The Carolinas have a lot to be proud of this fall/winter sports season.
Who would have guessed that Clemson, UNC and the Carolina Panthers had a record of 36-2 on the football field at this point?
Dabo Swinney and company continue to win at Clemson. They now will head to the College Football Playoffs undefeated and the No.1 seed. Despite Clemson having the ACC Championship in hindsight wrapped up on Saturday night, until North Carolina's furious comeback shocked the country in the final seconds, the Tar Heels ended up with a bad break late and lose 45-37. The offsides call on the kickoff was terrible and would have given UNC a chance to tie. You can put an asterisk beside that win as well for the Tigers.
There have been seasons where Clemson didn't get the break they needed in some of their athletic contests, so chalk that one up to karma, I guess. Besides, the win does put the ACC in the National Championship hunt. I knew UNC would present a challenge and could beat Clemson (13-0). They almost did.
Although, the committee setting up Clemson in a rematch with Oklahoma is just as scary as last weekend for Tiger fans. The last time the two met in the Orange Bowl, Clemson destroyed them 40-6. Oklahoma remembers!
Defense still worries me for Clemson. They can't stay off the field long enough because the offense is scoring too quick. We have seen it so many times this season with Notre Dame, Louisville, South Carolina, Syracuse and now UNC. Clemson hasn't won the National Championship since 1981. To go undefeated this regular season with nobody else doing so and no national title to show for it would be a travesty for Clemson. They deserve it! If they can win twice more, they have that title.
Carolina Panthers: We maybe seeing a reinvention of "The Cardiac Cats." I am reminded of the 2003 team that went to the Super Bowl and these Panthers seem to have that same poise in 2015. Carolina, who is undefeated at 12-0 just got past New Orleans this past in the last minute on Sunday in a 41-38 contest to win the NFC South for the third year in a row. They now face Atlanta for the first time all year and hold a two game lead for the one seed in the NFC playoffs.
No matter how you look at it, the Panthers continue to win, despite all of the negative talk about now having any wide receivers. The Panthers have won six games by eight points or less this season. A perfect season will still be hard to obtain. This is the NFL and anything can happen on any given weekend. Shoot, look at New England. They just lost to Philly. There may not be a worse defense in the league than Philly.
The Panthers defense still worries me in close games though. They seem to lose a pass rush after the third quarter as well.
Local Basketball update:
East Rutherford's next home game will be versus Shelby on 12/15. Girls (1-3, 0-2) Boys (1-2, 0-2).
R-S Central will go to Chase on 12/15. Girls (4-1, 1-0) Boys (3-2, 1-0)
Chase will host R-S Central on 12/15. Girls (1-3, 0-1) Boys (2-2, 1-0)
Thomas Jefferson will next host North Henderson on 12/16. Boys(1-1) Girls (1-2)