Friday, October 25, 2013

CLAWS vs. PAWS - Week 9

 Weekend of October 26, 2013


South Carolina will be making their inaugural trip to Columbia, MO this week, and it has city officials from both Columbias on edge. The officials from Columbia, MO are worried the South Carolina fans, whose only familiarity with Missouri stems from weekends at Branson, may show up at the stadium in RV's demanding concerts by the Oak Ridge Boys & the Gatlin Brothers. And when they realize the only show in town will be headlined by the Ole Ball Coach, well, officials are worried how they might react.

On the other hand, Columbia, SC city officials will be traveling with the Gamecocks to Columbia, SC to try and solve two concerns. First, in an effort to curb violence in Five Points, city officials will be testing their new Five Points security measures on the Gamecock players since it will prepare them for future encounters. And secondly, those same officers can monitor the players to ensure they don't attempt to go rogue and defect from Columbia, SC to Columbia, MO.

What's ironic is that the tighter city officials monitor the football players, the worse they play. If the players realize there's no chance for defection, it may crush their morale leading to a lackluster performance (see last week, Tennessee). Conversely, if the South Carolina players think they have a shot at defecting from Columbia, SC to Columbia, MO, then they may play without the fear of returning home to Columbia, SC.

Think of it like Clowney's career: they less he's covered, the better he plays.

I like the city officials from Columbia, SC to be so enamored with Columbia, MO that they forget about the Gamecock players, allowing they to run wild...on Missouri...

Dylan Thompson (Matt Saracen from Dillon High) plays like he did against Clemson and Matty Mauk (Mox from West Canaan High) cools off bit.

Friday Night Lights 27
Varsity Blues 20


We went with the opening line in this game, where Carolina was favored by 5 and that was right.  Obviously that number has corrected itself and Mizzou is actually now favored by 2 or 3 depending on where you look.
The Gamecocks have one more road game (we will have been away in 5 of our first 8 when this is done) before closing the season with four games in Columbia.  This is a game that the entire world has decided will be a Tiger romp.  They may be right if Carolina plays like they did in Knoxville.  But honestly that trip to UT was vintage Connor Shaw on the road.  When things get really tough, he usually has an injury and plays bad.  So he’ll step aside again and let the maverick Dylan Thompson take the reins. 
I sense that Carolina has too much going against it to win, and Mizzou feels like this will be the game that certifies that they are in control of the East now.  Who could argue with them if they do win?  So with the entire planet guaranteeing things are going that way, I will jump on the minority bandwagon.  I need the points in this little contest.        

South Carolina30
Mizzou 23



There's only one thing longer than Dabo's list of anecdotes: Maryland's injury list. Unfortunately for Clemson, that list comes one week too late. Last week, Florida State reminded Clemson why they haven't won a National Championship in 30+ years as they dominated all three phases of the game. And to be honest, Clemson didn't look that great in the previous week's win over Boston College.

This week, Clemson will look to avenge those two weeks as they take on a Maryland team that started strong, but has since given way to last year's squad as injuries have mounted.

How this game goes will lie solely on Clemson's shoulders as they should be able to do to Maryland as they wish. The question will be whether there is a hangover effect from last week or whether Clemson uses the beat down as motivation.

Look for the Clemson defense to set the pace early as the Clemson offense tries to rekindle the Syracuse magic. Also, look for Clemson to force the issue in the run game in an effort to balance themselves out.

To me, the only concern here is that the line is only 13. In this case, I feel better betting against Maryland than I do picking for Clemson. Regardless, Clemson wins by 3 scores.

Clemson 41
Maryland 16


If the ACC had more than 1 team, you would actually circle this game as a “trap situation” for the Overrated Dabos.  But the rest of that pathetic conference is just putrid so the Tigers will start looking good in their own minds again.  They don’t play anyone else until they come to Columbia, and old Tajhie-poo needs to pad those stats against the nobodies to begin a new Heisman campaign.  Sammy will put down the herbs to make sure everyone knows he is still on the team as well. 

Maryland has no defense as exhibited against the Noles earlier this season.  Of course, Clemson’s defense is non-existant also so maybe that is kind of a wash.  

The difference will show itself on offense.  Those old Turtles start quickly at home, so they will do some crawling early and maybe even get a small lead.  But the kittens know they have to do some big scoring and rout the College Park Shells to convince the upstate masses everything is still okay.  It will get ugly late.   

Clemson 56
Maryland 17




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