The Sock 'Em, Bust 'Em Board Because that's our custom

Perhaps it is because Clemson is in the south, where it is sometimes hot and, presumably, most seats are hot. Even in the fall, when Tigers football coach Tommy Bowden seems to have the hottest of the hot seats. It feels like he’s always this close to losing his job, even though he usually pulls himself from the fire just as the flames begin to touch his feet.

Well, that southern hospitality is at it again. Clemson started 4-0 and was ranked No. 13 in the country, only to lose its next two games to Georgia Tech (13-3) and Virginia Tech (41-23). Even worse for Bowden, the Tigers were on a bye last week, which gave pundits plenty of time to ponder his fate, which is to say they began penning their wish list for Bowden’s replacement.

Guess who popped up?

What about Rich Rodriguez?

Ever since coach Rod left Clemson after the 2000 season to take over for Don Nehlen at West Virginia, a portion of the Tiger “faithful” remains convinced the wrong coach skipped town. As Bowden’s offensive coordinator, both Clemson and Tulane had revved-up offenses. And since his arrival in Morgantown all RichRod has done is put the Mountaineers in the national spotlight – winning the Sugar Bowl two years ago, the Gator Bowl last season and currently sitting at No. 8 in the country.

So it’s easy to see why there would be an attraction. It is said that RichRod’s wife, too, loved the Clemson area. The fit would be a natural, some say.

Adding fuel to the fire as the week has gone on are whispers about RichRod’s brand new contract at WVU, the one he ultimately signed after a serious courtship with Alabama. Word on the street is that RichRod may have a one-school escape clause in that contract.

The school? Clemson.

The story, written a week ago, went on to briefly resurrect this bizarre rumor that Rodriguez had an escape clause in his newest contract that allows him to leave WVU without paying a buyout as long as he was leaving for Clemson.

Nevermind that WVU isn’t stupid enough to allow this in a sport, er, business where money is a monarchy and the Mountaineers could not be left without a ruler. If Rodriguez were to make such a distinction, it would not be for Clemson.

This is not to say Rodriguez-to-Clemson won’t happen … or that I believe it will happen. Couldn’t care less, in fact, though I’m apparently alone in that opinion, as illustrated in Dan Scott’s mailbag.

Dan, You are nothing more than a West Virginia apologist. So isn’t it funny you have such a scoop drop in your lap? If Clemson wants Rich Rodriguez, Clemson will get Rich Rodriguez. And no amount of made up information you spew will change that. You, sir, suck…J.R.

Hey J.R.,

I never said Clemson couldn’t get Rich Rodriguez (if the job here ever opens). What I did was dispel a rumor that he had an escape clause that would allow him to walk out of WVU for free. There is no such clause. So yeah, RichRod can leave if he wants. But either he or his new school would have to pay his buyout to WVU, and if you’re Clemson that would be on top of paying Tommy Bowden’s buyout (if they made such a move at season’s end).

Don’t let your emotions cloud the facts, or cause you to make accusations about something you know nothing about.