I can't believe this is it. Here we are, on Christmas Day, with the last edition of They Are Who We Thought They Were. It seems like just yesterday I was telling you all about the cheerleaders of Miami, the nightlife in Louisville, and how Erin Andrews has been on more athletes than Icy Hot. Now, Kentucky is about to play their final game of the season, and, with that, I will ride the TAWWTTW horse off into the sunset. Thanks for putting up with me on Fridays and I hope I made your football previewing experience enjoyable this season. So, now, without further ado, (*wipes tears away*) for the last time, I present to you the Clemson Tigers. They Are Who We Thought They Were. Merry Christmas!
Clemson University is located in upstate South Carolina in Pickens County, along the shores of Lake Hartwell. Clemson is the 22nd ranked university according to the U.S. News. Last year, they were ranked 38th. How did they make such a jump in one year? Well, they did what Tigers do - they cheated. Clemson would hire Charles Manson as university president as long as they were a Top 20 university.
-- Horace Grant - A former NBA journeyman and four-time champion with the Bulls and Lakers. Grant is most famous for his trademark wraparound protective eyeglasses and his Halftime Report. But, mostly just the Halftime Report. Believe it or not, he can actually be credited for Kentucky's football success. Without Horace Grant, there is no TAWWTTW. Without TAWWTTW, the football team can't win. Think about it.
-- William Perry - William "Refrigerator" Perry is best known for his years as a defensive lineman for the Chicago Bears in the late 80s and early 90s. In reference to his size, Perry was given the nickname "The Fridge." Size is also the reason why I'm sometimes called "Pringles Can."
-- Bobby Johnson - Johnson is a former wide receiver and cornerback at Clemson and the current head football coach at Vanderbilt. Wait a sec, he played receiver and corner? That's a lot of running. I guess my ex-girlfriend isn't the only one that went both ways in college.
-- Aaron Buerge - Hopefully, like me, you've never heard of him. But according to BTI, he was the main character of The Bachelor Season 2. Picture Jesse Palmer, but with a longer necktie and more football knowledge. I take that back, don't picture him at all. He is irrelevant, like, Jesse Palmer.
-- Robert H. Brooks - The Creator, as he is known in man-religion. While God gave us life, Brooks gave us the reason for living. Oh yes, Brooks is the founder of the Hooters restaurant chain. I think I speak on behalf of men everywhere when I say, Mr. Brooks, thank you and we are forever in debt to you. You are solely responsible for the sexual harassment boom of the 90s, and, my future wife and children. (Those are loosely related)
Cheerleader Scouting Report
I'ma lookin' and I'ma likin'
-- Orange and Purple - When you see the colors orange and purple together, you immediately think Gay Pride meeting at Lane Kiffin's house. Coincidentally, the two hues are also the same colors for Clemson football. BUT, did you know the University of Clemson's actual colors are red and blue? Of course you didn't. Nor do you care.
-- The Tiger Mascot - There are many philosophies behind the nicknaming of Clemson's mascot. Their website claims the Tiger came from Auburn with former football coach Walter Riggs in 1896. That's wrong. Clemson's mascot is the Tiger because of their affiliation with Nike and their numerous infidelities. The Tiger has been known to sleep with strippers, aspiring actresses, blackjack dealers, Perkins waitresses, and Jack Nicklaus. Since the game is on a Sunday, the Tigers will most likely wear red shirts and hug old Asian women after they win.
-- Running Down "The Hill" - Before games at Memorial Stadium, Clemson football players sprint down a hill to the field. The tradition has been dubbed "the most exciting 25 seconds in college football." That's funny, I always thought "the most exciting 25 seconds in college football" would be the night Tim Tebow lost his promise ring.
-- Howard's Rock - Howard's Rock, named after legendary coach Frank Howard, was brought to Clemson from Death Valley, California. The rock is placed on a pedestal atop "The Hill" and is rubbed by Clemson players for good luck before every home game. Too bad they're playing in Nashville. They can just rub each other's rocks before the game.
-- "Tiger Rag" - "Tiger Rag" is the official Clemson fight song. It's also daring me to make another Tiger Woods joke but I won't do it. I'll let you all have fun with that one in the comments section.
Key Players to Watch
#28 C.J. Spiller, RB (1145 yards, 11 TDs, Good at football)
C.J. Spiller is one of the top all-around football players in the nation. He is ranked in the top 20 in 12 different statistical categories. That includes his NCAA record 7 career kick returns for touchdowns. He is also second in all-purpose yards among active players and he is the fifth player in ACC history to go for 3,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving. I could go on and on about Spiller's accomplishments, but I think you get the point. He is going to be a bitch to contain. Look at it this way - slow down Spiller, win the game. That's easier said than done. Spiller will be on a mission for redemption in his final game as a Tiger against the same team he faced in the same bowl game his freshman season. He is majoring in Sociology.
#6 Jacoby Ford, WR (53 catches, 735 yards, 5 TDs)
Like Spiller, Jacoby Ford is also out for redemption after losing in Nashville to Kentucky as a freshman. Also, like Spiller, you don't want to kick to Jacoby Ford. Ford has three career kick returns for touchdowns. He is majoring in Sociology.
#11 Kyle Parker, QB (2385 yards, 19 TDs, 12 INTs)
Kyle Parker is a first team All-American freshman by Baseball America. He batted .303 with 14 homers and 40 RBIs. I don't know how he is as a quarterback. I just know that if he tries to throw, Trevard Lindley is hungry. Watch yourself, Parker. He is majoring in Sociology.
#2 DeAndre McDaniel, S (8 INTs)
McDaniel is a first team All-American and he is second in the nation with 8 interceptions this season. Unfortunately for him, he'll be chasing running backs all day rather than breaking up deep passes. He is majoring in Sociology.
Final Word / Prediction
C.J. Spiller scares me. With Maxwell out for the Cats, C.J. Spiller really scares me. The rest of Clemson's team sucks. I think it's time for Micah Johnson to really shine, and up his draft stock in his final game as a Cat. And by shine, I mean rip Spiller's head off and you know what down his throat. Also, just as he did against Clemson in 2006, Johnson will rush for a touchdown. Remember that?
I'm going to say the offense runs all over Clemson for 204 yards. The defense struggles early, but, the seniors step up and make big plays when we need them. Kentucky wins this close battle on a late Randall Cobb filled drive.
Kentucky 27, Clemson 24
After the game, a teary eyed Rich Brooks is carried off the field by the team. He is then carried out of the stadium, across the bridge, down 2nd Avenue, and into the Wild Horse Saloon where Cats fans have been anxiously waiting. At the bar, Brooks removes his shirt, lays across the bar top, and introduces the $5 Rich Brooks Belly Button shot. Matt Jones hands the bartender $500 and the rest is history.
See you in Nashville, friends.