WEDNESDAY SPORTS: Clemson gears up for big weekend; Mr. Football finalists announced; SEC declines comments on Tanner/Finebaum

*A big weekend in Clemson kicks off Friday night as Clemson’s sixth annual Rock the ‘John – the introduction to the men’s and women’s basketball season – will take place at Littlejohn Coliseum. Doors open at 7:30 PM, and the event gets underway at 8:00. Admission is free of charge. The next day, ESPN’s College Gameday Built by The Home Depot will be on hand for what’s being billed as the biggest ACC game in history, #3 Clemson versus #6 Florida State, which kicks off at 8:22 PM Saturday on ABC.

*The five finalists for South Carolina’s Mr. Football have been announced. The winner of the state’s top prep football honor will be announced at halftime of the North-South All-Star game in December. The five finalists are linebacker Christian Miller of Spring Valley (committed to Alabama); running back Jae’long Oglesby of Daniel (committed to Clemson); quarterback Jacob Park of Stratford (committed to Georgia); quarterback Mason Rudolph of Northwestern (committed to Oklahoma State); and lineman Donell Stanley of Latta (committed to South Carolina).

*SEC Associate Commissioner Herb Vincent declined to comment on the comments made by South Carolina Athletic Director Ray Tanner in response to ESPN’s Paul Finebaum’s comments about Gamecock defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Tanner was not happy that Finebaum called Clowney “the biggest joke in college football”. Tanner made his displeasure known during a weekend interview with The State newspaper. Tanner went so far as to suggest some of the other ADs in the SEC might not take too kindly with someone representing SEC Network trashing league players. Finebaum’s comments came during a week of media speculation as to Clowney’s standing with the program after he sat out the game against Kentucky at the last minute due to injury. Finebaum stated on Tuesday that he “jumped the gun” on his comments.  

*The Boston Red Sox shut out the Tigers 1-0 Tuesday in Detroit to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven American League Championship Series. The game’s only run came in the seventh inning, when Mike Napoli homered off Tigers stater Justin Verlander. Boston starter John Lackey allowed just four hits in 6 2/3 innings. The game was delayed 17 minutes in the second inning when the lights on the stadium towers went out. Game 4 will be played Wednesday night in Detroit.

*The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 Tuesday night in L.A. to take a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven National League Championship Series. Going long for St. Louis in the game were Matt Holliday, who hit a two-run homer in the third inning, and Shane Robinson, who had a solo shot in the seventh. Game 5 will be played Wednesday in Los Angeles.