Monday, April 30, 2012

Don’t forget the context on the NCAA nonsense!

As the book is closed on the NCAA’s insane probe of Carolina over a tempest in a teacup, folks are now heaping praise on the Gamecock administration’s obvious decision to bend over, grab its collective ankles and pray.  OF COURSE we had to play nice and go above and beyond this past time because we are under “repeat offender” status due to the rampant tutoring that was going on under Lou Holtz.  That’s the point that is being lost in this and it’s irritating.  

Where USC should have fought the NCAA was during the first go-around.  And yes, basically the two “horrible crimes” that Carolina committed as a result of that were tutoring too much and someone getting a ride to said tutoring.  That was it folks.  Thanks to that, largely caused by our insistence on being “guilty until proven innocent in all cases,” we had this idiotic repeat offender tag put on our heads.  In other words, what helped us “get out of trouble” the second time is what got us into trouble the first time.  

I know my opinion on this is the minority view, and I get that the results ended up okay for USC…this time.  I would just hope we can all acknowledge that the NCAA is at best inconsistent and at worst hypocritical and disingenuous.  Some are speculating that the positive reaction to our handling of this recent investigation is going to set a new standard for other schools to follow and that the message is if you’ve done something wrong admit it and you’ll fare better. 
I certainly hope that’s the case but I have seen too many examples of just flat-out rotten stuff go unpunished when the school goes into “prove it” mode and they are making the NCAA tons of money.  

So color me skeptical until one of “those” situations is upon us and the new NCAA approach gets fully tested.    Let’s see what happens when a national title game or non-ACC/Big East BCS Bowl game could be affected by eligibility issues.  I’ll believe it when I see it. 
So yes, I give full credit to Eric Hyman, Steve Spurrier and everyone else who handled this recent NCAA saga.  Hopefully, this new double-secret probation marks the last time we have to deal with the NCAA goons and they will actually start looking at schools who need a good probing.  Until then, enjoy my middle-finger salute to the NCAA as they leave Columbia with their final pound of Gamecock flesh.  Don’t let the door hit you…well you know the rest.  Off to do some evil tutoring.  GASP!! 

Friday, April 27, 2012

MOO U News: Dabo: “NCAA is a bunch of Poopy-Heads”



 Clemson head football Coach Dabo Swinney and the Clemson faithful were rubbing their hands and chuckling with pleasure as they awaited the giant NCAA hammer that was supposed to come down on South Carolina Friday afternoon.  Instead, the NCAA broke all orange hearts, accepting the Gamecocks’ self-imposed penalties and heaped buckets of praise on USC for their level of cooperation, which “went beyond standard expectations.” 

As a result, protection has been ordered for all sheep and wives in the upstate.  Hades broke loose in Pickens County upon hearing the news, as the upstate cousin kissers had put all their eggs into this basket.  There was a strong belief that finally they would have something good to discuss about Carolina.  Cockabooster contributor Monty Bennett, aka “Tiger Paw Pete,” said the reality of the disappointment had only begun to sink in.  “Most folks can’t even put in a fresh chaw.”
Particularly depressed about the announcement was Tiger football Coach Dabo Swinney, who now will do his best remind Clemson fans that they beat Virginia Tech twice this year.  Swinney did his best to spin the bad news to his favor of course, pointing out that this only proves that even when it comes to cheating, Carolina will never be Clemson.  “Our cheating is 1st class authentic gross stuff.  We lost years of bowl games and tv appearances.  Carolina ain’t even man enough to get really punished!  Tweet that!”  Swinney went on to say that the NCAA is a bunch of “poopy-heads who don’t play fair.” 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

See I told you so!......Baseball Team getting ready for tough stretch run!

As predicted on The Cock-A-Booster before the season, this very talented but very young Gamecock Baseball team would go through some wobbles early and face a lot of challenges.  Sure enough, they stumbled and bumbled around for a while and got popped in the mouth up in Lexington and by Florida.  Before we knew it they stood 1-5 in the SEC and admittedly it wasn’t a fun start.  

Having said that, also as predicted here, USC’s young players and veterans gathered themselves together and responded with vigor!  The Gamecocks have now rolled off 4 straight series wins including two sweeps in a row over Miss. State and Auburn.  It all adds up to 10 of 12 wins in the conference of late and a conference record of 11-7, tied for the 3rd best record in the SEC.  Also, we are now just 2 games out of 1st!  

If you were one of the ones who bailed during the tough start, you have to admit that Pankake, Montgomery, Dantzler, English, Greiner and other new faces are finding that voice, that chemistry that will be needed if USC is going to seriously defend the 2 national titles.  

There are still those haplessly mired in negativity who will write off the recent success due to weaker opposition.  To use a scientific phrase to answer that….WELL DUH!!!  To all those “Sherlocks” in the “Captain Obvious Club,” congratulations on your brilliant insight there.  I get it that Kentucky and Florida are more like the teams we’ll see in the Regionals, Supers and Omaha.  The question is whether or not getting the recent wins and tons of experience will improve the team to the point where we are better when we see that talent level across the field again. 

Alabama’s Crimson Tide comes to Columbia this weekend and Carolina will be heavy favorites including the ESPN National Game of the Week on Thursday.  Even if we only win 2 in that series, the Gamecocks will head into the final stretch of the season at 32-13 and 13-8, right where I thought we would be.  Georgia, Arkansas and LSU is without a doubt a perilous lineup of weekends.  

I think the last month or so has seasoned us up and we’ll be ready.  If not, okay but don’t tell me we aren’t a MUCH better baseball team for the stretch run.   Are we a National Seed?  Not yet, but I think if it the field were selected today we are a regional host.  

And I ask the same question I did during the early losses:  If we do hit the road for the Supers, do you honestly think anyone in Tallahassee, Coral Gables, Raleigh or Chapel Hill wants to see us come to town?  No way!   

AS ALWAYS...Trust In Tanner!  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

THE CRANKSHAFT GAZETTE: This Just In!!...Auburn asks Cam Newton to pitch this weekend!

This story is fake, so do take it too serious!


Auburn Head Coach - John Pawlowski
Having lost 12 straight baseball series to the Gamecocks in recent years, the Auburn Tigers figure Cam Newton is their best hope to stop the trend. 

Tiger head coach John Pawlowski talked about his decision to “call back” Cam Newton from the NFL for the weekend.  “Cam still has all of his baseball eligibility and the Gamecocks seem to get psyched out when he is on the field so why not?  We can’t do any worse!” 

Auburn Baseball has been
"tur--uh-bull" over the years!
Former Auburn Basketball star Charles Barkley says putting Newton on the mound is a good move, but thinks he should have been asked first.  “I mean Cam’s okay and all.  He has proven that he can beat the ever-livin’ crap out of the Gamecocks on the gridiron, so why not the baseball field?  But I’m skinny now thanks to Weight Watchers and I am much more Auburny.  If Cam does 'tur-uh-bull,' and Coach Pow won’t put me in…hell…lets do what we have to do and bring my buddy Bo Jackson out of the bullpen. He has to have some eligibility left...right?"  
Ray Tanner says at first he was concerned by the move, but he thinks he has the answer.  “We will just make sure to lead off Danny Sheridan (who claims he know who was the bagman for Cam) whenever he pitches.” 

Sheridan (Oddsmaker) claims to know
who the BAG MAN was in the
Cam Newton Saga.
Newton, the former Heisman trophy winner, was not available for comment and asked that all inquiries be directed to his father. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

THE CRANKSHAFT GAZETTE: Dabo admits that the Gamecocks own the state of South Carolina


Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney has once again jammed his foot in his mouth after trying to sound like a big boy who can use the potty by himself.  In yet another effort to keep his fan base fooled and focused on ANYTHING but the results on the field, Swinney reportedly was quoted as saying, “we (Clemson) are going to take back this state.” 

By definition that means that the state is currently owned by someone else, South Carolina.  Swinney’s quote shocked and confused most of the Clemson fans when they first heard it, as they have been told for months that Clemson was actually in control of things despite being horse-whipped by N. C. State, the Gamecocks and West Virginia. 

Cockabooster contributor and Pelion native Monty “Tiger Paw Pete” Bennet explains:  “When Dabo lied about Spurrier’s comments before, we were told that Clemson was the university of the state, we owned them and were the big brother and all that other nonsense.  Now we hear that the Gamecocks actually own the state.  Dat Boy is just nuts.”

As you would expect, the confusing remarks from Swinney has sent the upstate’s overall-wearing brigade into turmoil.  So far, thousands of tractors have been set on fire and there are rumors of an angry outbreak of sexual assaults on sheep in four upstate counties. 

Clemson Athletics Director Terry Don Joe Bob Billy Ray Edgar Allen Poe Phillips once again was asked to clarify and spin the Coach’s gaffe.  “Old Dabbles was just trying to say that he hopes the only thing Clemson fans will think about is the fact that we won the ACC.  We understand that being the best team in the ACC is like being the world’s finest-smelling catfish but it is what it is.” 

THE CRANKSHAFT GAZETTE: Top 10 signs that the UT Vols are on the decline



10.  Derek Dooley is still their coach. 

9.  “Old Smokey” is now the nickname for the head cheerleader AND the mascot dog. 

8.  Steve Spurrier won’t even make fun of them

7.  Vandy is worried that playing the Vols will hurt their strength of schedule

6.  Even Tommy Moody and Lou Holtz can’t say they are any good.  

5.  Al Gore no longer claims he invented Volunteer Football. 

4.  38 Special is now “too big” to play at the Tennessee State Fair.

3.  Peyton Manning now claims he played for a small school down South.   

2.  Certain parts of Neyland Stadium now being used for affordable housing. 

1.  Even Lane Kiffin looks like a real football coach in comparison

Monday, April 16, 2012

THE CRANKSHAFT GAZETTE: Vanderbilt Chancellor says the Commodores are focused on Lacrosse, Bowling and Extreme Divinity



Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos
(The Cock-A-Booster cannot understand
why this guy would
not be into college football?)
Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos is tired of the myth that Vandy can’t consistently get it done in the men’s major sports. In fact, when they were mentioned in a recent interview it lead to some deep belly laughs.  “Yes, we know some schools in the SEC care about football.  In fact, I believe I read an article in an airport a few weeks ago that mentioned our athletic conference was doing quite well there and in baseball.  They have a niche of fan support, no question, but we are focused on those sports that have more of a national reach like lacrosse and bowling and extreme divinity.  You can’t cut on ESPN on Sunday afternoon and not see a bowling tournament.  That’s national stuff there.” 

When it was pointed out that more revenue follows football than any other sport, Zeppos countered that the Nashville institution was not glamorized by items like money.  “Sure, if more revenue, championships, better facilities, alumni support and television exposure is what you’re after as an athletic department then okay, but we’re after something bigger here.”  

Zeppos says some may disagree with the school’s approach to athletics but the results speak for themselves.  “Sure, some may think of Heisman winners, NFL players and famous coaches as being important to the legacy of a school’s athletic department.  For example, Alabama may have Nick Saban and the current national football championship.  But we have the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dr. Muhammad Yunus.  I mean this cat established the Grameen Bank and pioneered the practice of providing micro-loans to the poor.  You tell me what matters more to Athletics.” 

The chancellor closed out his remarks by sarcastically bristling at the notion that the Commodores lack famous athletic alumni.  “Yeah right.  Ever hear of Roger Schurig, Frank Kornet or Sheri Sam???  I think that answers any questions you may have.”  When we pointed out that it might would have been better for him to use  Mark Prior, Jay Cutler or Shelton Quarles, Zeppos finished up his beef jerky and moon pie lunch and stormed out. 

THE CRANKSHAFT GAZETTE: Georgia whining that their schedule is STILL too hard!



After being handed the 2011 SEC East Division by not having to play any of the West’s Big 3, Georgia has already been given the same free pass for 2012.  That’s not going to be quite easy enough to assure a return to Atlanta for the pups, and Mark Richt is asking for more help. 

“You know, we only get 1 open date.  We should be able to have an open date before and after every conference game.  Also, we really shouldn’t have to play all the teams in the East,” said Richt who had some ideas for improving Georgia’s “difficulties.”  “I mean I would suggest we play Ole Miss three times and lose Florida and South Carolina off the schedule.  They could pick up someone else from the West too or play Alabama or LSU twice.”

Finally, Richt suggested that the Dawgs should be allowed to add some “bigger” high schools in the Peach State to fill out future schedules.  “What if Ga. Southern gets good enough to compete?  That wouldn’t be fair.  We’ll take Houston County High School instead.” 

In further Bulldog Football news, Coach Richt announced that his formerly macho program has some major new sponsors for 2012, including Natracare, Seventh Generation, Holistic Beauty’s “Yeastaway,” and Simplee Wonderful.  Finally, the traditional “Glory, Glory” fight song at Sanford Stadium has been replaced by The Village People’s “In the Navy.” 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Spurrier is feeling it!

Steve Spurrier has started to let some of his patented “digs” out of the bag after several years of being quiet.  There is a little more bounce in his step and he has a cockier twinkle in his eye.  It is patently obvious that USC has more under the hood than ever and 2012 could be special.  Yes, yes, we have a LONG way to go until the fall.  Injuries can happen of course and chemistry has to be a part of the equation. 

Having said that, there is much to like about the 2012 Carolina Football team.  On offense, Connor Shaw should be a much better signal-caller, and even not counting Marcus Lattimore the Gamecocks are loaded at the skill positions.  On defense, Devin Taylor and Jadaveon Clowney will headline a salty defense that will be right up there with the other SEC units. 

Sure there are question marks.  There always will be.  Who wouldn’t miss Melvin Ingram, Antonio Allen, Alshon Jeffery and Stephon Gilmore?  The difference is that finally we have a program with big names replacing the big names that leave.  All levels of the program are improved and it is showing. 

As it is every year, the schedule is the biggest problem facing this team.  Count me among those who don’t like the Thursday night in Nashville to open the season.  Vandy won’t have realized that they are just a polished-up turd yet and will probably play their best game of the year that night.  Dangerous game.  As we saw last year, ECU loves playing us so that won’t be easy.  Another dangerous game. 

But let’s say we maneuver through those two land mines and beat UAB.  Look at the next 5 games:  Mizzou, @ Kentucky, Jawja, @ LSU and @ Florida.  That is a meat grinder folks.  Tennessee and Arkansas close out the conference slate in Columbia after that and we have two in-state bunny games to finish the year.  J 

It won’t be easy to match the success of last year’s team as you can see.  Florida will be much better and The Georgia Bulldogs are hoping beyond hope that a schedule quirk can help them fall rear-end backwards into another unearned Eastern Division title.    Count me and Steve Spurrier among those telling the Lizards and Silver Britches to bring it on. 

This goes double for Athens.  Dawg fans better enjoy the SEC pampering and looking out for them and not having to play the tough teams from the West.  I actually am happy that I have lived to see the day when Georgia knows they can’t beat the Gamecocks and smoke and mirrors is their only hope.  That’s fine.  I’ll take my confident Head Ball Coach and loaded football team any day of the week.  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

MOO U News: Dabo being considered for Arkansas job in his mind



Having lost four of his last six games including the worst bowl defeat in college football history, Clemson crazy-man in chief Dabo Swinney has convinced himself that Arkansas is after him to coach the Razorbacks.  The new fantasy is the latest of many entertaining delusions from the always entertaining coach.  Long-time Cockabooster contributor Monty Bennett, aka “Tiger Paw Pete,” remembers them all.

“Yeah old Dabo thought he was Alabama’s 2nd choice behind Saban, that the Vatican wanted him for Pope, CBS was looking at him to replace Bob Barker on the Price is Right and the Food Network was considering him to be the next Paula Deen.  He thinks Apple wanted him to be the next Steve Jobs and recently he had himself convinced that the S. C. Senate tried to make him Lt. Governor after Ken Ard resigned.  You never know what goofy nonsense we’ll get from Dat Boy.” 

Perhaps the strangest example of Swinney pretending someone wants him is the 2012 Republican Presidential Primary sweepstakes.  Swinney was in tears as he announced he was pulling out of a race in which he never was involved.  “I appreciate so much being offered the GOP nomination and I am flattered, but now is just not the right time for me to do this.” 

Clemson Athletic Director Terry Don Hubba Bubba Dee Ding Billy Joe Phillips says incidents like these don’t bother folks at Clemson.  “It’s just the fleas that come with the dog.  He isn’t hurting anyone by pretending these things.”  

THE CRANKSHAFT GAZETTE: Cock-A-Booster drives Petrino out of Arkansas



When the Cock-A-Booster released its recent Top 10 list about embattled Razorbacks Coach Bobby Petrino, we had no idea it would lead to his firing.  Cock-A-Booster CEO and Supreme Potentate Ted Felder was stunned by the news.  “I knew folks all over the Southeast were hanging on every word that we write, but to get a prominent coach fired after a simple Top 10 list?  I had no clue we wielded that type of power.” 

When it was pointed out to Felder that Petrino’s actions surrounding the motorcycle accident, including the lying, coverup, illegal cash disbursement and secret relationship may have also played a role, he chuckled and rolled his eyes.  ”I mean those things may have been a part of the background noise, I’ll give you that.  Secondary ingredients in the stew?  Okay.  But we all know it was the bone-rattling humor of that list that really carried the day.  We had a picture of a naked man riding a hog.  Enough said.” 

Monday, April 9, 2012

THE CRANKSHAFT GAZETTE: Top Ten Bobby Petrino Excuses!



Bobby test-drives his
new bike.
10.       He only was riding a motorcycle because the “Boss Hogg” Cadillac was in the shop. 
9.         Heard a rumor Saban did it so he wanted to copy him.  As usual, he fell short.       
8.         He does all his job interviews that way. 
7.         He thought she was his cousin, which would have made the affair acceptable in Arkansas.   
6.         Frank Broyles dared him to do it over some moonshine. 
5.         He just assumed all successful coaches use their positions to tempt young women into life-threatening situations.  
4.         Arkansas is the Natural State.  What’s more natural than robbing an Ozark cradle?    
3.         By disgracing himself enough, he might end up on Dancing with the Stars.  
2.        He heard the fountain of youth was at a Truck Stop near the Oklahoma border. 
1.         Believed news reports out of Fayetteville that he can walk on water.      

Some Gamecock fans really need to grow up

It takes a long time to change a ground-in mindset.  Lacking the ability to recognize a change in circumstances can lead to poor decision-making.  Now there is no question in athletics I would rather be a program on the rise (like Carolina) who has a section of their fan base that hasn’t adapted to it yet.  Certainly the need to get used to winning is always preferable to being a once strong program who is now on the decline. 
Having said that, while the change is happening, it does “seem” temporarily easier for the fans in denial at the formerly winning school.    The next game always seems to be the start of a new winning streak for them, while for us we have fans who live in fear of the next game being the start of a losing streak.  I guess three decades of playing a losing role will do that to you but it’s frustrating.
Baseball is a good example of what I mean in South Carolina.  Until Ray Tanner arrived in the late 90s, Clemson largely dominated the diamond (Yes, outside of a mid-70s run by some very strong Gamecock squads).  Then after Tanners first couple of seasons were under his belt, he proceeded to rocket his program to new heights and has landed 2 national championships.  USC is among the national elite and is both feared and everyone.  Our stadium is a baseball palace and going to a game at “The Ray” is awesome. 
Then came 2012 and our “rough” start.  For those who understand baseball, a year like this was going to happen.  It was just a matter of numbers and odds, and it shouldn’t be surprising or a big deal.  For the first time in a while, the bounces don’t seem to be going our way and we are losing most of the tight 1-run games.  The annual “reloading” may just honestly be a rebuilding.  That could all still be true, but we end up with a postseason of great things. 
If you’re one of the fans who lives in fear of your own shadow, I get it based on our history.  I really do and I was one of those fans myself for a long time.  Just save it for football and hoops moving forward.  How can everyone else in the country love, fear or respect this program, but we have a sizeable % of the fan base that can’t just get behind them and enjoy the ride? 
I will give you a clue that will let you know you’re one of these “fans.”  If your reaction to this is, “who the heck are you to tell me what kind of fan I need to be,” then congratulations you’re Exhibit A and need to go soak your head.  Grow up and enjoy this baseball program!  Trust In Tanner! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

THE CRANKSHAFT GAZETTE: Top Ten signs Carolina hired the right basketball coach!



10.    Ron Morris wanted someone else.
9.      His first name is Frank and last name starts with an M. 
8.      Tommy Moody reminded everyone how good Kentucky and Florida are.  
7.      Corey Miller, Rick Sanford and Teddy Heffner all had to stop bashing Carolina for an entire week! 
6.      Martin’s 1st local radio appearance?  Jay Phillips on 107.5 the Game. 
5.      Brad Brownell immediately embraced his return to total anonymity 
4.      Item 1 on Martin’s to do list? Buying a Thesaurus for Andy Demetra. 
3.      Item 2?  Telling Bruce Ellington he doesn’t care if he plays or not, like Gene Hackman did Jimmy in Hoosiers. 
2.      He immediately hired the Cockabooster as a boiled peanuts and grits consultant. 
1.      He gave his Brylcreem account to Crazy Joe at the Carolina Barber Shop in 5 points.    

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

MOO U News: Dabo Swinney promises to “out-crazy” Frank Martin. Martin says bring it on!




Clemson’s Athletic Department was initially concerned when South Carolina hired Frank Martin as its basketball coach.  After all, Martin brings a hard and wild edge to the court that the Tiger’s coach and anal-retentive librarian Brad Brownell just can’t match.  Stepping up to assure Tiger boosters that they have nothing to worry about was football coach Dabo Swinney. 
Swinney, who is known for wearing ladies’ underwear on his head at church and riding broomsticks as if they were horses on the sidelines, says he will do whatever it takes to make sure Clemson remains a national laughing stock.  “Yeah, old Brad’s a nice guy but you won’t see him sticking forks into light sockets or bathing in 1000 Island dressing.  That’s what I am here for.” 
When told of Swinney’s throwing down the gauntlet, apparently Martin cackled loudly and started eating individual bricks off the side of his house.  “There is a new head nut in town and this one’s got 8 layers of crazy.” Martin then proceeded to light a zippo and hold the flame to his palm while reciting nursery rhymes. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Baseball team slowly finding its identity

You could feel the almost giddy naysayers crawling up out of the ooze on Sunday afternoon, ready to pounce on Ray Tanner.  The suddenly "human" Gamecocks had given away a 4-0 lead at Vanderbilt and couldn’t get Matt Price a run no matter how long he was on the mound.  It appeared that Carolina was headed toward another weekend loss and a 2-7 start in the SEC.  USC had lost most of the close games this year that had broken our way in other campaigns.  Even “optimistic” Garnet and Black backers were privately whispering that Sunday had the feel of a “must-win” contest and it was not looking good .
Then Christian Walker stepped up as he has done many times before.  After he blasted the winning home run clear out of Nashville to give the Gamecocks the weekend series win, all of the “negative nancys” were put on notice that the YardCocks aren’t ready to give up on 2012 anytime soon. 
Coach Tanner was almost prophetic when he talked preseason about how five 1-run games is the difference between 40-20 and 35-25.  Some may have yawned through that sentiment but look at where we are. He was dead-on right.  Carolina is curently 20-8 and 3-6 in the conference.  More importantly, we are 0-3 in 1-run SEC games so far, while we went 6-3 in conference 1-run games in 2011. 
The good news is that the “light” part of our schedule now sits in front of us.  We have three home weekends sandwiched around a trip to Auburn, the only one of the upcoming opponents ranked this week.  Even if we go just 8-4 in those games and 4-1 in the midweek games, that would position Carolina 32-13 and over .500 in the conference.  Plus our younger players will have gotten plenty of “seasoning.”  As The Cockabooster has been saying all along, for this team it is much more important to find chemistry and our "sea legs" than in some years. 
Granted, that probably wouldn't give us much hope at a national seed, but I do think we still will land a regional at “The Ray.”  And anyone who thinks that Tallahassee, Chapel Hill, Coral Gables or Raleigh wants to see the Gamecocks coming to town for a Super Regional is crazy, history or no history. 
Do we wish we had picked off a game in Lexington and maybe that finale against the lizards?  Sure we do.  But we’ve gotten those close bounces ourselves many times in the past and that’s baseball.  We’ll be there when it counts.  Trust In Tanner!