In honor of College football’s kickoff I wanted to take a look at one of the featured team’s today: The Gamecocks of South Carolina.
Also, as a tribute to Ryan for letting me contribute to this blog I will go one step further and give five reasons not to believe the hype and why those Gamecocks won’t win the SEC East.
1) Lack of stability at Quarterback: In all honesty this has been South Carolina’s Achilles heel the past several seasons and has kept them from winning the conference. This year it will keep them from even making it to Atlanta. This is ironic, as the HBC has been known for great quarterback play over his illustrious career. However as his time in Columbia has progressed he has yet to get the signal caller he needs to take the team to the next level. Between Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson the Gamecocks do not have the stability to win the East. (For the record, Thompson alone should be starting as he has the prototypical Spurrier skill set and would give them some sense of fluidity on offense)
2) Jadeveon Clowney can’t play every position. We all recognize the greatness (and if you don’t its because you are too diehard of a Clemson fan to do so), but that greatness is only contained to half of the plays a game and even less considering plays will be run away from him. Therefore his impact in games will be felt, just ask Tajh Boyd and the Michigan back field, just not on every down. This is where I think the ESPN hype machine is out of control on the ‘Cocks this year. I realize he is great but there are many holes on this team that need to be filled and one great player that plays on the D-Line cannot make up for all of them. We get it, that hit was awesome, if only big hits counted as points (Then my Gators wouldn’t have gotten undressed by the Cards in the Sugar Bowl).
3) A lot of turnover on Defense: Cocky will be strong up front as they have the talent at both ends and the size up the middle to bother some teams. However it is behind those big boys where the issues lie. They will be breaking in multiple new starters including a face at the all-important Spur position. Look out week two because that Aaron Murray guy likes to throw a bit.
4) Because Florida and Georgia are better teams: The Gators will tout a stellar secondary, improved pass rushers, and a strong running game and housed the Gamecocks a year ago 44-11. The Bulldogs will have arguably the most talented offense in the country both in the running and passing games. While young on defense, they have a bevy of talent that should improve as the season goes along. While both UF and UGA have much harder schedules than USC, they are just better teams and will be the ones fighting it out for a spot in Atlanta.
5) Need for playmakers on offense: No Marcus, no Ace, those are problems. This is an issue that gets resolved eventually, however while there is talent on the offense there is not talent like Marcus Lattimore or Ace Sanders that can replace that production. Also, Bruce Ellington may not play against the Heels… Ruh Roh.
The schedule set up pretty nicely for the Gamecocks this year I will admit. But with all of these issues I just can’t see South Carolina stumbling its way to the SEC Championship Game this season. Eat it up Clemson fans, I know this should bring a smile to your faces.
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Great post Brett. Thanks for contributing. I completely agree, and was tempted to pick Clemson over SC in my season predictions, but I thought that was a bit biased given we’re on the road. I just don’t see SC beating UGA in Athens nor do I see UGA losing to LSU.