December 18, 2018

Clemson vs. Virginia Tech Preview & Prediction

VT Preview

 

For the second consecutive year Clemson finds themselves playing in primetime for an ACC Title. The last time these two teams met with the ACC Championship trophy on the line Clemson prevailed in blowout fashion. Justin Fuente and his Hokies would love nothing more than to exact revenge and spoil the Tigers playoff hopes. Catch up on everything you need to know before Saturday’s 8pm kick in this week’s preview below…

 

Clemson vs. Florida State Preview & Prediction

FSU Preview

 

As a Tiger or a Nole there’s not much more you can ask for than a Top 15 matchup set to kickoff in primetime. While these two teams have certainly experienced different roads up to this point, you could argue as to who this game means more to. For FSU, this is the last remaining chance to salvage their season. For Clemson, this is an opportunity to build momentum towards a second straight title shot. Read below to get up to speed on all you need to know before Saturday’s colossal matchup.

 

Clemson needs seismic shift in college football landscape to thrive

It might be the longest funeral in history, but the ACC is all but done and won’t exist in 10 years. At least not in the current configuration, with the current teams and continue to be relevant in college football.

As Brad Senkiw of orangeandwhite.com wrote last week John Swofford had no update on an ACC Network and believes it’s a joking matter almost a year after having no update on an issue that’s likely to determine the ultimate fate of the conference he leads.

Swofford’s making jokes as the league dies a slow, painful death.

What’s not a joking matter is that of the 5 power conferences the ACC is 5th in payout to its members, coming in at almost $12 million per year less than SEC teams.


This gap puts the ACC closer to being the Big East than the SEC. $12 million a year adds up rather quick and at this rate between 2016 and 2025 the Vanderbilts, Kentuckys and South Carolinas will have garnered $120 million more (assuming the gap stays the same, though it’s likely to grow) than Clemson and Florida State. One.Hundred.Twenty.Million.Dollars.

Let that sink in. Over the next 10 years Vanderbilt will receive $120 million more than Clemson.

In the short term, Clemson and Florida State can compete as we’ve seen over the last 3 seasons, but eventually a $12 million a year deficit is going to be too much to overcome. This isn’t Leicester City vs. the Premier League, this is Google vs. DuckDuckGo. Sure, you can hang on and survive in some form or fashion, but you’re not going to be talked about and you’re not going to be relevant. To use a soccer term, you’re going to be relegated. As in not in the picture for the big championship trophy.

While Stuart Mandel’s vision of college football in 2026 is a pipe dream, it may be the best option for Clemson and Florida State. The Tigers and Seminoles need a seismic change in the college football landscape to escape the death sentence of the ACC. Sorry John, adding another Big East-ish basketball focused college for the “TV market” ala Syracuse or Pittsburgh would be akin to putting a band aid on a severed arm.

It’s not all Swofford’s fault of course, it’s hard to sell Boston College football to the masses and just try and get a network to buy into the epic Wake Forest-Syracuse gridiron battles that are sure to happen in the next few seasons. You get my drift.

The ACC has 2 or, in good years, maybe 3 or 4 good college football teams. That leaves a lot of dogs and a lot of crappy games on the schedule. Honestly, who would you rather watch on a Clemson off week Auburn and Texas A&M or Syracuse and Pittsburgh? Thought so. The rest of the country agrees with you.

The timing is not optimal and as Brad pointed out ESPN has cut staff and they also broadcast basketball games with announcers in a studio instead of on site to save pennies in order to pay the SEC teams 10s of millions.

One thing I do know though, is ACC teams can’t continue to be paid $12 million year a less than their competition and survive long term.

Maybe not tomorrow or next week or next month or even next year, but make no mistake about it the ACCs days as a relevant football conference are numbered.

I was against the Big 12 move that was rumored a few years back (baseball road trips to Lubbock, Texas and Manhattan, Kansas?), thought the semi-deal with Notre Dame was a good thing (try to get 80,000 fans to show up in a hurricane for any other team, I dare you) and believe Louisville was a nice addition (good football, championship basketball, top 10 baseball). I’m not someone who thinks every Swofford move is a disaster.

On the other hand, Swofford and crew brought us Pittsburgh and Syracuse football while the SEC was grabbing Texas A&M and Missouri.

There was a time when Swofford and the ACC had an opportunity but couldn’t get it done for whatever reason and in today’s world not getting an ACC network (or equivalent TV deal) is a conference killer.

Mandel’s vision or some version of it may come true or perhaps the ACC turns into the Big East Part II and acknowledges it’s a basketball conference that happens to have a couple of good football teams.

It’ll be a long good bye because guys like Swofford hang on, tell you everything’s OK, ask for patience and understanding and tell you a network will happen when the “time is right” or the “fit” is right.

For some reason the “Remain calm, all is well” scene from Animal House with Swofford as Chip Diller runs through my head when I think of Swofford’s “leadership” on this issue.

Hey, John? The time was right about 5 years ago.

Seth Beer vs. Past Clemson Greats

After an underwhelming ending to Jack Leggett’s legendary career, the Clemson baseball team has discovered newfound enthusiasm surrounding Monte Lee’s first club. A large part of the early success can be attributed to true freshman outfielder Seth Beer. The 18 year old out of Suwannee, GA passed up on a potential 1st Round draft slot to come play at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. What’s even more impressive is that he elected to graduate early and skip his senior season of high school baseball. Yes, that means that he should be terrorizing the prep ranks right now instead of collegiate opponents.

Seth Beer1

The hype surrounding Beer has been steadily growing since the start of the season about a month ago, but after yesterday’s walkoff homerun in the 10th to seal an ACC series sweep it’s safe to say he’s reaching superstar status. I personally can’t remember seeing anyone having this type of impact on a Clemson baseball team this early into their career, so I chose to do a little digging to see how Beer’s season projects against some of the best individual season’s in recent history. Obviously it’s not logical to expect the freshman to continue hitting at a .453 clip, but the power numbers are something to keep an eye on. Since switching to the new BBCOR alloy bats back in 2011, no Tiger player has totaled more than 13 homeruns in a season. Beer already has 9 and still has roughly 2/3 of the season left. As long as he maintains good health, Beer’s freshman campaign will likely go down as one of the best in the program’s history.

*Dictates when the bats were switched from BESR to BBCOR bats

Seth Beer versus greats

If you haven’t already, sign up for the SUR Message Boards to talk Clemson sports with us

ACC Championship Preview & Prediction

North Carolina Preview & Prediction

 Who: #1 Clemson Tigers 12-0 (8-0) vs. #10 North Carolina Tar Heels 11-1 (8-0)

What: Atlantic Coast Conference Championship

When: 8:00pm, Saturday December 5th

Where: Bank of America Stadium (75,413) Charlotte, NC

Line: Clemson -6

TV: ABC

Series: Clemson leads 36-19-1

Last Matchup: Clemson def. UNC 50-35 (9/27/14)

Previous Game: Clemson def. SC 37-32, UNC def. NC State 45-34

2014 Records: Clemson 10-3 (6-2), UNC 6-7 (4-4)

 

They Said It:

“If we ever win the turnover battle we’re going to kill somebody.”-Clemson HC Dabo Swinney on the recent turnover issues

“If we beat the #1 team in the country, which Clemson is and it’s a consensus #1. Then I believe our team is deserving (of a playoff berth), yes.”-UNC HC Larry Fedora on whether his team deserves a shot at CFB Playoff with win

 

Key Players:

#12 QB Marquise Williams: 186-288 2605 yards 18 TD 8 INT, 124 att 786 yards 10 TD

#34 RB Elijah Hood: 192 att 1280 yards 16 TD, 10 rec 63 yards

#8 RB TJ Logan: 60 att 372 yards 5 TD, 10 rec 105 yards

#3 WR Ryan Switzer: 49 rec 627 yards 4 TD, 20 PR 273 yards 2 TD

#14 WR Quinshad Davis: 46 rec 505 yards 4 TD

#13 WR Mack Hollins: 26 rec 670 yards 8 TD

#90 DT Nazair Jones: 34 tackles 4 TFL 3 QBH 1 FF 2 FR

#45 DE Mikey Bart: 20 tackles 6.5 TFL 6.5 sacks 8 QBH 1 FF

#44 DE Junior Gnokonde: 30 tackles 7 TFL 3.5 sacks 2 FR

#42 WLB Shakeel Rashad: 98 tackles 6.5 TFL 1.5 sacks 2 INT 3 FF

#10 MLB Jeff Schoettmer: 78 tackles 6.5 TFL 2 INT 3 PBU 1 FF 2 FR

#6 CB MJ Stewart: 41 tackles 2.5 TFL 1 sack 4 INT 13 PBU 1 FF

#2 CB Des Lawrence: 48 tackles 2.5 TFL 2 INT 14 PBU

#15 SS Donnie Miles: 99 tackles 2 TFL 2 PBU 1 FF

 

What to watch on offense?

After racking up 515 yards last weekend in Columbia the Clemson offense has now toppled the vaunted 500-yard mark in 8 consecutive games. Perhaps the only negative during that streak is the lack of points put on the scoreboard over the last month. The last time Clemson reached the 40-point mark came 5 weeks ago in Raleigh when the Tigers prevailed in a 56-41 shootout. It’s no secret that the lack of scoring is a direct result of turnovers. Clemson has now turned the ball over a disturbing 10 times over the last three weeks, which is simply unacceptable. It goes without saying that this team cannot afford to play with fire any longer, and a loss in the turnover margin will equal a loss on the scoreboard from here on out.

Clemson fans should be thanking their lucky stars for #4. Without Deshaun Watson’s stellar play against South Carolina that game goes down as a loss and likely the most lopsided upset ever in the Palmetto Bowl rivalry. Needless to say none of that came to pass and Watson lit the Gamecock defense up to the tune of 393 total yards and 4 TDs. He’ll get a little stiffer test when the Heels take the field under first year defensive coordinator Gene Chizik, who has induced a 180 degree turnaround during his brief stint in Chapel Hill. Perhaps we’re looking too much into the numbers considering that the two best offenses’ the Heels have faced are Duke (42nd) and NC State (59th). It’s also worth noting that both of those teams posted the two highest point totals against UNC with 34 and 31 respectively. To me that registers a red flag, but I’ll give credit where it’s due based on the work load as a whole.

There are certainly a couple players to keep an eye on in the UNC secondary. It all starts with the starting cornerbacks MJ Stewart and Des Lawrence. The dynamic duo have combined for 27 passes broken up and 6 INTs. Not too shabby, eh? We’ll see how they handle an increase in oppositional talent when they toe up against Artavis Scott, Charone Peake, and the ever-emerging playmaker in Deon Cain. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a player transition from backup to star much quicker than Cain. He’s become the go-to target over the last month and seems to be in perfect sync with his QB. I also expect electric freshman Ray Ray McCloud (knee) to be available, but I’m not sure how involved he will be in Elliott and Scott’s game plan. Another player worth noting in the secondary is sophomore SS Donnie Miles, who has compiled a team high 99 tackles. Miles seems to have a nose for the ball and will be all over the field this weekend.

One weakness of the UNC defense seems to be their ability to bring down the passer. The Tar Heels rank 9th in the ACC with 23 sacks, and Clemson ranks 2nd in the ACC with 14 sacks allowed. The one player Clemson will need to keep tabs on in particular is junior DE Mikey Bart who leads the Heels with 6.5 sacks. The Heels also feature a trio of talented interior linemen with senior Justin Thomason holding down one tackle spot and Nazair Jones and Robert Jenkins sharing time at the other. I think Clemson’s starting offensive line, all of whom garnered All-ACC honors this week, matches up well with the defensive line from UNC. If Mac Lain, Guillermo, and Crowder are able to create a push in the middle then you’ll really see this offense take off behind the ground game.

Earlier in the week, Clemson redshirt sophomore RB Wayne Gallman stated that his ankle feels much better this now than it did last week prior to the South Carolina game. That’s a good omen for the Tigers going up against a defense that ranks 102nd against the run (201 YPG). Clemson’s newfound success with the Watson running the football has helped take the rushing attack to the a near elite level. The Watson/Gallman tandem have combined for 1900 yards and 18 touchdowns. When you couple those numbers with the passing game then you’re left with a truly dynamic offense. It will be up to UNC’s senior linebackers Jeff Schoettmer and Shakeel Rashad to prevent the Tigers rush game from exploding. Expect the backers to be overly aggressive in attempt to disrupt the exchanges in the backfield. With 35 career starts, Schoettmer is unquestioned leader of the Tar Heel defense so don’t be surprised to hear his name called a lot. If UNC can’t find a way to stop the Tigers on the ground, then Clemson will be able to control the clock which becomes a big factor considering the depth concerns on defense and up-tempo attack that UNC brings. This is a key matchup in Clemson’s favor.

 

Players to watch on offense:

QB-Deshaun Watson:

What more can be said about the play of Watson that hasn’t already been said? If it weren’t for the 10 interceptions and lack of playing time in the early season blowouts then DW4 would be likely be the Heisman frontrunner instead of Alabama’s Derrick Henry. Nonetheless, Watson will have the chance to solidify his case against what I consider to be an untested UNC defense. He’s going to have a golden opportunity to register his fourth +100 yard rushing game of the season, and punch his ticket to New York for the Heisman ceremony. A big performance coupled with a victory and he could very well win the thing.

RB-Wayne Gallman:

Last weekends performance against South Carolina may have been the quietest 100 yard rushing game I can ever recall. Gallman should be close to 100% this week, and, like I stated above, he should enjoy success aplenty against a porous rush defense. His ability to move the chains and extend drives could very well be the difference in the game. The last time Clemson played in Charlotte an Andre Ellington led rushing attack (120 yards, 1 TD) helped secure a trophy. Hopefully we’ll be able to say the same about Gallman’s outing come Sunday.

TE-Jordan Leggett:

I purposely left Leggett out of the preview above so I could brag about him here. The junior tight end is a finalist for the Mackey Award and has emerged as the player we all hoped he would be ever since he burst onto the scene during his freshman campaign. We’ve seen Leggett become extremely effective over the middle, which is an area of the field that the Tigers struggled to have success without Mike Williams. Leggett is also a viable threat in the redzone, and could be a difference maker against the Heels.

 

What to watch on defense?

The Tar Heels enter Saturday’s colossal matchup winners of 11 straight and featuring one of the nation’s hottest offensive units. Larry Fedora’s up-tempo attack has finally hit its stride in his 4th season in Chapel Hill. Led by dual threat QB Marquise Williams, the UNC offense has rattled off seven +40 point games, which is tops in the ACC.

Speaking of Williams, he reminds me of a little more athletic version of former Clemson standout Tajh Boyd. He’s got a little more skill on the ground and a little less precision through the air, but still possesses a big arm and a thick body that’s able to absorb plenty of hits throughout the course of a game. The senior, who will be playing in his hometown of Charlotte, has managed to put up 28 total touchdowns, 10 of which have come on the ground. And his ability to effectively move the chains on 3rd down with his legs could be a tipping point in the outcome of this game. Clemson’s defensive struggles of late have been well documented, and it’s becoming apparent to me that the lack of depth is really starting to show. The starters, specifically at linebacker, have logged an obscene amount of snaps this year that is finally catching up with them. The Tiger linebacking duo of Ben Boulware and BJ Goodson are going to need to make plays in the middle where Clemson has been gashed for big gains on the ground time and time again this season. It all starts with making the right read, which is easier said than done with North Carolina’s dynamic rushing combo of Williams and Elijah Hood. Boulware’s health is also something to keep a close eye on as he’s nursing a left shoulder injury that occurred early in the Wake Forest game. Dabo has publicly stated that it’s just a “stinger” but to this observer it looks to be a little more. If he’s forced to miss action then true freshman Jalen Williams will get the call.

In the passing game, Williams has a nice group of receivers at his disposal. None is more explosive than the speedy slot receiver Ryan Switzer. The junior out of Charleston, WV has become a household name for those familiar with the Tar Heel program. Switzer has 142 receptions in his 3-year career, and could be a real threat on the quick slant patterns or screens. The other primary receiving targets all possess excellent size: Quinshad Davis (6-4, 220lbs), Bug Howard (6-5 210lbs), and Mack Hollins (6-4 210lbs). Luckily for Clemson, they possess comparable size at safety with Jayron Kearse (6-5 220lbs) and TJ Green (6-3 210lbs), which should help neutralize the downfield threat of the Heels rangy wideouts. For Clemson to win this game I believe the secondary will have to generate a turnover or two. The starters in the secondary have only forced 5 interceptions, with 4 of those coming from Cordrea Tankersley. That needs to change this weekend. (Looking at you Mackensie)

I’ll save the best piece of this UNC offense for last. Sophomore RB Elijah Hood has made quite the splash in his first year of extended action. The 220lber out of Charlotte was a player that the Clemson coaching staff desperately wanted, but could not nab him once he decommitted from Notre Dame in August of 2013. Crazy to think about just how good this offense would be with Gallman, Watson, and Hood in the backfield. Back to reality, it’s going to be an awfully tall task to tame both Williams and Hood on Saturday night. If Venables chooses to key in on thwarting the Heels sophomore sensation, which I believe he will, he’ll need his defensive line to consistently win at the point of attack. Hood is accompanied in the backfield by the speedster TJ Logan. The junior out of Greensboro is coming off his biggest game of the season where he rattled off touchdown runs of 42 and 40. Fedora likes to put both backs in the shotgun with Williams, meaning that you’re likely to see various forms of the zone-read. With three viable running threats lined up together it’s easy to see why the Tar Heel offense has been so tough to slow down lately. We’ve seen Lawson, Dodd, and others consistently create chaos in the backfield, but we’ve also seen them allow gaping holes that small cars could drive though which could be a cause for concern. That’s where the linebackers come back into play with gap assignments. It will be important for the Tigers interior linemen to clog things up in the middle and the defenders on the second level to make the tackle. If Wilkins, Reader, Watkins, and Pagano can do their job of forcing the ball carrier to the outside then Clemson will stand a much better chance of hoisting some hardware late Saturday night.

 

Players to watch on defense:

DE-Shaq Lawson:

I said in this space last week that I anticipated Lawson would vault to the national lead in tackles for loss, and he did just that. His 20.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage have played a large part in earning this defense a top 10 ranking in yards allowed. He will matchup with a former Clemson recruiting target in sophomore Bentley Spain. No one has been able to handle Shaq this season and I’m not sure if there’s anyone out there that can. Lawson stated he’s already made his decision in regards to next season, and to no one’s surprise this will be one of his last games in a Clemson uniform. Expect him to leave it all on the field Saturday night.

LB-BJ Goodson:

The stocky senior out of Lamar, SC has been a godsend for a defense that had to replace one of the programs best linebackers in Stephone Anthony. All Goodson has done in his first full season as a starter is rack up 83 tackles, 14 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 1 INT, and 2 fumble recoveries. While the unit as a whole has caught some flack, Goodson has been about as consistent as they come. And now with Boulware banged up his play becomes even more critical.

S-Jayron Kearse:

The junior standout has been awfully quiet over the last few games. I’m not sure whether it’s a simple lack of production, a nagging injury, or just a case of draftitis, but if Clemson is going to slow down this UNC offense they’ll need all hands on deck. Simply put, Kearse is a gamechanger. His combination of size and athleticism doesn’t come around too often. After registering 6 interceptions during his first two seasons in a Tiger uniform he’s tallied one this Fall. Whether it’s creating turnovers or inducing big hits, Clemson desperately needs their star safety to bring it.

 

Prediction:

I’ll have to admit that it is tough for me to take North Carolina football seriously, but the more I delved into my research the more impressed I became. These guys didn’t get to 11-1 by luck. They have a complete team on both sides of the ball and are led by an experienced senior QB. The Chizik factor has also arrived much quicker than anyone anticipated and Fedora’s HUNH offense comes into Saturday’s matchup as hot as any offense in the country. On the other side of the spectrum, Clemson has delivered three straight underwhelming performances against the likes of Syracuse, Wake Forest, and South Carolina. Turnovers and big gains surrendered have been the culprit, but fatigue is also a factor that’s been widely discussed considering this weekends game will be the 10th straight since the bye week way back in September. The defense is reeling and depth concerns are beginning to come fruition.

All these factors seem to be stacking up against the Tigers and the national media pundits are all over it. The masses are beginning to hop off the Clemson bandwagon and you know what? I absolutely love it.

We’ve seen this Clemson team perform substantially better on the field when the talking heads are doubting them. I fully expect to hear “Clemsoning” brought up countless times in the lead up to the game, and you can take it to the bank that Dabo is making sure his guys get a taste of the disrespect. For goodness sake, this team has had the Atlantic Division wrapped up for weeks so it’s no surprise that they struggled to stay motivated against the inferior opponents they’ve faced the last few weeks. That’ll all change on Saturday. The hardware is on the table now, and this team should have no issue whatsoever dialing their focus back in. Now is when it counts.

North Carolina’s up-tempo spread offense poses a real threat to a defense that’s gasping for energy, but I just get the feeling that UNC isn’t quite ready for this stage. While the Tar Heels are talented, they don’t have anyone that can matchup with Clemson’s Shaq Lawson, Christian Wilkins, BJ Goodson, Mackensie Alexander, or Jayron Kearse. Expect those guys to lay it on the line this weekend and while North Carolina will score, it won’t be near as easy as many are forecasting.

I’m going to keep it real simple for you guys when discussing the Clemson offense versus the UNC defense: If Clemson doesn’t turn the ball over they can name their score. Whether that happens or not is a crapshoot, but I would be extremely surprised if the turnover bug didn’t cure itself at some point. Let’s hope it’s this weekend.

As far as what will happen Saturday night? Well Deshaun Watson will continue to do Deshaun Watson things. Gallman finds the endzone +2 times. Cain registers his 6th straight game with a touchdown catch. Leggett makes his case for the Mackey Award. Shaq Lawson and company do just enough to allow Clemson to pull away late. Oh, and Clemson wins the turnover battle.

It ain’t always pretty, but no one can complain about 13-0. Get ready for the pizza party in Death Valley. On Saturday night, the Tigers punch their ticket to the CFB Playoff.

Clemson-41 

UNC-31

Medicore ACC? Yep.

ACC football suffers from a malady of its own making. While occasional powerhouse teams emerge from the conference, even the casual college football fan knows the SEC has a tight grip on the BCS title.

Though there are many ways to judge a conference, one way would be to examine that conference against the expectations set by Vegas.

Though we all know that the line is set in order to encourage half of the wagers on one side and half on the other, teams are generally lauded for covering the spread, exceeding expectations if you will.

One of the most often repeated points I’ve heard regarding the SEC being overrated is the perception the conference is top heavy. That’s a relatively easy argument to push when the teams at the top are so dominant. But the numbers I’ve put together for games over the last two years (one year for Texas A&M and Missouri) don’t agree with that supposition. In fact, the numbers show that 6 SEC teams have covered the spread at 63.2% of the time or better.

Where’s the ACC in this race? Seventh. Seventh! Right behind the Sun Belt. Behind the Sun Belt!

Cover by Conf

At this juncture ACC fans typically argue strength of schedule, but remember that these numbers are against the spread and therefore can be considered to include a strength of schedule of sorts.

Over the last two years an ACC team has lost 40 times when favored, while the SEC has lost 28 times while favored. Only 10 of the SECs losses when favored were outside of the conference, while the ACC has lost 14 times when favored outside of the ACC.

In addition, if you look at which SEC teams make up those 10 non-conference losses you’ll find a total of 3 from the top end of the conference – 1 each for Georgia, LSU and Florida) and 7 from the lower tiers (2 Kentucky, 2 Vanderbilt, 2 Arkansas and 1 Missouri).

Meanwhile, over in the ACC the “brand name” teams have had their struggles outside of the ACC: Clemson and Virginia Tech (2 losses each) and Florida State (1).

A quick glance at some of the ACC losses is disheartening: Temple, Southern Miss, East Carolina, Middle Tennessee and Army.

It’s not close.

So, while it may make for some interesting football to have teams knock each other off throughout the season, that’s not what the ACC needs.

The ACC does not need a 6-6 team in the conference championship game.  Multitudes of upsets are the sign of a mediocre conference with mediocre teams.

In the opening week of 2013 alone Virginia Tech plays Alabama, Clemson plays Georgia, North Carolina plays South Carolina, Syracuse plays Penn State and Virginia plays BYU (and then plays Oregon).

Take care of business and the rest will take care of itself. Otherwise get used to hearing about the mediocre ACC.

Clemson and The Big 12 (Take 2)

I’ve been asked if recent events have caused a change in heart about Clemson and the Big 12. First, let me say I was never against Clemson going to the Big 12. What I said was if Clemson fans think going to the Big 12 is a way to get away from a league dominated by one or two schools then the Big 12 was by far the worst choice. Texas has, does and will dominate the Big 12. Don’t expect equal revenue sharing. Don’t expect “fairness”. Don’t expect equal footing and a “one school, one vote” mentality.

Click To Enlarge

Expect Texas to get what they want. Sure, sometimes that may benefit Clemson, but don’t expect that to happen often.

Most of the Big 12 teams want 12 teams and a conference championship game. Not Texas. At least not now. Texas had to be dragged kicking and screaming to invite TCU and West Virginia just to get to 10 teams (after probably being “convinced” by their TV partners).

The Big 12 is a good football conference (but it too has its dogs), a pretty good basketball conference (Kansas, Texas, Baylor) and is typically a good baseball conference. Athletically, it would be an upgrade for Clemson.

A few more dollars wouldn’t hurt Clemson either. But then there’s the games in Ames, Iowa and Manhattan, Kansas and Waco and Lubbock, Texas to consider. Not just for football, but baseball and women’s basketball, for example. The pro-Big 12 crowd says, “We get to go to Austin” and “It’d be great playing Oklahoma!” They leave out the fact that with Texas and Oklahoma come Kansas and Iowa State, for example.

Forget about those non-revenue sports the proponents say, football is king. That’s the point – football pays for all those other sports and the cost of football AND those other sports will escalate when those games are being played on Central Standard Time in Ames, Iowa, or Lawrence, Kansas or Waco, Texas.

You hate nooners? Congrats – your game has just been moved to 11 a.m. Eastern so as not to disturb Texas.

Want to travel to see your team? Don’t plan on jumping in the car for the drive to Atlanta or Raleigh. It’s 1200 miles from Clemson to Lubbock and more than a 1,000 from Clemson to Austin.

Hate having your games on ESPN3? Just wait till you get a load of the Longhorn Network.

I’m not against Clemson to the Big 12 or any other conference as long as that decision is based on the future and what is best for Clemson, not some childish grudge for what supposedly happened 30 years ago.

You think Swofford and the ACC have “mistreated” Clemson? I’ve got news for you – Texas runs circles around North Carolina in the power and influence departments. Just ask Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri and Texas A&M.

And one more thing, be prepared to be considered a “newbie” that doesn’t get equal revenue or an equal vote on conference matters. Be prepared for Texas to get their way.

I’m curious what other fans think – What should Clemson’s move be and why?