Tidbits - December 7, 2017

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



RELAXING

  For the first time in 14 weeks, I had a relaxing football weekend.
  Of course, I would have rather been excited about Saluda playing for the state championship, and Carolina playing in the SEC championship game, but those things did not happen.
  Saluda was a lot closer to the goal than Carolina.
  My Saturday morning was not spent compiling stats and writing a SHS football story.
  My battle with the crud lasted 10 days. Thursday I did not take any cold medicine, and I felt pretty normal Saturday. I decided to spend the day watching all the conference championship games.
  Other than the Memphis-UCF game, most of the contests were disappointing. I expected Georgia and Auburn to go down to the wire, but the Bulldogs looked like that team that made it to number one a few weeks ago.
  I was not expecting Clemson and Miami to be close. I watched Miami pull out several miracle wins during the year, and knew the Hurricane was not as good as their 10-1 record.
  Clemson made it look easy, and pretty much proved the ACC was a one-team league this year.
  The SEC was a three-team league, and two of those got into the “Final Four.”
  I was not surprised Alabama got selected as the fourth seed over Big Ten champion Ohio State.
  Let’s not forget the Crimson Tide was ranked number one for 11 straight weeks. They stumbled on the road to Auburn, but that does make Alabama unworthy to challenge for the national championship.
  The Tide has played for the title the last two years, so that should pull some weight.
  Two-loss Ohio State has not looked very impressive this year. Lest we forget, the Buckeyes made the final four last year and Clemson beat them 31-0.
  Had unbeaten Wisconsin won the Big 10 title game, however, I think the Badgers would have gotten that final spot.
  I can not fathom any games better then Clemson-Alabama and Oklahoma-Georgia.
  By the way, are there other teams besides Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Auburn who have played more than one of the Final Four? Carolina has played Georgia and Clemson; Tennessee and Vanderbilt, Alabama and Georgia; and Auburn has played Georgia, Clemson and Alabama!
  Carolina earned a New Year’s Day bowl birth in the Outback, where they will once again play Michigan. Apparently, the Gamecock opponent came down between Michigan and Michigan State.
  The State game would have been interesting, because Spartan coach Mark Dantonio is a Carolina graduate and former player.. I like him a lot better than I like Harbaugh.
  Because of the Carolina-Michigan rematch, the Clowney tackle has already been replayed a thousand times. It will push a million by game day!
  I caught bits and pieces of the high school championships Saturday on Channel 57.2. I didn’t find out the televising of the games until Saturday morning, so I kept up with the Abbeville - Bamberg-Earhardt on Twitter.
  The two teams entered the fourth quarter scoreless. B-E took the lead on a punt return, but the Panthers scored the last 14 to win their third straight state championship.
  Yep, the only reason Saluda doesn’t have three new state title trophies in the case is Abbeville.
  We’re in the same conference next year, and, even though I haven’t see the schedule, I’m  positive the game will be played at Hite Field. Saluda may never play Abbeville at home again. Something will happen. (Just kidding)
  The best game Saturday was between Dutch Fork and Dorman. I’m a little prejudiced toward the Cavaliers, because I have  relatives who were associated with Dorman as a student, a coach and teacher, and as an administrator.
  Being I had not seen Dorman play or seen any TV coverage, I didn’t think the Cavs had a chance against Dutch Fork, who I see covered on the local sports every week.
  Dorman was not intimidated. With 19 seconds to go, Dorman scored, cutting Dutch Fork’s lead to 28-27. Kick an extra point and the game goes into overtime, but the Dorman coach elected to go for two. The tight end screen pass fell one yard short.
  That’s a tough call. If you make the two-pointer, you are a hailed as a genius. If you don’t make, everyone is going to question the call. There is no guarantee, however,  Dorman would have won in overtime, or even make the game tying extra point.

COACHING GONE NUTS

  I have never seen a more baffling year for colleges attempting to hire a new head football coach.
  Some of the hires just don’t make sense.
  Arizona State hired Herm Edwards. Edwards is 63, and has not coached since 2008, when he was fired by the New York Jets. He has not coached college football since 1989. What sense does this make?
  Tennessee has become the laughing stock of college football. Because of how he was handling the coaching search, Athletic Director John Currie was fired, after only ten months on the job. Former coach Phil Fulmer, who many say was working behind the scenes sabotaging Currie, was hired as AD. Years ago it was rumored Fulmer stabbed Tennessee legend Johnny Majors in the back and got his job.
  The latest Tennessee rumor has the Vols interested in former Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris of SMU and current Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables. I’d love to see Venables leave Clemson, but would not like seeing him go to another Carolina opponent!
  I am surprised Jimbo Fisher left Florida State for Texas A&M. FSU is not a school you leave, but I guess $7.5 million a year will make you ponder relocation.
  A&M is a regular opponent of the Gamecocks. Fisher should be more concerned, however, with playing Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, etc., every year.
  A&M’s fired coach Kevin Sumlin will get a good job, I’m sure.
  Many schools are hunting for coaches. The search has been interesting.

CHURCH TIME

  Terry Winn is the communion steward at Emory, and she forgot until almost too late that Sunday was communion.
  Normally, she orders a loaf of bread in advance from BiLo, but when she went by Sunday morning, French bread was the only type of unsliced bread they had.
  Terry bought it, and when she walked into the church kitchen with the thin loaf, I started laughing.
  I asked her if she was going to warn the preacher we were going to have a hot dog bun for communion.
  It worked out just fine, and the bread was really good.
  While our interim pastor Debra Griffis-Woodberry was doing the children’s sermon, I notice a grasshopper in the pulpit. I took a picture of it, naturally.
  When Debra came back into the pulpit area, I pointed to the grasshopper.
  “Thanks for warning me,” she said, “in case it jumps on me while I’m preaching.”
  I said, “Like the squirrel in church!”

MIKE PROCHASKA

  I was shocked when I read former King Academy coach and headmaster Mike Prochaska had died.
  His brother posted on Facebook that Mike had an aneurism and died suddenly. He was only 51.
  He was an excellent baseball and football coach at King. Many athletes benefited from his tutelage.
  Mike will be greatly missed.