Friday, July 5, 2013

WARNING...2013 could be just like 2011

I know that I am viewed as a “pessimistic” or “negative” Gamecock fan sometimes and that’s a fair accusation some of the time.  But often it is honestly an objective analysis of the facts in front of me that folks don’t want to hear.  If you’re being honest about the first couple of weeks in the upcoming football season, there is a VERY plausible scenario that could happen which isn’t good for Carolina.  At least early in the season.   

Georgia enters this year completely obsessed with beating USC if for no other reason than shutting up our fan base.  They aren’t used to having a three-game losing streak to the Gamecocks, Spurrier or not.  Oh but what about their trip to Clemson you ask?  First, not a conference game.  Second, when was the last time Clemson was relevant in Georgia’s eyes (or anyone’s eyes outside of Heather Dinich or whatever her last name is)?  Third, Clemson feels that a win over Georgia would confirm that their win over LSU meant something.  Fourth, Georgia as usual will have most of their team in jail and missing the first game.  So if you’re being honest, how can you not pick Georgia to lose to Clemson that first weekend?   It won’t even be that close in my opinion.  And it won’t mean ANYTHING later in the year. 

Then Georgia turns around, after being angry and shellacked in a game they didn’t care about, and get the game they are completely focused on with Carolina.  They will be back at full-strength, at home and absolutely drooling fired-up.  AND Connor Shaw has yet to show he can lead the Gamecocks on the road into that kind of environment and get a win.  So if you’re being honest, it is VERY plausible, if not likely, that the first two weeks end with Clemson at 2-0 and Carolina and Georgia each 1-1.

That would be similar to 2011.  Then, Clemson caught Auburn napping up in Tigertown and whipped them by 14.  Carolina lost to Auburn at home during the week that Eric Hyman was completing his crucifixion of Stephen Garcia (following Garcia’s Grandfather’s funeral).  Everyone in Tigertown went Ape-Poopy with delight thinking that meant the USC resurgence was over.   The Tigers roared into the Top 5 and Clemson was 8-0!  And the Gamecocks ended up trouncing them 34-13. 

It stinks that scheduling luck and fate have set things up this way, but the good news is that we have a Coach that handles nonsense like this perfectly.  Dabo will inevitably pull a Dabo at some point even with the start listed above and the rest of the season will go accordingly.  You can set your watch to the predictability.
Yes, yes, this is all a worst-case scenario and hopefully I will be wrong on all counts.  I haven’t made my season game-by-game predictions yet so I might feel differently in August.  But the good news is that even if this does play out I don’t see Carolina losing but 2 games.  Three tops.  If 9-3 is considered a total failure in the SEC and at Williams-Brice, then we’ve come a long way baby! 

It’s a great time to be a Gamecock!

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