Tuesday, January 31, 2012


The Cock-A-Booster (Ted Felder) was fortunate to be able to sit down with former Two-Time National Champion USC Player - SCOTT WINGO.  This is PART FOUR of a multi-part interview with Scott.  We will release the remaining parts of this interview each week leading up to the 2012 Gamecock Baseball season.  The Cock-A-Booster would like to thank Scott Wingo for sitting down with us and talking about  the past, present, and future of the YARD COCKS!

PARTS 1, 2, and 3 are available by clicking on "SCOTT WINGO INTERVIEWS" tab above.

NOTE:  If you are unable to hear this interview or it will not download on your computer, please email us and we will send you the file via email.


The Cock-A-Booster (Ted Felder) was fortunate to be able to sit down with former Two-Time National Champion USC Player - SCOTT WINGO.  This is PART THREE of a multi-part interview with Scott.  We will release the remaining parts of this interview each week leading up to the 2012 Gamecock Baseball season.  The Cock-A-Booster would like to thank Scott Wingo for sitting down with us and talking about  the past, present, and future of the YARD COCKS!

PARTS 1, and 2 are available by clicking on "SCOTT WINGO INTERVIEWS" tab above.

NOTE:  If you are unable to hear this interview or it will not download on your computer, please email us and we will send you the file via email.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


The Cock-A-Booster (Ted Felder) was fortunate to be able to sit down with former Two-Time National Champion USC Player - SCOTT WINGO.  This is PART TWO of a multi-part interview with Scott.  We will release the remaining parts of this interview each week leading up to the 2012 Gamecock Baseball season.  The Cock-A-Booster would like to thank Scott Wingo for sitting down with us and talking about  the past, present, and future of the YARD COCKS!

PARTS 1 is available by clicking on "SCOTT WINGO INTERVIEWS" tab above.

NOTE:  If you are unable to hear this interview or it will not download on your computer, please email us and we will send you the file via email.

Friday, January 27, 2012


The Cock-A-Booster (Ted Felder) was fortunate to be able to sit down with former Two-Time National Champion USC Player - SCOTT WINGO.  This is part one of a  multi-part interview with Scott.  We will release the remaining parts of this interview each week leading up to the 2012 Gamecock Baseball season.  The Cock-A-Booster would like to thank Scott Wingo for sitting down with us and talking about  the past, present, and future of the YARD COCKS!

NOTE:  If you are unable to hear this interview or it will not download on your computer, please email us and we will send you the file via email.

Here are some other Wingo video clips you may enjoy...

MOO U News: Incoming Moo U quarterback already acting like Dabo



I want to be the backup!  Watch out Cole Stoudt.
A northeast quarterback recruit with NFL lineage who committed to Moo U is already showing signs that he will fit right into the program.  Chad Kelly is NFL QB Jim Kelly’s nephew, but his behavior indicates that he could be Dabo Swinney’s son.  The St. Joseph’s standout attacked his future teammate and backup Tiger QB Cole Stoudt via social media this week, letting Stoudt know that there was a reason Stoudt was on the bench at Clemson and that he was coming to town to take over as the #2 QB.  

When it was pointed out that most people who pull the “cowboy” routine actually say they are coming to be the #1 QB, he wouldn’t directly attack starter Tajh Boyd.  Instead he pointed out that he has a rap song about him already, and that Boyd needed pushing every day. 

Attributing all of the quotes to Steve Spurrier and then going on a patented Swinney rant, Dabo said that Kelly’s antics show that he loves his new coach and that he just showing he is all in all the freaking time.  “Yes, we believe the best way you can show how much you love your new Clemson family is to attack your future teammates personally through social media.  If Steve Spurrier doesn’t like it he can tweet that!” 

Tajh Boyd was asked his thoughts on the matter.  After making sure that Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor were not about to sack him again, Boyd says Kelly’s comments do not bother him.  “Like Quarterback, like Coach.  It’s all good here man.” 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The “Price” will always be right!

Has there ever been a more intimidating figure at South Carolina than Matt Price?  I have only followed Gamecock sports since the mid-70s, but in that time only a few other names even compete.  (And let’s remember I am talking about intimidation as opposed to results or raw numbers)  He doesn’t do much talking or self-promotion, and neither is necessary.  His chilling presence, timely strikeouts and fierce “holler” as he closes out big innings are more than enough.  As my Father of 67 years likes to say, “he’s a man’s man in a time when there aren’t many left.” 

I believe it was Gamecock Central’s Scott Hood who tipped his cap to Ozzy Osbourne’s 1997 compilation album and coined the phrase “The Priceman Cometh” to describe when #22 enters a game from the bullpen.  That’s an accurate way to describe it.  Whether you think of Price as the intimidating force that eliminates all hope for Gamecock opponents, as a magician working his team out of impossible situations, or just the USC version of “Rick Vaughn,” Sumter’s shut-down save King has been incredible to watch.

You all know the great moments for Price.  Among them are the bases loaded, no out appearance against Coastal in the Supers of 2010, shutting down UCLA in the finals from that year, neutering the UConn pups in 2011, his epic performance against Virginia at the CWS and closing out the Gators to win title #2.  Yes, there are 100 others but you get the idea.  He’s awesome.  

Because of this deep legacy of success, Matt’s move to the starting rotation for 2012 is in the spotlight.  Now I have no doubt that he will be just fine starting on the weekend.  If his 5 2/3 innings scoreless innings against Virginia in Omaha are any indication, we’re in for a treat. 

But what about the bullpen?  You’re only being honest by admitting there is some concern about it without him.  Don’t misunderstand, he has earned the right to be a starter and improve his draft stock.  I’d rather have him there than not in Columbia.  And the truth is that even if Price was still in the closer role this spring, replacing John Taylor alone was going to be a significant task.  So just like in the batting lineup, a new look and feel to the bullpen is the reality we face as USC defends its national titles. 

The good news is that Ray Tanner is a wizard at reloading instead of rebuilding.  Gamecock fans can also take comfort in the fact that there are many experienced arms on the roster, and this depth will help the transition take place.  In the meantime, it has been fun to make the fans of our opponents wince just by mentioning our weekend rotation.  I’ll take Roth and Price against any other pair in college baseball. 

If a few other questions get answered the right way, we could be talking about three titles when “The Priceman Leaveth.” 

Monday, January 23, 2012

The COCK-A-BOOSTER welcomes a new sponsor...

The Cock-A-Booster is proud to welcome McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC as one of our blog sponsors.  If you would like to learn more about the quality legal services they provide, please contact the South Carolina injury attorneys at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC. Through their Rock Hill, Columbia, Sumter and Anderson office locations they can represent clients throughout Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Spartanburg, Florence, Anderson and Greenville.
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Baseball faces tough road back to Omaha, but Trust in Tanner!

"In Tanner We Trust!"
I plan to do a more “in-depth” preview of the upcoming baseball season in the next few weeks, but the national media has FINALLY agreed that Ray Tanner’s club is one of the Top 5 in the country going into a season.  Even though we’ve won the last two national championships, they stubbornly refuse to make USC a preseason #1 and that suits me just fine.  The Gamecocks are #2 behind an SEC East Rival. 
According to Collegiate Baseball, the Citrus Lizards from Gainesville have been declared the team that will win it all at the College World Series.  Frankly, you can see why folks are high on Florida.  Hudson Randall is the ace of an outstanding Gator pitching staff that includes Karsten Whitson and consistent hitting throughout the lineup.   Is it any accident that ESPN’s first Thursday night national matchup centers on the #1 Gators coming to Columbia to face the Gamecocks? 
It’s not just Florida we have to worry about either.  The SEC has 4 SEC East teams and 6 total teams in the top 23 in the aforementioned poll, and all 12 SEC teams received votes!  Add in that we have our normal oddly arranged 3 games with Clemson on top of that and USC will face another brutal slate of games in the spring. 
Matt Price
Several other questions must be addressed as well.  First, can we adequately replace some big names that have gone including Scott Wingo, Robert Beary, Adrian Morales, John Taylor and Jackie Bradley, Jr.? Next, how will Matt Price do moving into a starting role?  We know what an absolute intimidating force he has been as a closer.  As a great Gamecock fan told me once, “When he (Price) comes in, he has to have a wheelbarrow with him.”  Hopefully he will be just as effective as a starter.  Finally, there is that always crucial intangible factor of chemistry.  Our national title teams clearly had it and any winning baseball team will.  
At the center of all of this is the heart and soul of our University’s athletic family, the great Ray Tanner.  I have no idea if he is a technical baseball genius or not, but he has leadership and guts, and sometimes that’s enough.  He has made us an elite program at a time when College Baseball is enjoying a meteoric rise in popularity.  He also has the entire Gamecock Nation in his corner, and not just for the last two years. 
Due to that recent success, history revisionists may have forgotten all about what the 2000 baseball team did for the University.  Why do I say that about a team that didn’t even make it to Omaha?  Because of the context of where the men’s major sports were at the time.  We had just finished the 1-21 stretch in football.  Basketball was going nowhere.  We had losing streaks to the Tigers in all three sports.  The State ran an April Fools headline that year saying we had eliminated the football program.  I am telling you…things were BAD! 
Gators picked to unseat the Gamecocks
Then comes Ray Tanner’s 2000 club.  We won two HUGE games over Clemson when they were needed the most.  We rolled to a 25-5 mark in the SEC and won the conference title.  We won 56 games and started a five-year stretch where we were the winningest baseball program in the nation.  In short, it gave Carolina hope and a big shot in the arm.  And it laid the foundation for the YardCocks explosion in 2010 and 2011. 
So bring it on Tigers, Gators, Commodores, and Bulldogs.  I Trust in Tanner!  Win or lose, I’m on the YardCock Express and the 2012 Train is about to leave the station bound for Omaha! 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

MOO U News: Dabo doesn’t offer job to Venables; Venables doesn’t accept the job; Venables starts working at Clemson



Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney has yet to explain what he meant when he insisted that he did NOT fire former Defensive Coordinator Kevin Steele.  Kevin Steele went on to say that he had not resigned.  The net result was that Steele no longer worked at Clemson.  Now, the “little coach that could” has doubled down by announcing that he had NOT offered the job to Brent Venables.  Venables in turn says he did NOT accept the job.

Just like with Steele, the net result is that Venables is now working for Clemson as the new Defensive Coordinator.  “Don’t call it hiring and don’t call it him taking the job,” said Swinney who was then once again asked what exactly it should be called.  “As I said last week, you just go ahead and call it shut your freaking mouth?”  Dabo has now been able to fire and re-hire almost every position in Clemson’s athletic department to avoid taking responsibility for his failures as a coach, although he points out that there is one secretarial spot he can attack as a scapegoat in 2012.  

MOO U News: Brad Brownell apologizes to Clemson fans for being normal and sane



I am not like Coach Swinney!!!!
Clemson’s basketball Coach Brad Brownell has done nothing to draw attention to himself or embarrass Clemson University since he arrived on campus. If the old Sesame Street skit (see video below) was applied to Tiger Coaches, Brownell would be the one coach who’s not like the others. The professional demeanor and coherent speech patterns have confused and disoriented Tiger fans, who are used to coaches who are ape-poopy lunatics.

“I just don’t say stupid things, draw attention to myself and wear my underwear on my head like Dabo, and I am not paranoid and angry all the time hanging out in a clocktower with a rifle like Coach Leggett,” said Brownell. As a result of this “normal and sane” job style, the coach is reportedly under pressure from his bosses to “kick up the crazy” if he wants to keep his job.

Clemson AD Terry Don Billy Bob Ray Cletus Phillips defended the Tiger Hoops coach after being reminded who Brownell was. “Yep, old Brian is doing a fine job and he knows we expect him to lose his mind. Give him time folks. He’s a young guy. Oh, and I am being told I meant Brad of course.”

Regular Cockabooster contributer and Belton resident Monty Bennett, aka “Tiger Paw Pete,” had several good ideas for how Brownell could be more like Moo U’s fans. “Old Brad just needs to do something like a swan dive into a pool of cow patties, shave his head while drinking a mason jar full of varnish, or melting some moon pies under his arms in lieu of deodorant. Something that lets the fans know he really is a Clemson man!”

CRANKSHAFT GAZETTE: Cockabooster accused of being “obsessed” with Dabo!



Ted Felder
Ted Felder of “The Cockabooster” is under heavy fire this week, having broken a promise to move on from the subject of Dabo Swinney after Clemson’s humiliating bowl loss.  Felder acknowledges the blog has hit Dabo several times since the end of football season, but he says he just couldn’t help himself.  “I had no idea Yabo Dabo would keep doing and saying stupid things after getting shellacked by West Virginia and South Carolina.  I assumed he would want to slip quietly into the offseason for a fresh round of shock treatments.  Instead, he just keeps giving me gold that I cannot ignore.” 
When asked if he would like to make a new pledge to the readers of the Cockabooster, Felder agreed and offered a compromise pledge.  “I will stop making fun of Dabo as soon as he quits acting like an idiot.  I don’t think he will be able to resist keeping himself in the media though.  He just keeps on coming back just when you think he’s gone.”
In that spirit, the new theme song for Dabo Swinney on the Cockabooster will be Dolly Parton’s “Here You Come Again.”  Every time Dabo re-emerges in the offseason with a fresh batch of goofy behavior, a clip of this song will be included in the story.  “Yes, there is no bigger boob in the world than Coach Swinney so a Dolly Parton song as his theme is appropriate,” said Felder who hopes the controversy is now put to rest. 


Monday, January 16, 2012

CRANKSHAFT GAZETTE: Top 10 New Slogans for Gamecock Basketball



Top 10 New Slogans for Gamecock Basketball
10.       “Come for the popcorn, stay for the quiet time!”
9.         “Come on!  Who wants to be a winner in every sport?”
8.         “Our Coach’s hair is better than yours!”
7.         “We don’t need no stinking crowd noise!”
6.         “At least Darrin Horn is not named Dabo!” 
5.         “We won’t win tonight but please enjoy our free Wi Fi”
4.         “Hey, the Red Hot Chili Peppers will be here in April!”
3.         “What other arena has such good echoes?”     
2.         “Accommodating Kentucky fans who buy season tickets since 1992”
1.         “Even in this sport, we have a winning streak over Clemson.”    

MOO U News: Dabo and Kevin Steele mutually part ways..Swinney warns himself that he is next.



Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney went on one of his patented bizarre emotional rants this week, insisting to everyone that he did NOT fire former Defensive Coordinator Kevin Steele.  Instead, Swinney says he and Steele decided “together” that Steele should no longer work for Clemson.  “Don’t call it firing and don’t call it resigning,” said Swinney who was then asked what exactly it should be called.  “How about just calling it shut your freaking mouth?” 

Dabo then went on to note that other coaches at Clemson better get the message, including the head coach.  “Yeah, I let Coach Swinney know that I have fired everyone else associated with the football team from the janitor to the travel coordinator.  He better watch out cause he’s next.”  When it was pointed out that he was referring to himself in the third person, Swinney muttered something about Steve Spurrier, jammed a nickel in his nose and sprinted out of the room.  

MOO U News: Vic Koenning laughing his tail off at Clemson



Illinois Defensive Coordinator Vic Koenning, who was Clemson’s defensive coordinator until Tommy Bowden was fired, is apparently “laughing his tail off” at Dabo’s decision to fire Kevin Steele following the Orange Bowl.  Koenning, who once referred to Dabo Swinney as “Goat Boy” for his tendency to offer players that were not Division 1 caliber, says the turmoil in the upstate is what he expected after they gave the job to an insurance salesman in a sweatshirt. 

Koenning, who is the new Associate Head Coach for Defense in Chapel Hill for the Tar Heels, looks forward to pummeling whoever ends up in Clemson.  “As long as Swinney is doing the hiring I am in good shape.”  Koenning says the best part of the recent Orange Bowl for him was Swinney’s pre-game declaration that the Clemson defense would capture the nation’s attention against West Virginia and make history.  “Well, he was right I guess.  That may be the one thing he’s been right about.”  

Please Fix Carolina Basketball!

Which of these is more painful:  The USC basketball team, a thorough root canal or a violent skin rash?   Seriously, what is there to say about men’s hoops at Carolina?  Think of the Men’s major sports in Columbia as three long-term employees in your office.  Football and baseball are shining stars on the payroll.  They are both exciting to watch, are energetic, have bright futures and are valuable cogs on the wheel. 

Then there is the old guy in the office (basketball) who was the “golden boy” earner years ago, but hasn’t produced for a while.  You’ve done everything you can do to help.  You’ve given him a plush new office (the Colonial Life Arena) and all the resources in the world to help improve things, but it just isn’t happening.  He is good for an occasional laugh and a quirky story from time to time but that’s about it.  The situation is getting really uncomfortable and embarrassing and you know something has to be done. 

Eric Hyman has made one head coaching hire in the men’s major sports during his time in Columbia and that is Darrin Horn.  Barring a miracle turnaround (which we all pray for), this season is a lost cause.  Assuming Horn won’t leave on his own, obviously, Hyman will have three choices:  1. Do nothing and pretend nothing is wrong (The “all is well while the ship is sinking” method); 2. Fire Horn and pick another young coach; 3. Fire Horn and put a lot of money into getting a big name. 

I know that Hyman’s first choice will be doing nothing, as this was “his guy.”  Also, I have always said that with football and baseball rolling along, many will take the “who cares” attitude about it.  I think the reason I cannot get comfortable with this “head in the sand” path is because I really love Carolina basketball and have my whole life.
I get it that the “accepted wisdom” most years is that the SEC is good in football, the ACC is good in hoops and both are good in baseball.   I think what is happening in Columbia is even worse than this argument.  We aren’t even competitive in an average league anymore, and that is AFTER we got rid of the very cool Carolina Coliseum for the insane and disastrous Colonial.  Duke may stink in football, but they admit they don’t care about it and don’t waste a bunch of money and resources pretending otherwise. 

I bet ¾ of Gamecock fans would gladly hit the rewind button, go back and bear hug Eddie Fogler and cling to the old Coliseum like a fat girl on a funnel cake.  Heck, I even miss the 3-man weave under the Warchest of Credibility.  At least we knew what we were trying to do on offense.  After all the money we dumped into that stupid new building, don’t turn around and act like basketball is the crazy drunk uncle at the punchbowl we need to just ignore.  Pick a path and fix it!    

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Why I think Dabo’s stunt matters

It is time to turn the page on the Cockabooster to basketball and baseball for 2012, but before that happens, I am going to offer my substantive comments on the strange path Dabo Swinney chose.  In our Moo U section, we have already had a ton of fun with him (for a Gamecock blogger he is the gift that keeps on giving), but I believe his recent tirade will be remembered as a seminal moment in the rivalry.  As the rivalry is something I care about, I am going to give it some thoughtful commentary.   

(To my Tiger friends who are reading this, and I am blessed to be friends with many of you, I am sure you will disagree with some of these thoughts but I hope you will at least consider my perspective seriously and not just discount it out of hand.)

I have the good fortune of knowing some folks who work in various media jobs related to the Clemson football team.  The night Dabo made his original “response” to the non-existant Spurrier quote that triggered a firestorm on both sides, I was able to confirm pretty quickly that it was a staged event.  It was done with the hopes of moving the fan base past the bad loss in Columbia, unifying them behind the Coach and that it would fire up Clemson for the ACC Championship.  Dabo was directly involved in the planning of it, and took the time to memorize some key data, statistics and one-liners.  (I say all of this because there are still a few Clemson fans who honestly think it was a real “reaction” to something.) 

First of all, let’s cover the effect on the ACC title game and bowl bid for Clemson.  The stunt in a limited way  worked as intended here.  A fired-up and angry bunch of Tigers beat up on Virginia Tech and became the sixth team from the ACC to use the BCS AQ bid to the Orange Bowl.  As an added bonus to the cause, the NCAA bypassed about 20 more-deserving teams and dumped an at-large bid to that same Tech team.  So over the next month, the nation was treated to a true Clemson love-fest like you have never seen.  From the emotional back-story about “the little Coach that could” to how the Orange Bowl would be the night when the nation would learn all about the Clemson defense (yep, Dabo said this), it was a true march towards history for the Orange and White. 

Then came the game.  All of that crashing down in the form of a 70-33 loss to WVU.  Instead of Clemson solidifying a new level of national respect, you now can’t turn on the TV and avoid hearing an announcer talking about a team “pulling a Clemson.”  Even Kirk Herbstreit, who seriously has an odd “man-crush” on the Boy Wonder in the K-Mart sweatshirt, joked about Clemson during the LSU-Alabama broadcast. 

Meanwhile, the comments REALLY fired up Carolina.  If you think the Clemson fans were unified behind Dabo after “the rant,” you should see how unified everyone in Columbia became.  Instead of self-doubts creeping in ahead of the Citrus Bowl relating to the Gamecocks’ recent bowl failures, an angry and confident squad stormed into Orlando, won their 11th game and assured USC of a solid top-10 finish.  The Cocks go into the offseason brimming with confidence, returning 15 starters and feeling good about, well, everything.  Carolina fans would love to see Dabo get a lifetime contract at Clemson today. 

So why do I feel that a media stunt that largely backfired should be called a “seminal moment” in the rivalry?  As a 40 year old who has studied the history of the rivalry, I can honestly say that this was the first time I have seen one of the underlying institutions attacked that directly by a Coach at either school.  For those that scream “Frank Howard” when they hear this, I disagree.  Coach Howard may have been colorful and expressive and may have irritated Gamecock fans, but I don’t know of an instance where he directly attacked the University itself. 

And please don’t confuse fan interaction with a Coach’s public statements.  A yahoo like me having silly fun with my Moo U stuff on a blog, or Tigernet poking fun at Carolina, or Zero bars being given to Gamecock fans after the 0-11 season, etc, is different.  Normal fan banter about which football team is better and creative kidding back and forth between the schools is part of the fun.   

And not even all coaches’ actions are the same.  Tommy Bowden having Brad Scott carried off the field in 1999 or making a barb about “I love hearing 2001 because it means I am going to win a game” may make USC mad as hades, but it was not an attack on the underlying  institution.  Frank McGuire had his teams convinced the whole world was against them, and Steve Spurrier is famous for jabs that are funny and biting but I have never heard either of them attack Clemson as an institution of higher learning.  When it comes to public statements about the underlying schools themselves, coaches are and should be held to a higher standard.  Here are the recent coaches at both schools: 

Clemson- Danny Ford, Ken Hatfield, Tommy West, Tommy Bowden, Bill Foster, Cliff Ellis, Oliver Purnell, Bill Wilhelm and Jack Leggett.  Carolina-  Jim Carlen, Richard Bell, Joe Morrison, Sparky Woods, Brad Scott, Lou Holtz, Steve Spurrier, Bill Foster, George Felton, Steve Newton, Eddie Fogler, Dave Odom, Darrin Horn, Bobby Richardson, June Raines and Ray Tanner. 

None of these names are associated with a deeply personal and nasty public attack on the level that we saw with Coach Swinney.  That is what is different to me about this situation.  So there you go.  My honest take on this from a Gamecock point of view.  Outside of responding to questions or comments about this column, I will now move on from this subject.  After all, karma is awesome, and it all worked out great for my team. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Hopefully, we will have bigger fish to fry!

I love my collection of old Gamecock games on tape and DVD.  Watching Mike Hold work his magic in 1984, the Black Death defense of 1987, Steve Taneyhill making enemies all over the Southeast, The Fade, The Outbacks, etc, are all fun items to re-live occasionally.  Having said that, there was always a double-edge to that sword.   After all, one of the main reasons Gamecocks have always been so nostalgic about the past was that the present usually was bad. 
Frankly, for a long time the only “positive” aspect of football season was the social stuff.  For years, my roommate and I would host an annual peanut boil on Whaley Street the night before Carolina’s first home football game.  Like clockwork, the old games would be watched while the delicious legumes were being tenderized in large pots by hot water and salt.  Meanwhile, the apartment was filled with pyramids of beer cans and hours of bitter discussion over what was wrong with the football team and why we would never be good. 
Then comes September 30, 2006 and a very close 24-17 loss to #2 Auburn in Columbia.  That night, following one of many “looking good losing” moral victories, the Gamecock fans gave a roaring ovation to the team for their effort.  I was actually with a friend who is an Auburn grad at that game and I have to admit our conversation was focused on how well we had played despite losing.  Steve Spurrier was livid with the fans over this as you might recall.  He specficially admonished everyone to stop being happy with losing. 
It is easy to forget what happened next, but if you’re being honest, the local fans and the media tore into Spurrier over that.  How times have changed.  Just five years ago, we were all giddy and excited over a close loss at home during a 7-5 season that ended with a Liberty Bowl bid.  Now we have parts of the fan base that pick apart an 11-2 season that included wins over Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Nebraska and Clemson! 
Spurrier is not the nicest guy in the world, but he was 100% right about our fan base needing to change their mentality.  I was Exhibit A on that and I will be the first to admit I was wrong.  He has made me realize I want a winner in Columbia, not some carnival barker who blows smoke up my rear end to make me feel better or makes a fool of himself pandering to the fan base. 
Spurrier may lack on style, but he delivers on substance.  He doesn’t pull media stunts to draw attention to himself and he doesn’t spin what happens, good or bad. He came here to do a job and he is motivated to do things that haven’t been done before.  We have gone from the SEC’s favorite road game trip to being a hated team with a nasty defense and some swagger. 
And now comes the final step, which also happens to be the hardest step.  We have done everything else you can do in the SEC except for winning the championship.  That’s why 5 seconds after we finished the win over Nebraska, “12 wins in 2012” became the new mantra for Gamecock Football.  Tough schedule or not, if we don’t take that next step as a program, we have no one to blame but ourselves.   
I have no idea where my 5-year old son will go to college one day, but I do know this.  If he goes to Carolina for whatever reason, I want his preseason peanut boils to be focused on all that is great about Gamecock Football and the chances to win a title with “his” current team.  What I don’t want is for him to be watching a replay of the 2011 Clemson game and  griping about how bad we are.  I hope instead he tells me to stop talking about how awesome Alshon Jeffery was when he was in Columbia.  Hopefully it will be something like, “Daddy, why do you care so much about a team that only won the Citrus Bowl and 11 games?  We have bigger fish to fry now!” 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

MOO U News: Tigers petition NCAA to play Virginia Tech again to “re-fool” fan base



Following the worst performance in bowl history, Clemson knows it needs a distraction and it needs it fast.  So Clemson’s Athletic Director has sent a formal request into NCAA headquarters asking that the Tigers be allowed to play Virginia Tech a third time to confuse their fan base into believing that they are good again.  “Dabo set up his media stunt and fired everyone up last time so let’s hit that well again,” said Terry Don Phillips. 
The NCAA is unlikely to grant the request, pointing out that they had already done everything humanly possible to help both Clemson and the ACC already.  “We let them waste 2 bids this year, not just the token 1 they have to get.  Then we let Clemson play one of the weakest teams to ever make the BCS.  And they STILL couldn’t win a game.  And they gave up 70 points.  We’re just tired of propping them up.” 

Coach Steele...How many touchdowns do you think your defense
will give up in Wednesday's Orange Bowl?
The Cock-A-Booster's Crystal Ball should have taken note!
NCAA officials did say that they are open to the idea of pitting two ACC teams against each other next year in a BCS bowl as a way to make absolutely sure the conference wins a game.  “Yes, we’ll work on that.  Maybe if we promise Clemson they can play Virginia Tech next year in Miami they’ll be happy.” 

MOO U News: Gamecock Nation makes it official…goes “All in, All the Freaking Time” in effort to keep Dabo at Clemson



In the hopes of helping secure a contract extension for the best thing to happen to Gamecock Football in nearly four generations, Carolina fans have signed a petition that they are “All in, All the Freaking Time” with Dabo Swinney as the head coach at Clemson.  The Tigers had the entire nation watching on Wednesday night, and Dabo’s bizarre monkey-like antics were on full display.  After limiting West Virginia to just 10 touchdowns, Swinney was in tears as he proudly pumped up his fan base.  “They didn’t kick a field goal on us all night.  Tell me the last time that has happened in the Orange Bowl!” 
Swinney says that the Tigers may have fallen a bit short in Miami, but that he would double-down on media stunts and random acts of insanity to make sure the problems got fixed.  “I don’t think I yelled enough, cried enough or jumped around like a kangaroo on cocaine enough.  You saw most of my rear end this year but just wait until 2012.” 
In related news, Clemson’s defensive leader Andre Branch also wanted everyone to know something about 2012.  “If y’all thought we were nasty this year, just wait until next year.”  Branch can breathe easy that his statement is true, as there isn’t a soul on earth that feels like Clemson’s defense was nasty at all this year. 
Ok, we borrowed this picture from another site...SORRY!

MOO U News:Top 10 Excuses from Moo U following the Orange Bowl



10.       Nikki Haley’s endorsement ruined their momentum
9.         Will Merritt couldn’t focus because of the Pork Sandwiches in Little Cuba
8.         Sammy Watkins was asked too many times to talk about himself in the third person
7.         Tajh Boyd was told West Virginia and Virginia Tech were the same team.
6.         Dabo Swinney spent too much time doing Merengue with Erin Andrews at Alcazaba in Coral Gables
5.         West Virginia’s coach looked too much like the bad guy from Karate Kid III.
4.         When Tiger fans heard “Orange Bowl,” they thought it meant the toilets at Death Valley.
3.         Kevin Steele was sending out resumes instead of studying game film.   
2.         Nobody at West Virginia could read the memo that asked them to lose to Clemson
1.         Chad Morris too busy spending his raise to implement the other half of his offense. 


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

#1 propels Gamecocks to win #11

South Carolina knew they would be facing a focused and fired up Nebraska team on Monday afternoon.  The Huskers knew their best shot at an upset over the Gamecocks would involve building a big lead early before the ferocious USC defense got cranked up and rolling.  And yes, despite Bo Pelini’s odd and delusional post-game idiocy, you have to concede that the farm boys had several chances to do just that in the first half.  
Instead of trailing at the half, there came a moment that will live in Gamecock hearts forever.  #1 Alshon Jeffery’s leaping reception on the last play of the first half blasted Carolina into the lead and without a doubt changed the momentum of the game.  It also may be the greatest single play in USC’s football history but I will get to that later. 

Nebraska to their credit did not fold up the tent.  They came out and put everything into their first drive of the third quarter. When it fizzled, ending in a missed field goal, the rest of the day belonged to the Gamecock defensive line.  Tyler Martinez probably woke up several times Monday night dreaming about Jadeveon Clowney, Melvin Ingram, Travian Robertson and Devin Taylor.  

The offensive side of the ball stayed true to form, doing just what it needed to compliment the D.  Kenny Miles provided the spark it needed to tack on a pair of 4th quarter touchdowns, Connor Shaw was quiet and efficient all day, and this USC team completed its march into history in resounding fashion.  

Having said all of that, let’s return to Alshon Jeffery.  The Gamecock superstar has been through a lot this year and he deserved a triumphant exit.  His four catches for 148 yards and that incredible hail-mary touchdown both kept Carolina in the game and then put them ahead for good.  Alshon was mugged and mauled all day by the Husker’s defensive backs.  Finally, after taking two direct punches after a second half play, it was too much for anyone to take.  Jeffery (gasp) shoved back one time and was kicked out along with the chief thug on the other team.  

Somehow, 40 punches were equal to 1 shove back but I digress.  Regardless, it happened and unlike the Nebraska player, who hung around for a bit to further show his rear end, Jeffery jogged off the field as you’re supposed to do.  He was later named MVP of the game by the bowl and gave some very humble remarks to the crowd.  

But was his touchdown catch the greatest single play in Gamecock history?  Talking to my Dad after the game, we came up with a few candidates for that title.  There was Alex Hawkins’ tremendous kickoff return at Texas in the 50s.  Billy Dupree’s game winning Field Goal at Virginia Tech and Tommy Suggs TD run at North Carolina in the 60s also are good candidates.  Raynard Brown had a kickoff return against FSU in 1984 and Brad Edwards’ interception return against Clemson in 1987 also stand out.  

Yes, there are many others not listed and at best this is a debatable opinion.  One thing that is clear about Jeffery’s catch:  It should be on any Gamecock fan’s top 5 list of memorable moments, and assuming Alshon goes pro (and most of us think he will), he leaves Columbia a true hero.  Move over Sterling Sharpe, Robert Brooks, Kenny McKinley, Troy Williamson and Sidney Rice.  The new #1 receiver of all-time at the University of South Carolina is Alshon Jeffery of St. Matthews, South Carolina!

11 wins, 2 losses and zero moral victories!  It’s a great time to be a Gamecock!