2015 SoCon Preview: Welcome to the Seinfeld Conference

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2015 SoCon Preview: Welcome to the Seinfeld Conference

Postby Southernpigskin on Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:37 am

We are so excited that the regular season is about to get started up! We have some big things on tap for this season, including welcoming in former Furman All-American Corey Stewart to our SoCon coverage. For his first article, Corey decided to preview the upcoming season by comparing every team in the conference to a character from Seinfeld. I think you guys will definitely get a kick out of this!

http://www.southernpigskin.com/socon/so ... onference/
Become a Fan of Southernpigskin.com's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SouthernPigskin?ref=ts
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Re: 2015 SoCon Preview: Welcome to the Seinfeld Conference

Postby 19TERRIER19 on Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:13 pm

Thanks for the link, and I understand why Wofford is picked middle of the pack based on the last 2 seasons. However, I see Woffor retooling as they have since joining the conference and winning it every few seasons, this season happens to fall in that pattern and the talent is there to do it. Chatt obviously deserves the early nod, but having all the top teams coming to Wofford this season I smell a renaissance. Calling it now......Wofford wins the SoCon and gets back to the playoffs this season, and sets up what will be a dynamic 2016.
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Re: 2015 SoCon Preview: Welcome to the Seinfeld Conference

Postby woffordgrad94 on Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:39 pm

Well from what Ayers says, we better turn up the intensity and improve in a hurry. According to the paper today the final scrimmage held yesterday evening absolutely sucked. Mike Ayers commented that there were mistakes galore. But much worse than that, he said, or at least insinuated, that there were guys just going through the motions and acting as if they didn't want to be there. That is totally unacceptable. I was very disheartened by reading this and I have to admit that it dampened my enthusiasm for the season some because I feel this lack of effort spoken of has been one of our problems at times the last two seasons. Remember that Baylor game a couple of years ago? I fear that we may see a similar result at Death Valley if we don't get our collective act together quickly. That kind of score, while it might not affect the SoCon standings and/or have any playoff implications, would nevertheless be embarrassing and might make the players give up early. While I don't expect to win the game, we do need to at least make a decent showing at Clemson and get off on the right foot. I don't want bad things to start snowballing.
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Re: 2015 SoCon Preview: Welcome to the Seinfeld Conference

Postby Ruckus on Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:59 pm

Hope you're right T19, but based on what I have seen in preseason I have my doubts about that. As much as I would like to stick it in Mr. Furman All-American's ear, I agree with him. From what I have seen, we are essentially the same team as last year with very little improvement in most positions (and definitely some let down in a few which isn't necessarily a criticism of the players stepping in but a praise of the ones departed, i. e. Odom, Thomas and Thomas). I am scared to death at our lack of depth at S and without TO's pass rush upfront this could spell trouble.
I think we will be only as good as our offense performs. Last year with the very same personnel we were the worst offense statistically we have been in a long long time. Lowest points, lowest yards rushing, lowest total yards etc. I see no real heavy duty playmakers on offense, just lots of good serviceable athletes. No one is going to be scared to play us I assure you. We have no mismatch nightmares for defenses. And the better athletes that we do have (including RJ) are at WR but will the OC, OL and QB(s) be able to get the ball in heir hands? Will all this experience on offense change the results any? Personally, I am looking at the OL and QB position groups for the answer. We played good in spots last year: GaTech, Mercer, GWU (offense only), Sammy; and one could argue that if Jacks had stayed healthy, we finish stronger. But the questions still linger in my mind. Our defense carried us a lot last year; I don't think they can do that again this year.
In our best years we had playmakers (outstanding players who were among the league's best at their positions) who could compete and win against the best: EB, Mitch Allen, DJ, Dane, Strickland, Bersin, Fenn Allen, Widmyer, Collier, etc. not to mention dominant OLs paving the way. Don't see that caliber of players now. We have some players with great potential that has yet been tapped into/utilized or exhibited.
Just sayin'.....
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Re: 2015 SoCon Preview: Welcome to the Seinfeld Conference

Postby 19TERRIER19 on Thu Aug 27, 2015 4:48 pm

Lots of things I agree with. However, I also see much of what MA is doing is motivation. End of Wofford Camp is dead legs and numb minds, moving into dorms, school starting and dog tired, I don't buy it totally. I think he was just setting the tempo and fire. Also, I think the defense will be in much better position than last season. We have some instant playmakers that will have to learn a lot on the fly with Domo Lemon, Tillery, Able, biggeset concerns to me being safety. But I like the young talent. Also, I think while we will be scary young at a few positions, we will also have a tough D Line, and we are stacked at the LB position. I said it last year and Ill say it again, I think Wofford will have the best LB crew in the SoCon for the next few seasons. CoCo Clemmons folks haven't really seen but will get very familiar with this season, John Patterson and Michael Roach will be an absolute force for us and will be the heart and soul of the defense for years IMO. Not ushering any other backers out of the way, just saying those 3 will be studs.

On offense, I must say, we do not appear to use our receivers and skilled personnel on the perimeter as I would like, but its the Wofford way. If Jacks or any of the QB's can give us a steady presence under center, we will be considerably better due to 1 thing you pointed out already, we bring everyone back. In this offense continuity is key, everyone being on the same page. The offense has proven difficult to stop regardless of personnel. I think that having EB ruined a lot of Wofford fans perspective IMO. He was a great talent with big heart and carried us with some great times, but we only win the SoCon every 3-4 seasons historically......guess where we are in the cycle, with a team that brings back 90% of its roster. I think with the team coming back that we receive the benefit of the doubt, the bounce of the ball goes our way, and we are in contention to win the SoCon this season. Having all of the top teams at Gibbs, just further plays into it. I also see the young talent from a year or so ago starting to emerge this season providing new play makers that the team hasn't seen to date. (Nelson, Stoddard, Nelson, Pace, Taylor, Motes) all will help usher in a new feel with personnel groupings on top of the tried and true vets we return.

I have the ability to see things optimistically as I haven't been a life long Wofford fan, so I see things that the veterans who have been through the ups and downs don't see. Sometimes we don't appreciate the things we have always had....and I feel that the staff hasn't lost a step, just that its in its pattern it has always been, a title every 3-4 seasons.......Well I like our odds in year 3 of that cycle. Color me a homer if you want.....I know my kid, and the ones around him and how they envision the future of Wofford football......if given the chance, Id bet the house they deliver........
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Re: 2015 SoCon Preview: Welcome to the Seinfeld Conference

Postby youngterrier on Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:18 pm

Well, the way I see it is this:

Football is not about the transitive property and no team is "head-and shoulders" better than another in a zero sum way. There are so many factors that contribute to the quality of play of a team, it's win-loss total, and overall performance. Just because a team wins less than it did the year before doesn't mean it's an inferior team overall; scheduling could be different, there are injuries, maybe someone makes a bad mistake, and so on.

My point is, unlike basketball where you can get a general understanding of where your team is based on a huge sample of games played and the overall performance (beyond just the score), football is something of a crap shoot. There are less games played, and so bad outtings and inconsistent/streaky performance can stick out and reflect on a team poorly and make them look worse (or better) than we actually were. For instance, when App State beat us 70-24 in 2008, that didn't really reflect how bad we were as a team, and had we played twice we probably would have played much better. The difference between a good team and a bad team in this way isn't so much the difference in the potential of their game, so much as it is consistency: that's why you'll see some SEC teams that are 7-5, but have 3-4 games come down to one score or a team that's 10-2 with a loss to a top tier, a win against a top tier, and a loss to a lower tier team. I say the SEC because it's got a history of high-level competition, but I think that's true of conference competition everywhere. For instance, Oregon lost to Arizona last year during the regular season, then whalloped them in the conference championship game.

We (and I mean all football fans) attempt to create narrative about a season even while it's going on (or in this case, before it starts), and that's just one of the unique/cool/maybe even weird thing about sports in America. It's part of the fun of the game. We (again, this is everybody) also have a somewhat natural tendency to create an ideal based upon a past standard and compare current teams to past teams, and a lot of times it reflects more of the fan anxieties or optimisms than it necessarily does, well the reality.

A lot of times, however, that narrative can influence how teams play, especially young teams. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, for instance I think it helped our basketball team this year at a certain point (perhaps it has a bigger effect on basketball in general). If you want an example of a team playing poorly as a result, just look at how we played against Furman last year when we had no chance of making the playoffs or winning the Socon. Perhaps I'm being an outlier here, but I do think they gave up in that game before it even started (but I have a general rule of not elaborating on such beliefs on internet forums).

So for me, my general attitude of prognostication going into this season is this (perhaps its an attitude I've only adopted this year/last): Ask yourself the following questions:
-are we healthy?
-are we experienced?
-are we more or less talented than in years past?

Because to me, those are the 3 most important signifiers of a good, conference championship caliber team at this level of football. With the exception of App State at its peak, I don't think any team won the conference without being healthy, experienced, or with a talent drop-off from the year before.

If we can say yes, yes, and "about the same" to those questions, all prognostication for pre-season goes out the door. We do have problems that need to be addressed, but there's no team that knows the weaknesses and strengths of a team moreso than the team that lines up against them in practice. After all, what would an elite offense look like in preseason? Is it the offense's eliteness, or the defense's weakness? Vice Versa?

As far as I'm concerned, we are a little nicked up, but I think we can be a good football team even with TM's injury and the thinness at safety (we've been successful in the past, remember 2008?). We're much more experienced than we were last year and I don't think there's much of a talent drop-off, if any. Yes, we were a 6-5 team last year, 4-5 against Division 1 opponents, but I think that was due to inexperience and youth putting us in a bind early. We commend coaches for having successful young teams, but the majority of young teams performed like we did, and those go unnoticed. Let's not panic because we didn't break a national trend. We started the year off 2-2, 0-2 against division 1, which meant we had to win the conference to make the playoffs. That's a lot of pressure for a young team, especially a young team that's coming off a 5-6 year, which in itself isn't consistent. So, to me it isn't surprising that once we lost to Chattanooga and there was no way we were winning the conference that we lost to Furman.

Compare that to this year where we have no sub-division 1 games, 2 OOC home games, an FBS game that could be winnable, and if it isn't winnable could definitely boost our confidence, and a home slate where all of our "hard" conference games are at home, and I say this schedule is somewhat favorable. A light is going to turn on in that first month of the season, no team plays up to their potential in the first month but a lot of teams make great improvements. I think we'll come out at least 2-2, That 2-2 creates a different "narrative" than last year's 2-2, and we'll only have to win 1 more game in conference than we did last year to make the playoffs. Which we can do.

So, I don't know who we'll beat this year and who we'll lose to, put I'm predicting playoffs and a revival in the confidence in the program. That's where it all starts. Throw the books out and play ball, especially us as fans.

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Re: 2015 SoCon Preview: Welcome to the Seinfeld Conference

Postby Ruckus on Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:29 pm

I hear you T19 and love the optimism!!!!! I do, believe me!
But I guess I am more wait and see. If people (and coaches) step up, I could see it falling our way. Few lucky bounces our way and we stay healthy, who knows.
BTW, my opinions have nothing to do with our lackluster scrimmage last night. It is what it is: end of camp, no legs, minds on other things, campus going in a zillion different directions, no live tackling etc. Whatever. MA used it as a lesson. But he wasn't happy I can tell you that.
We looked much sharper on Sat.
Clemons IS a stud; he has those NFL bloodlines that are clearly visible. He just looks different. Purty. Nice kid too it seems. I agree on the rest but again depth worries me until these young'uns get some experience. Hope DL is as good as advertised. Again, the O is the key. We better learn to block the "mike" defense because we will see it no less than 3-4 times in conference.
Hey, I am going to be front and center regardless but this team has a number of things to prove and questions to answer.
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Re: 2015 SoCon Preview: Welcome to the Seinfeld Conference

Postby youngterrier on Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:33 pm

I'm at the point where I could go for a dominant offense again. We haven't had one since Mitch Allen in 2011. Defense has carried us the last 3 years, and it was probably better than it was 2008-2011 as a body of work, but I would trade defensive performance for a better offense and more wins.
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Re: 2015 SoCon Preview: Welcome to the Seinfeld Conference

Postby 19TERRIER19 on Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:02 pm

I am so pumped I can't stand it. We are coming down to the Clemson game ready for action. hope to run into a few of you guys and talk some shop while our boys put in a memorable effort on Sept. 5......"CANT WAIT"
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Re: 2015 SoCon Preview: Welcome to the Seinfeld Conference

Postby lawdog on Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:48 pm

We are deeper, more experienced, and more talented overall. I sense more leadership, confidence, and enthusiasm among the team. We will do better this year, in my view..

Other teams in the league (WCU, Furples, Mercer) will be improved, and Chatt the team to beat (but beatable). We need to play hard and smart each game, but we have a better than even chance to win any league game this year.

Biggest hope: play well against Clempsun and don't get guys hurt early.
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