Monday, October 28, 2013

CLAWS vs. PAWS - Week 9 Scoreboard

It was a low scoring affair this week.  Both the COCK-A-BOOSTER and THE TIGERSWAG earned 3 points for picking USC to win the game in Missouri.  However USC did not cover (as both thought they would).  In the Clemson game, both picked Clemson to cover easily.  The spread was -13 in favor of Clemson.  Clemson won by it was a push.  No points for either team.

This weeks games...

Friday, October 25, 2013

CLAWS vs. PAWS - Week 9

 Weekend of October 26, 2013


South Carolina will be making their inaugural trip to Columbia, MO this week, and it has city officials from both Columbias on edge. The officials from Columbia, MO are worried the South Carolina fans, whose only familiarity with Missouri stems from weekends at Branson, may show up at the stadium in RV's demanding concerts by the Oak Ridge Boys & the Gatlin Brothers. And when they realize the only show in town will be headlined by the Ole Ball Coach, well, officials are worried how they might react.

On the other hand, Columbia, SC city officials will be traveling with the Gamecocks to Columbia, SC to try and solve two concerns. First, in an effort to curb violence in Five Points, city officials will be testing their new Five Points security measures on the Gamecock players since it will prepare them for future encounters. And secondly, those same officers can monitor the players to ensure they don't attempt to go rogue and defect from Columbia, SC to Columbia, MO.

What's ironic is that the tighter city officials monitor the football players, the worse they play. If the players realize there's no chance for defection, it may crush their morale leading to a lackluster performance (see last week, Tennessee). Conversely, if the South Carolina players think they have a shot at defecting from Columbia, SC to Columbia, MO, then they may play without the fear of returning home to Columbia, SC.

Think of it like Clowney's career: they less he's covered, the better he plays.

I like the city officials from Columbia, SC to be so enamored with Columbia, MO that they forget about the Gamecock players, allowing they to run wild...on Missouri...

Dylan Thompson (Matt Saracen from Dillon High) plays like he did against Clemson and Matty Mauk (Mox from West Canaan High) cools off bit.

Friday Night Lights 27
Varsity Blues 20


We went with the opening line in this game, where Carolina was favored by 5 and that was right.  Obviously that number has corrected itself and Mizzou is actually now favored by 2 or 3 depending on where you look.
The Gamecocks have one more road game (we will have been away in 5 of our first 8 when this is done) before closing the season with four games in Columbia.  This is a game that the entire world has decided will be a Tiger romp.  They may be right if Carolina plays like they did in Knoxville.  But honestly that trip to UT was vintage Connor Shaw on the road.  When things get really tough, he usually has an injury and plays bad.  So he’ll step aside again and let the maverick Dylan Thompson take the reins. 
I sense that Carolina has too much going against it to win, and Mizzou feels like this will be the game that certifies that they are in control of the East now.  Who could argue with them if they do win?  So with the entire planet guaranteeing things are going that way, I will jump on the minority bandwagon.  I need the points in this little contest.        

South Carolina30
Mizzou 23



There's only one thing longer than Dabo's list of anecdotes: Maryland's injury list. Unfortunately for Clemson, that list comes one week too late. Last week, Florida State reminded Clemson why they haven't won a National Championship in 30+ years as they dominated all three phases of the game. And to be honest, Clemson didn't look that great in the previous week's win over Boston College.

This week, Clemson will look to avenge those two weeks as they take on a Maryland team that started strong, but has since given way to last year's squad as injuries have mounted.

How this game goes will lie solely on Clemson's shoulders as they should be able to do to Maryland as they wish. The question will be whether there is a hangover effect from last week or whether Clemson uses the beat down as motivation.

Look for the Clemson defense to set the pace early as the Clemson offense tries to rekindle the Syracuse magic. Also, look for Clemson to force the issue in the run game in an effort to balance themselves out.

To me, the only concern here is that the line is only 13. In this case, I feel better betting against Maryland than I do picking for Clemson. Regardless, Clemson wins by 3 scores.

Clemson 41
Maryland 16


If the ACC had more than 1 team, you would actually circle this game as a “trap situation” for the Overrated Dabos.  But the rest of that pathetic conference is just putrid so the Tigers will start looking good in their own minds again.  They don’t play anyone else until they come to Columbia, and old Tajhie-poo needs to pad those stats against the nobodies to begin a new Heisman campaign.  Sammy will put down the herbs to make sure everyone knows he is still on the team as well. 

Maryland has no defense as exhibited against the Noles earlier this season.  Of course, Clemson’s defense is non-existant also so maybe that is kind of a wash.  

The difference will show itself on offense.  Those old Turtles start quickly at home, so they will do some crawling early and maybe even get a small lead.  But the kittens know they have to do some big scoring and rout the College Park Shells to convince the upstate masses everything is still okay.  It will get ugly late.   

Clemson 56
Maryland 17




Monday, October 21, 2013

CLAWS vs. PAWS - Week 8 Scoreboard

Not a good week for the Gamecocks or for the Tigers.  The Gamecocks made error after error and gave Tennessee the chance to win the game on a last second field goal - which they made.  Clemson looked dominate getting on the bus, touching Howard's Rock, and running down the hill, but after that they went AWOL. 

The Cock-A-Booster and The TigerSwag both suffered double-defeats in the Claws vs. Paws contest.  Both picked USC to win and cover the spread.  Both picked Clemson to pull off the upset vs. FSU.  As a result, both gave up safeties (2 points in each game) to the other person.  So we add four points to both sides and look to a rebound week coming up!

This weeks games... (a surprising opening line in the MIZZOU-USC game!?)

MOO U News: Chad Morris admits he left most of the offense at his house

Chad Morris explains how he left the offense on the counter at home.
Clemson Offensive Coordinator Chad Morris was running late to Death Valley on Saturday, and as a result left 77.5% of the Clemson offense at home.  “Yeah, I went back to grab my keys and put most of the offense down on the table by the back door.  Walked out without it and you saw what happened.”

Clemson ended up only scoring seven meaningful points against Florida State in a 51-14 butt-kicking.  “When you only use 22 percent of your playbook that is going to happen,” said Morris who promised to save the offense on a thumb drive moving forward.  “Oh, we’ll be ready for Maryland.  I’ll never leave home without it again.  I swear I would lose my head sometimes if it wasn’t hooked to my body!” 

Morris says this isn’t the only time he left an important item at his house before a game.  “Before the trip to Raleigh I forgot to grab the valium we give Dabo every week.  I left it right there on the kitchen table.  Damn near cost us that game but we were able to find a straight-jacket.” 


FOLLOW UP:  To prevent this from happening in the near future, Dabo has purchased Coach Morris a TILE...and the TILE app for his iPhone to make sure the offense and Coach Morris are never separated again! 

MOO U News: Kirk Herbstreit to Dabo: “I want to see other people”

Short-Lived Romance Ends as Clemson Runs Down the Hill!
A tearful Kirk Herbstreit ended a brief but fierce love affair with Clemson’s Dabo Swinney on Saturday night, saying it was time for them to start seeing other people.  After watching his beloved Clemson Tigers humiliate themselves against FSU, the ABC/ESPN analyst said it was time for the two to part ways.  “Yes, Dabo and Clemson will always be special to me, but the heart wants what the heart wants.  I now love Jimbo Fisher.  It’s not you Dabo.  It’s me.” 

Reports from the locker room/hot tub indicate that Swinney was visibly angry about being replaced as Herbie’s main crush.  “He said he loved me.  He promised to always be with me,” said an emotionally-wrecked Dabo who says he now must pick up the pieces of his shattered love life.  “I made a moron of myself in front of the entire nation so many times to get his attention and now this?  Well to heck with him.  I like Chris Fowler better anyway.” 

Swinney said he was just too upset to say anything else.  The car salesman in the ugly sweatshirts says Herbstreit will regret dumping him and end up listening to lots of 80s rock ballads.  “Yeah, old Herbie will end up listening to ‘Don’t know what you got’ by Cinderella and ‘I remember you’ by Skid Row when this is done.  He’ll come crawling back, don’t you worry.”  

Kirk's New Man-Crush

MOO U News: Please still love me and look at me! (A personal letter to Clemson Fans from Dabo Swinney)

For all you Clemson fans...this is a fake story!..Don't take it too serious!

Dear Clemson Faithful,

Look, I know I screwed up Tiger fans.  I know we just metaphorically crapped our pants on national television.  I know you’re hurting, angry as heck and want my head on a pike.  But please, please, please don’t stop paying attention to me.  I’ll do whatever it takes.  No matter how stupid I look to the rest of the nation, I have always been able to make you guys drink the kool-aid.  I need that naivety and blind faith more than ever.  Without it, I don’t know if I can make it.
When I was selling cars and sleeping with my Mother, I never dreamed I could have fooled so many of you into believing my nonsense.  It has been my honor to keep shoveling fresh garbage each week to keep you in denial.  Don’t give up on that now.  Where else could I humiliate myself and actually create a national running joke called “pulling a Clemson” while still keeping the loyalty of the school’s fans? Okay, maybe at Georgia but not like it is here. 

Look, you need some space and time to go think about things.  I get that.  Just hang on to how good it felt when I used smoke and mirrors to get by a couple of SEC teams that had no interest in the games we played.  Yes, Tiger fans, we beat LSU and Georgia.  Remember that?  Hang on to that feeling.  Sure it wasn’t real but are any of us actually real?  SEE, what did that last sentence even mean?  I told you I can still come up with whatever dumb lies and spin I need to keep you distracted.  Whoops, not distracted, what I meant was “happy” of course.

What’s that?  Will Tajh win the Heisman?  Of course he will.  You can trust old Dabo.  Florida State was a bunch of steroid using communist felons.  If it weren’t for George W. Bush we would have won.  So just relax.  They didn’t beat us Tiger Nation.  We were only 38 points from being unbeaten and you know that.  And again, don’t forget….we beat LSU.  Just hang on to that when you worry about what happened last night.  We can be that happy again, I promise.  Just don’t give up on us okay?  Your constant love and attention is what gets me through the days. 

Oh, will we beat South Carolina?  Don’t we always?  What do you mean we lost 4 in a row to them and play in Columbia?  That is Gamecock propaganda from Lou Holtz and Jesse Palmer.  No, just remember my staged rant  about USC last year.  Go Google that and you’ll feel better.  Don’t worry about the results on the field.  Just keep listening to old Dabo and you’ll never have to worry about anything. 

Oh, man I am begging here a bit but that’s okay.  I’ll get down on my knees if you need it.  Just keep on buying the crap I am selling.  All in, One Tiger, Paws United or whatever the Doo-Doo Du Jour is that I am peddling.  Just don’t abandon me! 

Love me, believe in me and need me Clemson fans.  Don’t go hire a real football coach.  I have nowhere else to go.  

With Love,


Friday, October 18, 2013

CLAWS vs. PAWS - Week 8

 Weekend of October 19, 2013


South Carolina's brutal SEC schedule continues as they travel to Knoxville to take on their 4th straight SEC opponent without a conference win.  Right now, UNC, Vandy, Kentucky, & Arkansas are a combine 0-12 in conference play.  Add in Tennessee's current SEC record and the winless streak reaches 14.

But you can't judge a school by it's in-conference record only, can you?  These teams has to have beaten good teams out of conference, right?


UNC is 1-5 with a 24 point home loss to East Carolina
Georgia lost at Clemson and by 2 scores to SEC newcomer Missouri
Vanderbilt needed two 4th quarter scores to break free of a UMass team with 2 wins in their last 21 games (at least it's better than a 21 game span in USC's past)
UCF, arguably USC's best win, needed two TD's in the last 2 minutes to beat a 1-win Memphis team (that's averaging 2-3 wins per year)
Kentucky is 1-5 with a double digit loss to Western Kentucky
Arkansas has been "karma'd" and has lost 4 straight games, including one to Rutgers
Tennessee lost to Oregon by 45

But don't let that fool you because this South Carolina team is battle tested and can play with any team in the country, at least that's what the faithful are saying.  Unfortunately, we can't prove it.  And we will have to wait at least another week to find out if it's true as Tennessee won't tell us much.

South Carolina doesn't start as fast as last week, but they kick into high gear towards the end of the half and cruise to another victory over the mighty SEC East.

South Carolina 37

Tennessee 20


Carolina fans justifiably are breathing a little easier this week.  To be frank, all of us were beginning to wonder if we had another gear other than mediocre and sluggish.  Now we know that we have it in us to play a game that is crisp and clean like a machine.
Which takes us to Rocky Top.  Tennessee has morphed into “Moral Victory U” of late after once being a national power.  Their recent loss to Georgia is being hailed as the sign of great things to come.  Meanwhile, we know that our loss to Georgia was embarrassing because they are SO overrated.    Only Clemson would ever celebrate a win over them at this point, much less a loss.  

I have seen enough football to recognize a team’s “desperate” hail mary effort game, and I am betting that is what we witnessed when the Vols nearly “upset” the Dawgs.  UT will come out excited and hot just like Central Florida and Arkansas did.  Maybe even build an early lead.  But over time, the Gamecocks’ depth and balance will win out and we will pull away late setting up a big trip to Mizzou.  

South Carolina 26
Tennessee 17



The game the ACC has been waiting for is finally here, in spite of a near hiccup by Clemson last week against Boston College.

The world won't be disappointed as Clemson and Florida State put on a show.  Boyd, Watkins, and the random tight end get it going for Clemson while Winston proves his mettle as he and their big receivers do damage against Clemson's secondary.

Florida State finds a rhythm early, but Clemson is never more than a score behind.  Through defensive play, Clemson eventually pulls even, only to slowly build a 4-7 point lead.  As the game ends, Florida State has the ball with a chance to win, but the Clemson D stands tall.

There's a reason FSU hasn't won in Death Valley since 2001.  In fact, Vanderbily & Ole Miss have won more frequently at South Carolina than FSU has won at Clemson.

The streak continues!

Clemson 34

Florida State 30


The ACC, Kirk Herbstreit and the rest of the high schools in the “Aunt Cindy Conference” can finally breathe a bit and stop wetting themselves this week.  Yes, everyone is going to tune in to watch an ACC vs. ACC contest for the first time in decades. 

All signs point to a Florida State win but I ain’t picking it that way.  Dabo the crazy is out bouncing around like a yipping puppy and saying stupid things even by his standards.  Clemson is making this some kind of biblical event that will end in the Tigers being given Moses’ staff to lead the ACC out of bondage from the SEC’s decade of dominance.  This has a buildup and feel to it similar to their hyping the Orange Bowl against West Virginia.  

I think Lee Corso will even pick the Tigers, which also would indicate a “Seminole Win” if you don’t mind my butchering a really nice John Anderson song title.  But far be it from me to jinx the Noles by picking them (check my Arkansas-Carolina pick for evidence).  So instead I will say the Klimpletons have their big night, Herbie is crying like a girl at the prom in excitement , and Brent Musberger will even find a Tiger Cheerleader or two at the Esso Club to celebrate with.  (Hopefully, he will pick the ones that remembered to shave their mustaches).   J/K with you my Tiger friends.  I know that none of them shave.   

Clemson 34
Florida State 30




Monday, October 14, 2013

CLAWS vs. PAWS - Week 7 Scoreboard

WOW, the TigerSwag made a huge comeback this past weekend.  He successfully picked both winners against the spread in the two Palmetto State games.  This earned him 20 points!  He then picked up another two points on a saftey (Cock-A-Booster total miss on USC/Arky game).  The Cock-A-Booster, on the other hand, enjoyed his team's performance (and Clemson somewhat struggling) but as a result his score in our little contest suffered greatly!  He picked USC to lose to Arkansas - WRONG!  Therefore he only received 3 points for the weekend thanks to Clemson's win.  Clemson not covering the spread prevented him from not picking up a valuable 7 points.  So, now the Cock-A-Booster trails by 9 points after leading by 10 for the entire month of September!  Interesting battle as we head down the backstretch of the season.

Well, let's get ready for this weeks games...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Cockabooster insists it will not be shut down!

Concerns that the Cockabooster would be furloughed due to the Federal Government shutdown were denied vehemently by Cockabooster Junior Vice-President and Head of Paper Stacking Ted Felder.  

Felder said it was deep-seated jealousy and rampant innuendo spouted from his rival site, The TigerSwag, that caused the concern.  “No, we are not going to be affected by what is happening in Washington,” said Felder, who hastily threw together a press conference to address the issue.  “We plan to be right here every week giving our readers the coverage of Gamecock sports that they have come to expect: silly and sarcastic.”  

Ted also addressed the involvement of the Cockabooster’s sister site in Orange.  “Willy Powell is like my little brother.  He looks up to me in awe and admiration, yet he also has a continual grudge.  I think it’s primarily due to my ability to put stacks of coins on my elbow and catch them in my hand.  That and my elegant use of spam in cooking are just too much for him to handle.”  

Felder promises that there will be no interruption. “I made a pledge to provide my readers the least substantive and most ridiculous perspective on all things Carolina.  And if Ron Morris can do it, so will I.  You have my word.”

CLAWS vs. PAWS - Week 7

Weekend of October 12, 2013


Since USC's struggles over Kentucky...and UCF...and Vanderbilt, all Gamecock fans are talking about is this upcoming three game road trip against Arkansas, Tennessee, and Missouri.  About how this three game stretch will define their season and dictate where they go bowling.  Never mind the three schools are a combined 1-4 in conference (thank God for Vandy!).

But one thing that hasn't been discussed is how USC seems to struggle in Fedville, which is surprising because many people consider it to be the Columbia's cute little sister (you know, the one that is prettier, more petit, and much safer...).  Since USC joined the SEC, they are just 2-8 at Arkansas with an average margin of defeat of nearly 17 points.

But those teams didn't have Steve Spurrier and Jadeveon Clowney and Connor Shaw.  Actually they did have those guys in 2011, and they lost by 16.  And Clowney didn't show up in the box score...

And while history may not be on USC's side, Karma is - thanks to Mrs. Jen Bielema.  Since her ill-fated taunting of Wisconsin, Arkansas is winless.  In two of those losses, they've also failed to cover the spread. 

Unfortunately for Arkansas, the winless streak continues, and they add one more loss against the spread.  The USC offense will be good for 30 points, and the Arkansas offense won't reach 20.

In fact, now that Jadeveon Clowney is playing, this game could be a blowout of epic proportions.  Someone raise them old Cumberland boys from the dead because their 222 point record could be in jeopardy.

Clowney 223
Arkansas 0


What has been going on in the Carolina locker room has finally been revealed a bit this week, and how the team will react to it is a mystery wrapped in a puzzle stuffed inside an enigma.  I honestly believe that the Gamecocks will not stay as they have been.  They will either retreat back into an 8-4 type of season or we’ll see a much higher level of play from the defense because for the first time they’re on the same page. 

I wish I could be optimistic that the latter was the case, but I fear it is the former.  Not to mention that we never play well out in Pig-ville.  Now I will grant you that if we do win this game, and we look better on defense, then no question we are a tough out the rest of the way.  But I always pick what I actually think is going to happen and not what I want to happen. 

Add in that Connor Shaw is not exactly Joe Montana on the road and it all points to a loss.  We will score enough to keep things close and we will certainly have chances to win.  But I see the hoggies  controlling the second half on the line of scrimmage and wearing us down.    

Arkansas 28
South Carolina 23



For some reason, Clemson struggles with Boston College.  Not sure if it is the style of play, size of the lineman, or commitment to the run, but for whatever reason, Clemson never seems to get into a solid offensive or defensive rhythm. 

And it could very easily happen this weekend.  What we say against Syracuse will not translate to BC.  Their teams are different, their philosophies are different, and their secondary is different.  Which all adds up to a game that is closer than the odds makers think.  Will Clemson lose?  No, but the 24.5 is too many points to give up and feel comfortable covering.

For one, Boston College will end the 4-game streak of the defense holding opponents to 14 points or less.  Look for BC to approach the 20 point mark through the use of sustained drives with an occasional big play.

For Clemson, Tajh Boyd will still do his thing and the offense will approach the 40 point mark, but I just can't see them covering the 24.5 point spread.

Clemson 41
Boston College 20


In a game that only folks in Iva and Six Mile care about (and Kirk Herbstreit), Clemson will beat up another high school team from the Aunt Cindy Conference on Saturday. 

Tajh will get to talk about himself in the third person, Sammy will be able to play high and pad some stats, and Dabbles will continue to pretend the headset he wears is actually hooked up to someone in the press box.

Tiggers romp in a so-what special. 
Clemson 59
Boston College 27