TIGERS’ “SOFT REPUTATION” CITED IN ADVANCE OF SHOWDOWN AGAINST FLORIDA STATE
Fourth-ranked Florida State must eviscerate – not just beat – Clemson University in Tallahassee this weekend if the Seminoles expect to have any shot at playing for a national championship. At least that’s the contention of ESPN columnist Rod Gilmore, who is less than impressed with the ACC’s marquee matchup of the year.
“One would think that a Seminoles win would be sufficient to establish the team as a front-runner for the national championship game,” Gilmore writes in an article that has Tiger fans fuming. ”Unfortunately for Florida State, that isn’t the case.”
According to Gilmore, the Seminoles’ membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference is its main problem … and let’s be honest, it’s hard to dispute that contention. Hell, Gilmore probably wouldn’t get much in the way of an argument on that point from Clemson’s own outgoing athletics director, Terry Don Phillips.
But Gilmore goes beyond just criticizing the conference and gets pretty specific in calling out Clemson – the defending ACC champion. In fact he not only recalls the unprecedented pummeling the Tigers absorbed at the hands of the West Virginia Mountaineers back in January, he goes on to suggest that Clemson doesn’t deserve to be ranked in the Top Ten.
“Yes, Clemson. The team that gave up 70 points and got routed by West Virginia in the Orange Bowl but is ranked in the top 10 on the strength of wins over Auburn, Ball State and Furman,” Gilmore writes. “That’s the team Florida State gets in its showdown Saturday.”
Gilmore’s conclusion? That FSU must thoroughly dominate Clemson – and shut down Heisman Trophy hopeful Tajh Boyd and returning All-American Sammy Watkins – if it expects to have “any chance” of playing for the national title.
“Because of Clemson’s soft reputation, a close Seminoles win won’t be good enough,” he writes. “They needs their dominant defense, led by defensive end Bjoern Werner, to completely shut down Boyd and Watkins.”
Soft reputation? Again … ouch.
Needless to say, the Tiger faithful are livid.
“That article infuriates me,” one Clemson fan wrote on a Tiger message board. “I really wish the coaching staff would post it on every locker. Our boys need to come out mad as hell and ready to bury every player with a (gay ass) spear on their helmet.”
Saturday’s game kicks off at 8:00 p.m. EDT and will be televised nationally on ESPN. Florida State enters the game as a two touchdown favorite. The Seminoles lead the Tigers 17-8 in the all-time series, although Clemson knocked off then-No. 11 Florida State a year ago at Death Valley in Clemson, S.C.
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