unknown golfers atop the leaderboards than champions. I kept waiting for that break through moment where Phil Mickelson would take charge and win the U.S. Open. I thought that moment came on the 13th hole where Phil eagled and approached the green to the roar of the crowd. However, co-leader would be as close as Phil would get to tasting victory. Lucas Glover, whom had never even made a U.S. Open cut before, shot a final round 3 over par 73 to capture a 2 shot victory at the 109th U.S. Open. Glover will more likely be remembered for dipping tobacco during course play than for his win.

The stage seemed to be set perfectly for Phil's storybook ending to an emotional week. He should have won and everyone wanted him to win, including myself. However, Phil finished in a style we have all seen too many times ... 2nd place. Playing in his last tournament before taking some time off to be with his wife, Amy, who was diagnoised with breast cancer, Phil was left disappointed and emotional. The best second place finisher of all time set the record for finishing second in the Open. I wish we could go back and rewrite Lefty's utopian ending, but I believe this U.S. Open will be remembered more for its second place finisher than for its winner. Best of luck to the Mickelson family!


Chokin' Clemson Tigers...

Last season could be described as a disaster in Clemson, South Carolina. Expectations were running wild and after losing three of its first six games, Tommy Bowden was forced to step down. Dabo Swinney was named the replacement and immediately dismissed offensive coordinator, Rob Spence. Prior to the Gator Bowl, defensive coordinator Vic Koenning also announced his resignation. Yet, the coaching staff wasn't the only area that saw departures.

The offensive unit lost the ACC's all-time leader in receptions, Aaron Kelly, running back James Kelly (3,881 rushing yards) and quarterback Cullen Harper also departed. However, even with all the departures, the Tigers still have talent on the offensive side of the ball. The electric C.J. Spiller now has the backfield to himself and returns to add to his lofty career stats (2,335 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns). Spiller will have plenty of holes to run through, because the offensive line returns five regulars. Mason Cloy, a freshman all-american last season, may move to center and anchor a steady offensive line. The line will most likely be blocking for sophomore Willy Korn. Korn, although he lost Aaron Kelly, will still have the flashy Jacoby Ford and Terrance Ashe to sling the ball too.

The defensive side of the ball for the Tigers appears to be loaded. While, they struggled in several facets of the game last year, they return eight starters and the majority of their back seven, including Chris Chancellor and Brandon Maye. Maye was named a Freshman All-American by several publications last season.

Clemson landed the number 37 recruiting class in the country, according to . A list that includes several impact players. The class is headlined by South Carolina's top recruit, Mallciah Goodman. Goodman is a 6'4", 255 pound disruptive defensive end, who could provide an immediate impact. Swinney also went into the talent rich state of Virginia and stole Tajh Boyd away from several potential suitors. Boyd is a multi-skilled quarterback who can get the ball downfield, but also has the ability to turn broken plays into spectacular gains.

While, Clemson has talent in several areas, it still remains to be seen if they can get over the proverbial hump.

September 5th-Middle Tennessee State-Win
September 10th-@Georgia Tech-Loss
September 19th-Boston College-Win
September 26th-TCU-Loss
October 3rd-Maryland-Win
October 17th-Wake Forest-Win
October 24th-@Miami-Loss
October 31st-Coastal Carolina-Win
November 7th-Florida State-Loss
November 14th-N.C. State-Loss
November 21st-Virginia-Win
November 28th-@South Carolina-Loss

Season Projection: 6-6 (4-4 ACC)


La'Roi Glover retires...

No, this post isn't about Brett Favre, it's about La'Roi Glover who may not exactly be a household name, but I thought his retirement was worth mentioning. Defensive Tackle isn't exactly the most glorious position to play in football, but it is defintely one of the most important and sometimes overlooked.

A great DT can make or break your defense. Take it from a fan of the Oakland Raiders (yes those Raiders), we haven't had a dominant DT in years and it has shown in our rushing defense which consitently ranks in the bottom third of the NFL the past 6 years. DT are the ones who create holes and take on double teams so the linebackers can do their job and make tackles.

La'Roi Glover was just a 5th round pick by my Oakland Raiders 13 years ago. He didn't stick there and ended up playing in New Orleans and then on to Dallas before finally ending his career in St. Louis. Glover was a 6 time pro bowler during his 13 year career. It sure would have been nice to have saw him in an Oakland jersey these past 13 years. Oh well, you can't win them all I suppose.


The Eagles of Boston College...

Jeff Jagodzinski and company willed themselves to a nine win season and an eventual loss in the Music City Bowl versus Vanderbilt, but mentioning last year stops there.

Jagodzninski was dismissed after fliriting with the NFL coaching ranks and was replaced by defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani(third coach in four years). BC did not only lose their head coach, but they lost several key ingredients from the 2009 Music City Bowl participant.

The defense was decimated by the losses of B.J. Raji, Ron Brace , Brian Toal and Paul Anderson. All four players were key components to a defense that ranked in the top five nationally and helped them reach the nine win plateau once again. The defense will return the ACC defensive player of the year, Mark Herzlich and defensive end, Alex Albright, returns after missing all of last season. However, don't expect this unit to be among the best in the country.

When Jagodzinski left town to become the offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he also took BC OC Steve Logan with him. Gary Tranquill has been promoted to fill the empty offensive coordinator position and, while the quarterback position is a question mark, has some talent to work with.

Tranquill will be forced to decide between Justin Tuggle and Dom Davis at the quarterback position. Whomever wins the quarterback battle, will be blessed with several targets to throw the pigskin. Rich Gunnell, Justin Jarvis and Lars Anderson all are capable receivers(Anderson is a TE), if the young quarterbacks can get them the ball. Handing the ball off should be of little concern.

Montel Harris had a recording setting freshman campaign for the Eagles and rushed for over 900 yards in his debut. The running game should continue to be productive with several returning offensive lineman that saw action, including All-Acc tackle, Anthony Constanzo.

BC landed the 70th best recruiting class in the country, according to, headlined by 6'6", 295 pound defensive tackle, Dillon O'Quinn. O'Quinn has the ability to play on either side of the ball, but expect him to end up on the defensive line.

September 5th-Northeastern-Win
September 12th-Kent State-Win
September 19th-@Clemson-Loss
September 26th-Wake Forest-Loss
October 3rd-Florida State-Loss
October 10-@Virginia Tech-Loss
October 17th-N.C. State-Loss
October 24-@Notre Dame-Loss
October 31st-Central Michigan-Win
November 14th-@Virginia-Win
November 21-North Carolina-Loss
November 28th-@Maryland-Loss

Season Projection: 4-8 (1-7 ACC)


It's Just the Beginning...

The Playmakers Blog has officially started our College Football Preview...(NFL to follow)

We will break down every single FBS team and provide conference and bowl predictions. We will also determine our own Pre-Season All-American Team and bowl projections and provide you with our pre-season top 25 and all-american teams/all-conference teams.

The Atlantic Coast Conference team breakdowns will begin tonight. I hope you guys enjoy!



Here Comes Lefty!

Mickelson has just sank an eagle putt and is now tied for the lead at the US Open.

Lucas Glover and Rickey Barnes appear to be choking and taking themselves out of contention.

Let's go, Phil!

We'll have more later...


Remember Maurice Clarett?

Remember him? The same guy who was rollin' dirty with several loaded guns and a couple of bottles of liquor?

Maurice Clarett, is attempting to apply for a "get out of jail" card and his reasoning? He believes he can make a return to the NFL. Clarett, who runs about a 5.85 40 yard dash, claims that NFL teams have been contacting him while behind bars. I find that hard to believe, unless Al Davis was drinking too much Patron last weekend. Clarett must fail to remember that he has NEVER played a single down in the NFL.

The former Ohio State Buckeye was an integral part of their 2002 national championship squad before he squandered his life down the drain. First, he attempted to apply for early entry to the NFL draft and was unsuccessful following a lawsuit against the NFL and their early entry rules. Clarett was eventually drafted by the Denver Broncos, but was cut before he even had a chance to put on the shoulder pads.

Clarett's attorney had this to say regarding the situation,

"Whether he is permitted to go in the summer of 2009 versus the summer of 2010 can make a huge difference," Squire said.

"We're talking a matter of months here, but it could have a huge impact on his ability to pursue a livelihood. Waiting another year could basically eliminate any opportunity for him to ever play."

My, how entertaining this train wreck would become...