Just when we start to think the silliness has subsided, up pops another example of the southern inferiority complex, which we must now recognize as a second cousin to the Domer Hype Machine, which is of course closely related to the east coast bias. Together these three subversive movements make up the larger Axis of East Coast Bias. But, I digress …
The latest “mouth from the south” without a brain, comes to us not from the SEC – which actually plays good football – but the ACC. You know, that “hoop dream” of a conference where Tar Heels and Blue Devils rule indoors.
Some kids named C.J. Spiller (pictured above) and James Davis, two running backs at Clemson, are declaring their arrival upon the college football scene. In fact, Spiller is employing some Tuberville-brand history and sense of self just eight games into his college football career. According to Mark Schlabach of espn.com:
Spiller, a Jacksonville, Fla., native who spurned Florida on national signing day to ink with the Tigers, believes he and Davis are as potent as Bush and LenDale White, who helped lead Southern California to the 2004 national title and the BCS title game again last season.Mr. Spiller, we know Mr. Bush and Mr. White. We were there when “The President” was catching touchdowns on wheel routes out of the slot, and when Lendale scored TD, after TD, after TD … We know the authentic “Thunder and Lightning.” Mr. Spiller, you and Mr. Davis are no Thunder and Lightning.*
"That's where I see us right now," Spiller said. "We've got the same combination."
We don’t need to over-react here – this is after all just a teenager displaying his naïvete – but it is annoying nonetheless. When current Trojan players or coaches make such statements, we can accept it as simple aspiration. But for anyone else, particularly those trying to catch up in the south, it’s all just a little more complex.
* With mid-term elections coming up, I figured I could get away with a clichéd closing like this. If I was wrong, what the hell …
UPDATE: In Clemson's next game (Thursday 10/26/06), Spiller and Davis combined for 71 yards on 22 carries in a 24-7 loss to Virginia Tech. At this point, the duo has led Clemson to as many losses (two) in their first nine games as Bush and White had over three seasons.