Monday, September 30, 2013

CLAWS vs. PAWS - Week 5 Scoreboard

Both The Cock-A-Booster and The TigerSwag played to a tie again this week...but this time they both opened up the offense and each received the full 20 points...They both picked the winners of both games and they both and won against the spread in both games!  So, we move on to WEEK 6...Here are your match-ups for this week!

Gamecock fans need to grow up!

I have said it before and I will say it again…Clemson fans are always 1 game away from their next winning streak and Gamecock fans are always 1 game away from their next losing streak.  I use this blog to have fun ripping those of orange ilk as you know, and I will continue that later this week.  But for now I want to go all “Dr. Phil” on us USC fans.  

South Carolina has one of the youngest teams in the nation this fall and we have played undeniably one of the toughest schedules.  A team with all-new linebackers and mostly new defensive backs has had to face 3 quarterbacks that are likely headed to the NFL.  And (GASP) we gave up more points than we wanted to and we have some weak spots!  Well HELLS BELLS!  What a Shock!  

Now I will admit that things are not perfect but COME ON!  USC fans should feel pretty good after going through such a stretch and emerging 3-1 and being ranked at least in the top 13.  But NOOOOOO, instead we are all swimming in some negative pool of bitter self-pity and scared to death of the rest of the season. 
Tell me one game on the remainder of the schedule that we cannot win.  If you’re being honest, you can’t.  If your first reaction to that was anything related to “well we could lose them too,” then you need to seriously ask yourself why you waste time being a fan.  OF COURSE we could still lose games.  We don’t get to play a bunch of high schools and 1 or 2 good teams at home.  You have to be in the ACC for that.  We’re in the Big Boy Conference, where you have to play tough road games, your players get hurt and nothing is ever easy.  

Yes, we lost to Jawja on the road after they had a must-win perfect game, and we made some crucial mistakes.  It happens and yes, the East is likely off the table now.  Yes, our orange neighbors beat said dawgs at home the week before while UGA was focused on us and the Klimpletons played a perfect game.  And yes, that meant that the Tiggers will likely be unbeaten when they come to Columbia in November.  

So the question is very simple:  Are we going to suck it up and win anyway, or continue to act like a bunch of petulant children who had a toy taken from them?  I hope the team views the rest of the season as an opportunity to go 13-1 because that could still happen.  If your first reaction to that sentence was anything close to “but we can’t win the East now so we won’t play but 13 games,” then see the above paragraph about asking yourself why you’re a fan.  

Personally, I think rather than sitting around in cringed fear waiting for a shoe to drop, how about instead we focus on beating Kentucky to prepare for our final three road games?  Because If we take the Droopy Dog approach moving forward and whine about every dadgum thing on earth, then congratulations, the negativity will be rewarded and we will get dinged at some point with more losses.  

How about growing up and rallying around the team?  Let’s get focused for once on the positives and admit to ourselves that Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mizzou, Miss. State, Florida, Coastal and Clemson  isn’t exactly murderers row.  I’ll even throw in one small acknowledgement for the haplessly negative who just have to hear it before they can stop wetting themselves:  yes, some of them are very good teams.  Feel better?  I hope so, but I also say that we’re better than all of them IF we play like we’re capable of playing. 
And that is why it is important to view the final 2/3 of the schedule as an OPPORTUNITY to go 11-1 as opposed to walking a land mine scared out of our minds of an INEVITABLE failure.  Mentality matters and we as fans aren’t doing our part to help this program.  And that’s a fact.   So stop it and get behind the team.  Or just go do something else.  Please.  

It’s a great time to be a Gamecock (or at least it SHOULD be)!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

CLAWS vs. PAWS - Week 5

Weekend of September 28, 2013


This game is just vintage South Carolina.   We play a team with a lot of legitimate weapons on offense on their field at a time when we’re not playing all that well.  So sure, OF COURSE we could go down there and lose.  Heck, if Central Florida were just a little bit better I would even say this was a matchup worthy of earning Shaw his 1st signature road win, but I digress.  So no matter how much the media would like for USC to be “looking past” the Knights, it just ain’t true.  Win or lose on Saturday, all Gamecocks understand that this is a good football team and it is going to be VERY tight. 

I see a “buzzsaw” type of start from the home team that gets them an early lead.  Maybe 14-3 or something like that.  If Carolina follows their script it will take us most of the first half to get rolling.  But UCF’s defense also has to play this weekend and they are NOT very good.  So we will be able to score enough to survive the home “atmosphere.”  

We are scared to death but come home from Orlando 3-1.  Right where most folks predicted before the year started.       

South Carolina 24,
Central Florida 21


In listening to the media & pundits, one word is continually used: trap.  Everyone thinks this could be a "trap" game for the mighty Spurriers.  Noon start.  Road game.  Florida talent.  Questionable academics.  Backup school.  Doctored resumes.  And that's just the visiting team...

And while many of the talking heads will use "trap", I don't think it is all that appropriate.  To me, a "trap" game is one in which the underdog has no chance of winning unless a perfect storm of apathy, turnovers, & karma all fall their way.  That doesn't need to happen here for UCF to pull off the upset.

Last year, Connor Shaw struggled on the road, going 2-2 with wins over Vandy & Kentucky.  But even the wins weren't spectacular as at the half, USC was tied with Vandy and trailed Kentucky.  Additionally, a clearly less than 100% Marcus Lattimore had better rushing numbers than Shaw had passing.

That kind of offensive performance won't fly against UCF.  In fact, UCF has speed that neither Vandy nor Kentucky possesses.  Will that speed and skill position talent translate to a win?  No, but it will make things very interesting.  More than most USC fans will want to experience.

In the end, the talent and depth of USC ekes out a win.  And the traveling jorts are able to enjoy their trip to Disney.

South Carolina 27
Central Florida 21


The All Hat No Cattle brigade from the Upstate will continue their cupcake tour this weekend.  Thanks to Georgia predictably vomiting on the road and then “renaissancing” at home against us, the almost annual “Clemson beats someone from the SEC who beats Carolina” thing has those in orange all aflutter again. 
Those awash in the hype will enjoy this week as the Klimpletons will now begin hyping up the ACC’s high school teams as they head to their other game with a pulse against FSU.  

The Tigers will have an easy day of it, give Kirk Herbie a tingle or two in his leg and have Dabo the Crazy spouting things about how you can’t dream about beating Wake until they dream about greatness.  And as we saw in Raleigh if things get close the convenient whistle or two will protect as insurance.    

Clemson 52
Wake Forest 23


Most everyone thought last week would be the weekend the Clemson offensive finds it rhythm.  In fact, most people were expecting a shootout similar to last year's game in Clemson, where the teams combined for 110 total points.  Instead, we saw the Clemson defense man up and take control of the game.

But there is not better salvo for an out of sorts offense like Wake Forest.  Last year Clemson posted the first 35 points of the game en route to a 29 point win.  Look for a similar offensive performance this week, but with Morris and the coaching staff still chucking the ball around the field into the fourth quarter to get the starters more reps.

On the other side, the Clemson defense will pressure the 10th year senior Tanner Price into a few mistakes, though he may hit on a big play or two.  In the end, the secondary has a solid game, allowing the D-line to record a few sacks and the crowd to remain energized.

Clemson 51
Wake Forest 20




Monday, September 23, 2013

CLAWS vs. PAWS - Week 4 Scoreboard

Both The Cock-A-Booster and The TigerSwag played to another 3-3 tie this week...Maybe these two need to fire their offensive coordinators and go to the the "Hurry-Up-No-Huddle" approach. Both picked Clemson to win and to cover the 14.5 point spread.  Clemson won the game but they did not cover the spread. Well let's get ready for this weekend...Both teams will be back in action!  Here are your match-ups!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Cock-A-Booster's Crystal Ball says...

DATE: Games for the week of September 21, 2013

Troy at Mississippi State
The garnet Spartans from Lower Alabama march into Magnolia Country on Saturday, prepared to capture some maroon K9s on a leash.  The home howlers have been neutered so far this fall, they hope to regain their bark instead.  The puppies will survive but not before some unexpected howling is heard from the water dish.   

The Cock-A-Booster Crystal Ball says... Mississippi State by 3

Tennessee at Florida
The Knoxville Hillbilly Brigade will invade the Citrus Bogs this weekend, hoping to put some Gainesville Crocodiles on the gridiron griddle.  The home lizards have some swampy traps set for the attack, and they should withstand the Smokey Mountain Muskets. 
The Cock-A-Booster Crystal Ball says... Florida by 8

North Texas at Georgia
Mark Richt and his overrated howlers open up the Athens Alpo Hut on Saturday, and they plan to sink their jowls into Denton’s angriest emerald birds.  The road chirpers may be in a fowl mood but they won’t have long enough talons to make the barkers surrender.
The Cock-A-Booster Crystal Ball says... Georgia by 17
Arkansas at Rutgers
Bret Bielema and his red piglets squeal out of the Ozark trough on Saturday, hoping to root up some truffles at Bon Jovi Stadium.  The Exit 12 Cavaliers have some tough lances in their jousting den,  and they are hoping the odor from the shore is even offensive to those of porcine ilk. 
The Cock-A-Booster Crystal Ball says... Arkansas by 5
Auburn at LSU
The refurbished felines of Gus Malzhan take their new and improved kitten show into the Bayou this weekend, hoping to be the strongest cats in the Red Stick Scratching Post.  Les Miles will have the Baton Roues Boozers whipped into a frenzy, but they better watch out.  War Eagle may not be fully healed, but they have some pigskin claws to show off. 
The Cock-A-Booster Crystal Ball says... LSU by 7
Clemson at NC State
Dabo the crazy and his purple kittens prowl into Fake BBQ land on Thursday and they’ll find a pack of Raleigh Coyotes waiting to pounce.  The lucky lions are leading a charmed life so far this fall, and that should continue for a little bit longer.  The Carter-Finlay howlers will make some noise early, but get carved up as the night rolls along.      
The Cock-A-Booster Crystal Ball says... Clemson by 24
In one other game...The CRYSTAL BALL says go with...Missouri, Vandy, Arkansas, Texas A&M, and Alabama

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

CLAWS vs. PAWS - Week 4

Weekend of September 21, 2013


If this were a normal year I would have this circled as a stub your toe game for Clemson, but the Tiggers are still leading a charmed life right now and State’s QB is out.  Basically, the Klimpletons are down to 2 meaningful games on the slate for this year.  The good news for them is that thanks to getting Jawja at home where their QB always falters, and catching LSU napping in the Peach the whole world is drinking the orange kool-aid. 
The wake-up call will have to come later to end that fantasy, but for this week it will live on.  Tajh Boyd will get to talk about himself in the third person a lot and Dabo the crazy will continue to hop around like a jack-rabbit on steroids. 
State will try and make a nice showing early and maybe even capture an early lead.  But Sammy is probably on coke instead of pot right now to make sure he is extra-fast.  Too much South Florida purchased talent from the Tiggers spells a big number on the board when this one is complete.

Clemson 44
NC State 20


When Clemson travels to Raleigh for their Thursday night ACC opener, Clemson will be battling a number of foes.  First, and foremost, Clemson will do business with the Wolfpack.  Secondly, they must battle themselves.  Many of this week's questions have centered on the 2011 game, where a Top 10 Clemson team laid an absolute egg.  More than a few of these players were on that, and they're having to relive that game.  Thirdly, Clemson will be battling the national media.  The term "Clemsoning" or "Pulling a Clemson" was coined a few years ago and the Tigers opening weekend and fast start has only added fuel to the fire as the world waits for Clemson to do something every other team in college football does - lose.

And with all this negativity, a perfect storm seems to be brewing over Raleigh.  Throw in the fact that NC State plays really well at Carter-Finley, they have a history of pulling upsets (the last ranked team to play at CF was also ranked #3 - and left with an L), and the locals are getting behind the team; and you can see why some people may be worried.

But Clemson catches a break by playing NC State so early in the season.  They have a new coach, injured QB, and lack of confidence stemming for their narrow escape over Richmond.  Meanwhile, Clemson comes in with dreams of Pasadena and riding the momentum of the Georgia win.

If Clemson can find an offensive rhythm early, this game could be over by halftime.  If the Clemson defense can control the line of scrimmage and make some stops, this game could put Boyd, Watkins, & Co. back atop the Heisman polls.  If Clemson can take the crowd out of the game, the SEC booth may be forced to praise a non-SEC team.  If Clemson gets a few turnovers, a really special season begins to take shape.

If Clemson doesn't do those things.  If they don't find a rhythm, if they don't get stops, if they get owned at the line of scrimmage, if they give the ball up rather than take, if they keep the crowd alive, then 2011 is very capable of happening again.  And we will need to learn to deal with the cliché "Pulling a Clemson".

But don't worry about the latter, as Clemson comes out focused and ready to fulfill their dreams.  They are aggressive on offense and attack on defense.  They set the tone early and continue to pile up big numbers, and the nation takes notice.

This year's Textile Bowl goes the way of the orange.  And big.

Orange Textiles 44
Red Textiles 20



Monday, September 16, 2013

CLAWS vs. PAWS - Week 3 Scoreboard

It doesn't take a Vandy grad to figure out the score of CLAWS vs. PAWS this week.  Add 3 points to both sides and you get...

Both The Cock-A-Booster and The TigerSwag played to a 3-3 tie this week.. Both picked South Carolina to win and to cover the 11 point spread.  The Doors had other ideas...scoring a few touchdowns in the last quarter to cost both of our fearless pickers 7 points each.  So, add three to each side and The Cock-A-Booster continues to maintain his 10 point margin going into this week's game....speaking of this week...only Clemson is playing.  USC will be taking a week off.

Clemson is playing at NC State and is favored by 14.5 points.

Top 10 signs Vanderbilt Fans are in your stadium...

10. They are amazed and frightened by an “upper deck” at a football stadium
9. Their flasks are filled with P. G. Tips and Typhoo instead of Bourbon 
8. In lieu of a game program, Vandy fans pass timeouts reading Tolstoy.
7. Concerned that concession stands had no spreadable marmalades or Minnie Pearl hats.
6. Story after story about how they talk trash to Duke about football. 
5. Numerous references to UT-Knoxville as a state-owned landfill.
4. Following the game, their only concern was pointing out that they played as well as any Ivy League school would have. 
3. Claims that God could never be a PhD at Vandy because he only had one publication and no references.
2. They were excited when U2 came to Vanderbilt Stadium, because they were only a 7-point underdog that night. 

1. Think James Franklin’s glasses are “retro-cute.”

Carolina Student Section left game early due to Geopolitical Concerns

Gamecock students came under fire from Connor Shaw and others for leaving the Vanderbilt game early on Saturday night.  However, an informal exit poll showed that international concerns were the reason.  “Vladimir Putin’s recent Op-Ed in the New York Times was very disturbing,” noted Engineering Major and Sophomore Caitlyn Vending.  “I just couldn’t sit there and continue to watch football knowing that Al Qaeda is telling Syrian fighters to shun secularists.  I wanted to discuss this with some classmates in Five Points immediately.” 

Junior Kenneth Denimbrosky agreed, saying that everyone on campus is just nervous about the nation’s foreign policy.  “Hey, India is retesting missles that can reach China and Hurricane Ingrid is forming in Mexico.  That is why we bailed.  Not because we want to get hammered at Group Therapy or Locals.” 

The strangest season I have ever seen? Maybe.

Let’s be clear about last night’s win over Vanderbilt by USC…the Gamecocks were in total control of the game from start to finish.  That includes both building the lead AND tearing it down with mistakes.  So with all due respect to the Commodores, they had very little to say about what happened.  When we were focused and playing like we can, we were up 28-0 and they didn’t have 100 yards.  Now, once we decided to start giving away touchdowns like candy, of course it got tight.  Anyway, that was a Vandy team that had 14 seniors starting out of 22 and they took advantage of our blunders. 

So after three games and about a million exhaustive hours of listening to Freudian-like psycho-analysis of the Gamecocks from the National Sports media, we are right where most of us thought we would be.  Our 2-1 record includes a loss to a desperate team on the road with a Senior QB who HAD to play a perfect game against us and did. 

So now we’ll get two weeks of folks guaranteeing we will lose to Central Florida because they beat Penn State.  And, yes, if we go to Orlando, make a fresh bucket of unforced errors and get all “panicky” then of course we will lose.  More likely is that we will continue to get better, those mistakes will be reduced and we start rolling off a few wins. 

News flash to anyone who couldn’t read a depth chart before the season started:  We are the youngest football team in the United States.  That’s not theory or spin, that is a fact.  We have less than 10 seniors on the entire depth chart.  It may be as few as 5. Possibly 6 but certainly less than 10.  Assuming our injured senior center returns, we will lose 6 starters for next fall.  And yes I am including Clowney in that number even though he is a junior.  6. 

So why is everyone so unbelievably STUNNED that these young guys have had the UNMITIGATED TEMERITY to make a few errors as they get a few games under their belts?  I expect that kind of reaction from ESPN and our deluded neighbors from the northwest, but I mean Gamecock fans.  Look if you were one of the Carolina folks who swallowed the tripe that USC would not in any way miss losing Devin Taylor, Melvin Ingram, Devnonte Holloman, Antonio Allen, Stephon Gilmore, etc, etc, then I am sorry.  I have no  doubt the next great names to add to that list are coming but my goodness it takes a few weeks of experience to get rolling. 

We are just a few years removed from a program that used to have joyous celebrations over 7-win seasons.  I know because I have all the commemorative DVDs and tapes.  And now, instead of enjoying this 24-5 streak we are enduring it like it’s a root canal.  How about let’s just enjoy the ride as our younger guys grow?  What a long, strange season it has been and will continue to be if we don’t. 
Lighten up Carolina fans.  It’s a great time to be a Gamecock!

Friday, September 13, 2013

CLAWS vs. PAWS - Week 3

Weekend of September 14, 2013

The typical overreaction to the Gamecocks losing at Georgia mirrors only the overhyping of Carolina heading into the season.  The same thing is happening up in Tigger-Town and that will be fun to deal with later but I digress…  Anyway, what it all means is that everyone has now just completely WRITTEN OFF USC and left us for dead.  Frankly, I think that is where we need to always be because we play a lot better under those circumstances. 

So does that mean I am predicting a blow-out on Saturday?  Kind of, yes. First of all, Shaw is a MUCH different quarterback at home as I’ve discussed.  He doesn’t lose in Columbia.  Add in that he made the key mistake in Athens last week despite an otherwise GREAT effort and I bet he’ll come out slinging.  I know we have questions about the defense and as predicted they are mostly centered on our brand new linebackers.  The Cockabooster was exhaustively trying to talk about that to no avail in the summer.  And Vandy has over 15 seniors starting so this is an experienced Commodores team.  

While my buddy over at The Tiger Swag has been getting intoxicated off of the fool’s gold punch old Dabbles is peddling up yonder, I have quietly built a 10-point lead in this contest so if I am going to gamble, this is the week.  I think Carolina wins after a very uncomfortable 1st half.  We will get a late score that will cover the spread.  Carolina is only going to get better after Athens and it will start on Saturday.  

South Carolina 34, Vandy 21


Storylines this week:
  • USC fans finding more excuses than yards they gave up
  • Eillington mad at the sun for shining each day
  • Clowney upset at defensive coaches for costing him the Heisman
  • Defensive coaches mad at each other for having to coach with Spurrier
  • Spurrier not sure Vandy is maintaining proper standards.  No response from Vandy
  • Ron Morris not sure Spurrier is maintaining proper standards
  • Spurrier response? Fire Ron Morris for destroying the "Sticks and Stones" myth
  • The State giving Ron Morris a pseudo bonus by removing him from the USC beat
  • The State bowing to journalistic pressure and forcing Morris back on the USC beat

Oh, and by the way, Vanderbilt is coming to town, which nobody seems to be talking about.  And this ain't your mama's Vandy...

This game won't be close.  Either USC uses the pain and embarrassment from last week to completely destroy Vandy.  Or Vandy strolls into Billy Brice and out of town with the keys to Cocky's jail cell.  Either way, it won't be much of a game.

Fortunately for USC, there is too much talent at the line of scrimmage for Vandy to pull the upset.  Spurrier 2.0 will run the ball twice as much as he throws, and the ground game will wear out Franklin's Commodores.

Now, we said the same thing back in 2006 & 2007, and USC managed to lose those game, but I don't think it will happen this year.

South Carolina 31, Vanderbilt 13




Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Cock-A-Booster's CRYSTAL BALL says...

DATE: Games for the week of September 14, 2013

Louisville at Kentucky
Some stout red birds from horse country flock into hoops-ville this weekend, hoping to peck away at some wilting kittens.  The Adolph Rupp Meows will come out scratching and will purr a bit early, but more fur will be shed than feathers when the day is done.  

The Cock-A-Booster Crystal Ball says... Louisville by 15

Tennessee at Oregon
Some Smokey Mountain Hillbillies will be invading the Donald Duck Western Spa on Saturday, hoping to aim their muskets at some web-footed waddlers.  The pot-smoking   quackers have very strong bills, and they will withstand the attack with little effort.  The Autzen Pond will barely see any ripples in the water, and the Portland Plumage will remain in tact.  
The Cock-A-Booster Crystal Ball says... Oregon by 31

Mississippi State at Auburn 
The Maroon Magnolia Jowlers will trot out of Starkville on this weekend, ready to paw into the East Alabama Scratching Post and capture the home kittens.  The Gritty Gusses are hissing quite loudly so far, and that just might continue.  Oh my goodness, could we see, those old War Eagles perched with win #3?
The Cock-A-Booster Crystal Ball says... Auburn by 5

Ole Miss at Texas
Mack Brown and his de-horned cows open up the Austin Ranches this weekend, hoping to add some Hot Toddy to the feed mix.  Colonel Sanders is carrying a sturdier walking stick of late, and has no intention of just rocking on the porch.  Could be steak on the menu when this one is done.
The Cock-A-Booster Crystal Ball says... Ole Miss in a mild upset by 4

Alabama at Texas A & M
Nick Saban and his elegant elephants storm into College Station on Saturday, hoping to show the home gauchos their ivory hunt last fall was a fluke.  The red herd knows how to lay a trampling on folks, and if the cowpokes aren’t careful, they will get gored.  The Cockabooster is buying the home hype on this one. 
The Cock-A-Booster Crystal Ball says... Texas A & M by 2 in a big upset

Vanderbilt at South Carolina
James Franklin and the Nashville Boat Captains sail into Columbia this weekend, hoping to dock their pigskin carrier at the Bluff Road Chicken Plant.  The head ball coach knows the skippers are coming, and the puffed-up poultries will not be a welcoming port.  After some early discomfort, the home birds should leave with their wings in tact.   
The Cock-A-Booster Crystal Ball says... South Carolina by 13
In one other game...The CRYSTAL BALL says go with...Arkansas over Southern Miss.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Top 10 signs USC finally lost a game to Georgia

10.          Bulldog Cheerleaders pulling out the Red Man “Golden Blend” on Saturday night.
9.            UGA Honor Students given free “victory slap” of their sisters by the Athens Police. 
8.            The urine in downtown Athens was hosed off of the vomit to help the celebration.  (Tip of the cap to Triumph for this one.)
7.            Dawgie Coeds wearing their best fake teeth at the post-game tailgates.
6.            REM now thinks they may have one more record in them.
5.            Aaron Murray leaving the stadium to cheers...for once. 
4.            Clemson fans pretending it was them.
3.            Peach State Waffle Houses expand their smoking sections to include the Juke Box.
2.            Random barking by elderly women in nursing homes up 478%.
1.            Vince Dooley seen clogging on top of the cement end zone dog.

CRANKSHAFT GAZZETTE: Spurrier has no idea who coaches at Vanderbilt

When asked this week what he thought about Carolina’s game against Vandy, Carolina’s Steve Spurrier spoke in general terms and avoided having to call the name of the Commodores’ coach (James Franklin). “Yeah, that guy up there is doing a great job. A great job. Yes Sir, old Captain Shiny Shoes is something else.” Spurrier says that he is too worried about his own team’s problems to concern himself with knowing everyone’s name. “Y’all always make such a big fuss about this and that. Is Jay Cutler still the coach up there? No. Well, no big deal. He’s an outstanding coach whoever he is. Mack Brown? Earl Bennett? “ Spurrier says that it won’t matter what the Coaches’ names are once the ball is kicked off Saturday night. “Vanderbilt always comes prepared to play and I am sure they will bring a crowd down here from Murfreesboro. “ When a member of the media said, “I think you mean Nashville Coach,” Spurrier just chuckled and cracked open a Coors. “Son this ain’t the Grand Ole Opry we’re playing.”

MOO U News: Kirk Herbstreit and Dabo are officially dating...

Kirk Herbstreit of ESPN has fallen in love with Dabo Swinney, and he says this time the relationship will be long-lasting.  “Dabo promises me he’s not going to break my heart again,” said Herbie, who has fought it out with 94-year old Brent Musberger’s infatuation with Alabama QB’s girlfriends for the Most Uncomfortable Crush on television.    

Herbstreit said it was hard to put away previous failed flirtations with the Tigers, and he knows that he is setting himself up for failure again.  But he says the time is right to make one more go of it.  “We are going to run the table this year and to be honest we may never lose another football game.”  When he was asked if he could handle it if Clemson stubs their toe in 2013, Herbstreit welled up with tears.  “DON’T YOU SAY THAT!  QUIT SAYING SUCH AWFUL THINGS ABOUT MY MAN!  They are going undefeated and that’s the last I will hear of it.   LA LA LA LA LA LA!  I can’t hear you.  I can’t hear you.”  

When asked how the knot was officially tied, Dabo said he took the ESPN analyst to the Esso Club and treated him to a bottle of their finest Mad Dog.  “You could tell when he sipped that 20/20 Orange that he was All In.”  But just to top it off, Swinney did a Karaoke version of “Try Again” by Champaign to help seal the deal.

Now we will be fine

As predicted, Georgia played a flawless game and got the win they absolutely had to have.  Of COURSE that was going to happen and you could see it coming a mile away.  And it will mean nothing in October and November.  Similarly, Clemson is going through a September peak similar to the one we saw when they beat Auburn and then Auburn beat us.  And it will mean nothing in October and November.  

I am sorry that so many Gamecock fans swallowed the hype about how great we were and now they are mad that it wasn’t true.  But the good news is that all of them are so short-sighted that when we become the good team we will this season, they will have forgotten all about the start.  

As I said many times over the summer, we had several glaring question marks for this fall if we were going to live up to the insane publicity we were getting.  Just because that turned out to be fantasy does NOT mean we aren’t a great football team.  First I talked about our new linebackers and that was crystal clear on Saturday.  They are only going to get better over the next few weeks.  Second was my concern about depth and experience at defensive back.  That was exposed at arguably the key moment in the game and gave the Pups the score that put it out of reach.  

Finally there was my concern about Shaw leading us to the win between the hedges.  I give him credit for playing one hell of a game.  No question.  And no, he was not the reason we lost at all.  But, having said that, even when he is doing most things right he fumbles for no reason at a crucial moment.   Basically the only things that we have “lost” due to Saturday are a shot at going unbeaten and maybe the phantom pretend “Heisman” run by Clowney.  That’s it. 

So yes, I know it is insane to listen to the morons from Dawgville and the Upstate this week.  They have been waiting so long for a chance to chirp about anything.  God bless ‘em.  Just ignore them for now and they will take care of themselves.  They always do and this year won’t be any different.  Heck, if every Georgia QB moving forward wants to go 1-3 against us, I can handle that 1 win being his senior season.  Murray had the “last laugh” but we got almost all of them and I am good with that.  He leaves Athens as one of my favorite Dawgie signal-callers ever.  I would love to watch him come back to Columbia next season and mentally implode again, but alas he will be gone.  

So Carolina may be fuming today, but the rest of the schedule is winnable and that’s a fact.  It’s not “Clemson” easy, I will concede that, and yes, we have a three-game stretch of road games to maneuver through.  But basically, yes, we “should” win the rest of the games on our schedule.  It starts with the next 3 games:  Vandy, Central Florida and Kentucky.  Win those and we are 4-1 headed to Hogville, Rocky Top and Mizzou. 
Color me happy all the preseason nonsense is out of the way this early.  Now we will be fine. 
It’s a great time to be a Gamecock!