Danny Ford on the state of the Clemson-Carolina rivalry: 'Oh Lordy mercy!'

'If they were coming into the old Clemson and winning 10 games, fans would be tremendously happy. But it's not the old Clemson now'

Former Clemson head football coach Danny Ford talks about the Tigers' 1978 Gator Bowl win over Ohio State at the Clemson football facility on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 in Clemson, S.C. That game was Ford's first as head coach at Clemson and Woody Hayes last at Ohio State after Hayes punched Clemson's Charlie Bauman, who had just intercepted a pass in the closing minutes. Clemson and Ohio State will play for the second time in the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens. Fl. on Jan. 3, 2014.(AP Photo/Anderson Independent-Mail, Mark Crammer)

Photo by Mark Crammer

Former Clemson head football coach Danny Ford talks about the Tigers' 1978 Gator Bowl win over Ohio State at the Clemson football facility on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 in Clemson, S.C. That game was Ford's first as head coach at Clemson and Woody Hayes last at Ohio State after Hayes punched Clemson's Charlie Bauman, who had just intercepted a pass in the closing minutes. Clemson and Ohio State will play for the second time in the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens. Fl. on Jan. 3, 2014.(AP Photo/Anderson Independent-Mail, Mark Crammer)

Danny Ford feels your pain.

Even one loss to South Carolina sticks in your throat. How about five?

"Oh, Lordy mercy," Ford exclaimed when asked about the state of the rivalry during his media session earlier this week.

"I'm not speaking for (Clemson's) coaches, but if we had won 10 games and lost to them, we wouldn't have had a happy off-season...The bowl game can get your mind off of it a little bit, but when you go to raise money and go to IPTAY meetings, that's important. People want to know."

Now a fan who attends many of Clemson's home games, Ford said, "Certainly we don't like it. I don't think anybody likes it."

At the same time, he said Clemson's recent struggles with South Carolina take nothing away from the accomplishments of the program.

"It doesn't take away from 10 wins at all because that's a great accomplishment," Ford said. "But it doesn't make you happy...

"It's tough. We lost to them some, and the worst time was when we just got physically whipped down there one time. I can still remember it. And our people remembered it when we were coaching here then. It's nothing to be happy about at all when you get beat by them. (Alabama's Nick) Saban has won three national titles, but they're not too happy with him right now."

Ford said the sustained success of the program under Dabo Swinney has raised the bar for fan satisfaction.

“It's just the nature of the beast when you're winning 10 games a year," he said. "If they were coming into the old Clemson and winning 10 games, fans would be tremendously happy.

"But it's not the old Clemson now. It's 'we won 10, but we still lost this one.' But they put themselves in this position. They earned that right."

Ford reminded fans that the rivalry has always run in cycles.

"They just have to take that next step forward, and it'll come,” Ford said. “You just hope it comes when they're still winning 10 games a year. But it'll circulate again. It's going to turn - it always has. Nobody can win forever...

"But there's nothing you can do about it today. You only get one day a year to do something about it."

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Comments » 2

kellytown writes:

I only can say that Danny ford would have run the ball down their throats untill they stopped it. Danny would not have let the offensive coor. call a pass a long as they were getting chunks on the ground.

Bigboots writes:

I'd agree with that.
It is a concern that we seem to have learned nothing from the sc loss in 2012 and made the same mistakes this year.

1. No commitment to running the ball.

2. Leave the QB free to break off long runs.

Guess what? It got us beat again.
That and turnovers.

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