Category Archives: South Carolina Gamecocks
After dipping into some light SEC trolling last week (seriously, the three SEC network games had an AVERAGE spread of 43.3 points), we’re back to ranking the SEC’s teams for one last regular season hurrah. Since we last did this, Arkansas has beaten the brakes off of two SEC West foes, Missouri has continued to B.S. its way into ‘do we take them seriously’ mode, the West has continued to eat itself, and the East has remained a joke outside of Athens and the Midwestern regional office.
1) Alabama: I have to admit: it’s been fun watching this Tide team evolve, but that view has made it difficult to envision them as the invincible foe they have represented the past six years. Their D has returned as the class of the SEC with Ole Miss’ fall, and their O will be just fine as long as Amari Cooper can play in the Iron Bowl this weekend.
2) Mississippi State: I don’t think the Bulldogs deserve to be in the playoff, as their best wins all happened to come at the peak of their opponents’ ranking. If they win the natty, they will do so with me picking them to lose each game from here on out. As such, I expect this trend to correct itself in Oxford this week.
3) Georgia: It’s going to be a real shame to watch this team come so far, chokeslam a ton of adversity, and miss out on a shot at the SEC because of two ill-timed and inexplicable losses to inferior rivals. Sigh.
4) Auburn: There was a time earlier in the season where it was genuinely tough to separate the top five or six teams, but that time is gone. Auburn is officially on the next tier down thanks to getting throttled by Georgia and their “God really does love Auburn” streak of good luck seeming to be over– which sets up perfectly for an upset in Tuscaloosa this week, right? Nah, but maybe.
5) Missouri: Hats off to Gary Pinkel. Coming into the season, all I really knew about the Tigers was that Shane Ray and Markus Golden would be able to come close to replicating the production of Kony Ealy and Michael Sam. I didn’t think they would exceed it and carry this team. I am now prepared for an inevitable invasion of Midwesterners to Atlanta next weekend…
6) Arkansas: …UNLESS MY HOGS TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS! Good gracious, I expected them to break the seal and win an SEC game, but what they’ve done in the past two weeks indicates they could be a problem as soon as 2015. Let’s get them one more regular season win and push them to a meaningful bowl game. Also, Bret Bieliema is quickly moving up the ranks of candid and fun SEC coach interviews. I’d put him on the tier right behind the OBC and the Mad Hatter. (Can we call him the Mad Fatter?)
7) Ole Miss: Daniel and I eulogized Bad Dr. Bo on the podcast about a month ago, when I thought the Black Bears were going to win the SEC. Oops. Bad Dr. Bo is really, REALLY bad still.
8) LSU: Weird coach, weird people, weird year. They need a QB. Also, with Zach Mettenberger, Jeremy Hill, Odell Beckham, and Alfred Blue all showing out in the NFL, can we now start to wonder if they’re underachieving under Les Miles?
9) Texas A&M: Their in-conference point differential is -64, yet one is led to believe that they’d be nipping at Georgia and Missouri’s heels in the East. Football is strange.
10) Florida: I said it last week and I’ll say it again:
– Muschamp beats FSU.
– Jeremy Foley realizes that there aren’t many great candidates fitting his publicly-outlined parameters.
– Muschamp is re-hired.
This is a world in which I want to live.
11-13) South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky: As high as we were on Kentucky going into their game against Georgia, they’ve really underwhelmed. Tennessee is probably playing the best of these three teams, but got fat on … South Carolina and Kentucky. And I have nothing to say about South Carolina except that I love seeing them regress back towards historical South Carolina.
14) Vanderbilt: Opponents 259, Commodores 85. That is what the SEC has done to them. Yes, the average SEC opponent is beating these guys 37-12. So much for riding James Franklin’s success, Derek Mason.
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Dabo To Gators?
It is getting very hard to keep up with all the coaches that are being added to the Florida Head Coaching search list, but now we get to add Dabo Swinney to the list. If Florida wants to become the new Clemson, more power to them, but I think this would be an awful hire for the Gators. Make someone like Brian Kelly or John Harbaugh tell you no before you just write them off. Here is the full list of possible hires.
Tide VS Noles
We all want to see this matchup. I would love to see what Reggie Ragland and the Alabama defense would due to Jameis Winston, but it looks like we might not get to see that till 2017 unless they both make it to the CFP. I hope both teams are still relevant (I know the Tide will be) in 2017, and hopefully this will be a home an home aside from a neutral site. Check out the possibilities here.
The main problem I have with this list is the fact they have Georgia Tech as Georgia’s biggest rival. In my 22 years, Florida has been the rival I wanted to beat most. Is that because Tech is irrelevant? Maybe. Either way I would rank Tech behind Florida and Auburn. Here is list of all SEC teams biggest rival.
Five Must Get Players for UGA
Dawgs 247 Sports released the five “must haves” for 2015. Their list here.
These are the five players, who are undecided and considering UGA, who I think the Bulldogs must get for 2015:
Josh Sweat – ☆☆☆☆☆
#5 Overall; #1 WDE; #1 in VA
Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, VA) WDE
I probably would have had 5-Star cornerback, Tarvarus McFadden, in this spot last week, but considering he chose the ‘Noles a few weeks ago, I’ve moved Sweat to #1. If Sweat wasn’t seriously considering UGA, I wouldn’t feel like he was a must get, but the “word on the street” is that this is now a Georgia/Florida State battle. It’s also promising that Georgia is the only SEC school that Sweat is considering. Dawgs 247 reports that Sweat’s decision will really just come down to his official visits. He visited Athens for the Auburn game and loved it. Him and his family were very impressed with the coaching staff and the people in the Georgia program. Sweat said that he was surprised with how nice everything was. He’ll make his decision sometime during the first week of December.
Here are Sweat’s junior highlights:
Chidi Valentine-Okeke – ☆☆☆☆
#54 Overall; #2 OT; #8 in GA
Faith Baptist Christian Academy (Ludowici, GA) OT
***Ratings by 247 Sports because Rivals has not yet reclassified him as a 2015 recruit
Offensive linemen are always a major need for the Bulldogs, but Valentine-Okeke is even more important because he is an elite in-state guy, and the Bulldogs have already missed out on one in Chuma Edoga. People close to Chidi say that Georgia is clearly the team to beat right now. He has a great relationship with UGA offensive line coach, Will Friend, and he says that “it feels like home” whenever he is in Athens. Chidi was in Athens for the Auburn game and loved everything he saw. He pointed out that he would love to block for the talented running backs that UGA has. He plans on visiting Georgia again sometime in December before making his decision on Januray 3rd at the Army All-American game.
Chidi is also considering Alabama, Auburn, FSU, and LSU.
Roquan Smith – ☆☆☆☆
#62 Overall; #7 OLB; #10 in GA
Macon County (Montezuma, GA) OLB
Georgia will likely be losing all four of their linebackers after this season, and they only have two true linebackers committed right now for 2015, so Smith will certainly be a must get. Right now he plays outside linebacker, but Dawgs 247 reports that he will likely move to inside linebacker in college. I don’t know that he would start right away as a true freshman at UGA, but I can promise you he would see A LOT of playing time. Like Rashad Roundtree, Smith is another elite talent that, if you’re Georgia, you can not let leave your state.
Smith’s recruitment seems to have come down to Georgia, Florida, and Ole Miss, and he says that he’ll commit on National Signing Day.
Roquan’s junior highlights:
Donte Jackson – ☆☆☆☆
#190 Overall; #21 CB; #7 in LA
Riverdale (Jefferson, LA) CB
With 5-Star cornerback target, Tarvarus McFadden, committing to FSU a few weeks ago, Jackson has become even more of a must get for the Bulldogs. Donte is a freak athlete who plays cornerback, safety, wide receiver, running back, punt returner, and kick returner, but Pruitt has made it clear to him that he wants him to play cornerback if he decides to come to Athens. With sub-4.4 speed and insane quickness, however, I would fully expect the Bulldogs to use him on offense and special teams some as well. Jackson has stated that this is a Georgia/LSU battle, but has said at times that the Dawgs are in the lead. Donte will take an official visit to Georgia sometime in December.
Jackson plans on committing in late December or at the Army All-American game on January 3rd.
Check out his insane highlights here.
Darius Slayton – ☆☆☆
Not Rated Overall; #44 CB; #42 in GA
Greater Atlanta Christian (Norcross, GA) CB/WR
Don’t let his 3-star Rivals rating fool you. Slayton is a 4-star on every other recruiting site (#119 Overall on 247 Sports, #187 Overall on ESPN), and I’ve seen many people say he should even be a 5-star. Like Donte Jackson, Slayton is an insane athlete with 4.4 speed who plays wide receiver, cornerback, running back, kick returner, and punt returner. Georgia is recruiting Slayton, though, as a wide receiver. If Slayton commits to the Dawgs, this will easily be the best class of wide receivers the university has ever signed. Check out the other wide receivers already committed here and here. Slayton’s recruitment has seemed to come down to Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee but I fully expect him to commit to the “G.”
Slayton is now done with his official visits, and he says that he will commit soon.
Check out his junior highlights here.
***Ratings according to Rivals.com
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Jonathan Follow @johnnysanders
Will Muschamp is going to be enjoying that sweet buyout life in a mere two weeks, but the question on everyone’s mind is who will be replacing him in the Swamp. Names have been floated, but nothing concrete has leaked yet.
— DPalm (@dpalm66) November 19, 2014
(If they hire Shanahan, I don’t need any Christmas gifts from anyone ever again)
After the Muschamp patented “Rock Fight” offense, it’s safe to assume that the next hire will possess a prodigious offensive mind, but Foley’s search has to be more considered than that. They need a name that will energize a dilapidated fan base, loosen the purse strings of boosters, and make a splash in recruiting to return the program to prominence. But, the problem is who fits the profile?
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How Make It To Atlanta
If your team is in the lead right now, just win out and you are booking a trip to Atlanta. Georgia needs Mizzou to lose to Rocky Top or Arkansas for the Dawgs to go, and honestly I refuse to root for Tennessee in any matchup. I will root for Arkansas, but I cannot pull myself to root for such an obnoxious/rude fan base. I would not put that on my worst enemy. Here are the SEC Championship scenarios for each team within contention.
After this season we should see some of the most talented players leave our beloved conference, and go on to dominate in the pros. Aside from Todd Gurley, you have guys like Amari Cooper, Shane Ray, Leonard Floyd, who should make an NFL team very happy one day. These guys will be missed on their respective teams, but the SEC will continue to produce top tier talent. Here are the top 10 guys leaving this year.
Heisman Gets A Ticket
Marcus Mariota is clearly the front runner for the Heisman after DAKota Prescott could not get the job done in Tuscaloosa last week, but even the front runner gets a speeding ticket. Imagine if this was in Athens? Mark Richt would be asked if he has lost full control of his team! Mariotta is all about going fast, but I cannot wait to see him be a 3rd string QB next year in the NFL. Here is the full report on his speeding ticket.