Sep 26


Posted By:Brett Haynes  Tags:

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#15 TCU at Clemson (3:30) There is nothing quite like the feeling of gameday! All week the anticipation builds up as we get ready for the big game that weekend. And while I get pumped up every gameday, I get especially fired up when Clemson has a really big game, as we do today. For the second week in a row, I will probably be watching football in the rain as storms are predicted. But thats's ok, its gameday, and my Tigers are in for a battle!

There is so much more to college football than just the games themselves. It is a chance to see friends - and their dogs - that we haven't seen in a while. It is a chance to hang out with people that were once a huge part of your life, and catch up with what all they have going on. It has been a year since my old college roommates and I all had the same roof over our heads for a football weekend, and I am especially excited for today. As I type this at 6:30 in the morning, they (and a wife) are fast asleep in different parts of the house - but not for long! "Tiger Rag" will be blaring as their alarm clock as soon as I wrap this up! That was how we did it back at Clemson, and that's how we've done it ever since. You get the day rolling with "Tiger Rag" as you wipe the cobwebs away from the late night before and rise for what will surely be another memorable day. We are all very much looking forward to getting in TCU's ear today!

This is a huge game for Clemson. The Horned Frogs of TCU don't present a conference challenge, but rather a challenge that may be bigger. You see, win or lose, the Tigers will be in the same shape they were in as before the game as far as ACC Atlantic division standings go. But from a mental toughness standpoint, and a confidence standpoint, this game is EVERYTHING. It is HUGE. Win today against a top-15 team that is respected, and Clemson players can feel good about their chances for the rest of 2009. They can believe in themselves, and they can believe that the new coaching staff's attitude is taking things from averageness and mediocrity into a program ready to take the next step of being a national factor. Lose, and it will be as if nothing has changed.

One of my old roommates and my brother and I had a good old-fashioned college football talk last night as we stood on the back patio and shared a few cool ones. We talked about how important it is today for Clemson to find a way to win - not play close and lose by a field-goal as time expires. We can't let the refs hold us up from a bad call, or have a player drop a key pass late in the game. We have to find a way to win. Good teams do it, and until we do it against a good team, we just aren't what we want to think we are. Yes, Clemson has NFL talent sprinkled all over the sideline, but until those guys know how to close the deal, we won't be making any noise. This game is huge. No more excuses.

So as I get ready to climb out of bed and put an iron to my gameday shirt (which is now 2-0 at home in the Valley this season), I couldn't be more excited! I get to spend a long day with some of my best friends, and I get to cheer like hell for my Tigers when they take the field at 3:30. I have all of the respect in the world for TCU football. I really do. But today is the Tigers day to quit coming up short. It is the day where the good times will be flowing  - rain or no rain. It is a day where I will watch Clemson take another step back towards being where we need to be.

Most of all - it's GAMEDAY, and time for a little "Tiger Rag".....Boys, I hope you slept well, but it's time to wake up!!!

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