Category Archives: Tommy Bowden: Male Model

Thursday morning buffet

The chafing dishes are steaming and ready to go…

  • Maybe Tommy Bowden can explain why he thinks it’s necessary to chew over his departure from Clemmins in public now, because I can’t think of a single good reason for it.
  • Elkon upbraids Mark Bradley’s “best coaches” post here.  What I keep wondering when I see these lists – if Brian Kelly is as good a head coach as many people think he is, why didn’t Tennessee take a serious look at him?
  • Jerry is right about this.  If Tyrik Rollison is the best quarterback Chizik’s got, he’d be foolish not to play him, given what the rest of the roster of QBs Auburn’s got to deploy looks like.  Will there be some short term liabilities?  Sure, but it’s not as if the Tigers are a likely bet to be playing in Atlanta this year anyway.
  • The shocking part of this is not that it happened, but how clumsy the high school appears to be about how it went about its business.
  • Rest assured, if there’s one website I won’t ever link to, it’s this one.


Filed under Academics? Academics., College Football, Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit, Tim Tebow: Rock Star, Tommy Bowden: Male Model

Writing checks with your mouth that your butt can’t cash.

There’s something eerily reminiscent about this quote from Tommy Bowden:

Axed Clemson coach Tommy Bowden sealed his own fate five months before the season even started.

In an interview last spring, Bowden told me — as he did others — that “on paper, since I’ve been at Clemson, this [season] is my best opportunity” to win the school’s first ACC title since 1991.

What is it?… I can’t quite put my finger on it… oh, yeah.

Summer 2000: Donnan, speaking at a Bulldog Touchdown Club Meeting, makes the most infamous statement of his career: “I’ve been waiting 55 years to be the head coach of a football team that has this much potential, and I guarantee you that we’re going to get it done.”


UPDATE: Why in God’s name would Rich Rodriguez’ agent feel the need to deny that his client has any interest in the Clemmins job?


Filed under Tommy Bowden: Male Model

Brother, can you spare a Bowden?

It’s being reported that another Bowden is out of a coaching job.

Tommy Bowden, midway through his 10th season as the head coach of the Clemson University football team, has been fired.

Assistant head coach Dabo Swinney will take over the team for the remainder of the team’s season.

At least Mama Bowden won’t have to agonize over the Clemmins-FSU game this year.

And one more thought:  how does Vanderbilt, of all places, handle the distraction of in season speculation about another school’s head coaching search that will have Bobby Johnson as a likely target?


UPDATE: It’s good to know that Bowden leaves behind one huge fan in the wake of his firing.

ESPN reported that the team was informed of Bowden’s firing this morning, and quoted quarterback Cullen Harper as saying the dismissal was “deserved.” Harper was demoted from starting quarterback this weekend.

“It’s what he deserved,” Harper, who was benched after the Tigers’ loss to Wake Forest loss and replaced by highly regarded sophomore Willy Korn, told ESPN…


Filed under It's Just Bidness, Tommy Bowden: Male Model

Recruiting karma can be a bitch, too.

This is what happens when you go the extra mile for seventeen year old high school seniors that you’ve just gotta have in your program.

Clemson has two talented veteran tailbacks in James Davis and C.J. Spiller, yet the Tigers’ first carry of the season went to true freshman Jamie Harper, a recruiting promise by coach Tommy Bowden. Alabama linebacker Cory Reamer stripped Harper, the Tide recovered at the Clemson 31 and converted the fumble into three points. “If he’s here for three years, that’s a thousand plays a year,” Bowden said. “If he’s here for 3,000 plays and I offer him one, that’s a pretty good tradeoff.”

Even if it contributes to blowing a shot at a MNC run, I guess…  and Tommy’s presuming he’ll be there for those next 3,000 plays.


UPDATE: The OBC comments. Why am I not surprised?


Filed under Recruiting, Tommy Bowden: Male Model

Ten questions

… for which I don’t have any simple answers.

  • If Kirk Herbstreit had been just a leetle more persuasive a couple of years ago such that Michigan had played Ohio State for the MNC, would Urban Meyer be perceived as a genius today?
  • In the Big XII, does the quarterback make the defense, or does the defense make the quarterback?
  • What’s the over/under on the number of years in a row that pundits will ask if this is the year Tommy Bowden gets Clemson over the hump in the ACC?
  • If it’s a given that a certain defense will improve in 2008 because it can’t be any worse than it was in 2007, why isn’t it a given that a certain offense will decline in 2008 because it was so good in 2007?
  • Exactly what has Ron Prince accomplished to justify a contract extension?
  • Do Auburn offensive linemen get bonus points for being as big a bunch of assholes with their own teammates as they do with other schools?
  • In the wake of Sturdivant’s injury, how many Dawg fans are going to go out and buy Michael Lewis’ The Blind Side?
  • How many voters in the Coaches Poll put in even one quarter of the effort Kyle King does in assembling his Blog Poll ballot?
  • Why do we love funky names lists so much?
  • Is New Mexico State the place where overrated defensive coordinators’ reputations go to die?

Just asking…


BONUS QUESTION: This isn’t mine, but it’s so good I want to add it to the list.  Jody asks about preseason poll decisions:

…if you bump a team down because they have a difficult schedule, do you then not drop them when they lose?  I mean, if you dropped them preseason because you expect them to lose, then when they fulfill your expectations you shouldn’t penalize them again, correct?


Filed under College Football, ESPN Is The Devil, Media Punditry/Foibles, The Blogosphere, Tommy Bowden: Male Model

Win some, lose some.

Isn’t this the textbook definition of football mediocrity?

Through nine years… Bowden hasn’t had a losing season at Clemson, but he hasn’t posted a top-10 finish or an ACC title, either.


Filed under Tommy Bowden: Male Model

More tales told on the recruiting trail

From Carter Strickland’s piece on Georgia’s recruiting for the ’09 class, there’s this little comparison:

… Georgia has to hedge its bets when it comes to recruiting between 20 and 25 players.

“It’s a catch 22,” Garner said.

Georgia wants those players, may even need those players, but it can only offer so many scholarships or it might find itself in a pinch like Clemson. Clemson oversigned its class and was forced to not renew Atlanta native Ray Ray McElrathbey’s scholarship. (Scholarships are given on a year-by-year basis.)

Bulldogs coach Mark Richt has always said he once a player signs at Georgia, that player’s scholarship is good for all four or five years. So Richt and Georgia do not want to get themselves into a situation where they would oversign.

What’s the over under on how many current high school senior football recruits will hear the name “Ray Ray” in the next ten months?


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, Tommy Bowden: Male Model

Don’t cry for me, Argentina.

Tony Barnhart’s post yesterday on Ray Ray McElrathbey’s situation is a doozy. Entitling his piece “No tears for Ray Ray”, Barnhart asserts that coaches sometimes have to make tough decisions for the good of the program and this is such a case.

That’s fine, as far as it goes. But here’s what gets me. Barnhart claims that “… Bowden is not going to say anything publicly because he doesn’t want to embarrass the kid. So he’ll take the heat.”

Except that’s said after printing this:

The fact is that McElrathbey has been known to have issues with the coaching staff and was less than consistent when it came to attending team functions. The time had come for a change in the relationship for the good of the entire team…

Pardon me if I can’t find anything complimentary in that passage. Unless Barnhart made that up out of thin air, that info had to come from the Clemson staff. But no one is quoted directly. So, Bowden can still claim he hasn’t made a disparaging public comment – he’s just using surrogates in the press to make his point.

All of which is pretty weaselly. Which is the real problem I have with father and son in this oversigning mess.

Yes, kids get run off programs all of the time. Yes, the athletic scholarship is renewable on a year to year basis. And, yes, both of these student athletes will obtain college degrees thanks to being on athletic scholarships.

All of which misses what’s really wrong here. To the extent that oversigning occurred, that the absence of these kids from their respective programs in 2008 was part of the math factored into making offers that led to oversigning and, most importantly, that these kids weren’t told before offers were extended to others that they had no future with their programs is both dishonest and indefensible.

The question that Barnhart and others should ask is what would the status of these two kids likely be right now if FSU and Clemson hadn’t oversigned their most recent classes. Somehow I doubt we’d be having this discourse right now. And those two would be puking their guts out in mat drills this morning. All for the good of their programs…


Filed under It's Just Bidness, Tommy Bowden: Male Model

Ray Ray doesn’t know how good he’s got it.

Finally, the Clemmins spin machine gets some help from the press on the Ray Ray McElrathbey affair. From The Charleston Post and Courier’s Gene Sapakoff comes this:

… It’s possible the coaching staff is doing McElrathbey a favor by not saying why he no longer is wanted as a football player.

It’s definitely not a stretch to say a non-professional football prospect in charge of a young teen might be better off moving on to the college-degreed work force or graduate work without having to worry about a relatively frivolous pursuit.

Sure, it’s possible. It’s also possible that monkeys could come flying out of my butt any minute now.

Sapakoff’s got proof that this move, while clumsily executed, was well-intentioned. Sure, Tommy gets the benefit “… of another football scholarship, which might come in handy some Saturday down the line against Virginia Tech” as a byproduct of his noble gesture, but if he were really trying to be an SOB about things, Sapakoff argues, “there are players he could have run off without having to answer so many questions.” There you go!

Keep in mind it’s not like Tommy has answered any questions about Ray Ray’s fate in the first place. It’s just that he could have ignored fewer questions if he’d canned a lower profile player. So he must have McElrathbey’s best interests at heart. Or something like that.

I’m a little surprised that Spurrier hasn’t weighed in on this yet. Normally he loves to do a little knife twisting. Of course, the way these guys keep sticking their feet in their mouths, maybe it’s better to sit back and watch with a smirk on his face.

1 Comment

Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, Tommy Bowden: Male Model

“It’s your job to ask the question, it’s mine to say no.”

Tommy Bowden opens up to the media about Ray Ray McElrathbey.

The powers that be at Clemmins have to be eagerly awaiting the next spin in the news cycle. Can’t they have the arrest of another Alabama player, or something?


UPDATE:  It’s a family affaaiiir, it’s a family affair


Filed under Tommy Bowden: Male Model