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Clemson: already flying high, so to speak.

High and aggravated best describes a hippo on PCP, the lead singer of Mastodon anytime after 6 p.m., or us any time between the dates of June 2, 1995 to January 13, 2000. It also, conveniently enough, describes a form of assault in the South Carolina criminal code. Perhaps you weren't aware that South Carolina even had a criminal code, figuring they relied instead on a pastiche of Hammurabian code and a unique "color and cash test." You'd be right, for the most part. (The "color test" is not unique--it's widely used across the South! HA-ha. Racism.)

Bringing us to the case of Clemson defensive back Deandre McDaniel, arrested and charged with "assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature" for doing something high and aggravated on Saturday night in Central, South Carolina. It's nice of them to specify exactly what kind of assault it is, meaning you, too, could rack up colorful charges like "tipsy and poorly committed assault," or "fogged on ketamine and discombobulated" assault, or even the rare "quaalude-addled and giggly slapfighty battery."

Clemson comes into this season as hyped as any Clemson team ever: Cullen Harper is on the Unitas Watch List, Spiller and Davis may be the most vaunted backfield combo since White/Bush (an inapt comparison, since Davis does not carry whole racks of ribs under his flak vest for in-game snacking,) and most everyone daring the absurd venture of a preseason top 25 has them in the top 25. (Us included, though we pull that lever with the robust confidence of a bomb squad cop clipping the blue wire instead of the red.)

By pattern, this means Clemson will botch the preseason ranking, lose three games they shouldn't, and alternate 300 yard rushing games and crushing victories with baffling losses to the Georgia Techs of the world. If we had sense, we'd handle any Clemson hype with sterile tongs, and wouldn't expect much variance in the existing pattern in the Tommy Bowden regime: nine wins has been the ceiling thus far, and in the ACC the week-to-week crab/bucket dynamic should continue.

We will, in retrospect, exert some degree of discretion OMG DAVIS SPILLER BOWERS JESUS BUDDHA ON A FLAMING MOPED!!!!!

Pardon that outburst. Back to reason, if only for a second. One nice thing, though, about Clemson's upcoming campaign that might allay some of your nausea at taking the dive on expecting the great and not merely the good from them: Virginia Tech, a team that has broken out irons and torches on Clemson the past two years, is conveniently off the schedule, meaning the Curse of Jenkins is off the Tigers for the moment. Ten wins, here we come! (Not an insignificant total! Might still leave Clemson fans grumbling depending on the two losses!)

Oh, and three points to Clemson in the Fulmer Cup, updated later today.