Tuesday, November 1, 2011

BCS Championship a Stretch but Possible

It's clear that this weekend's game between LSU and Alabama has National Championship implications.  However, another SEC game that may also have a saying in who plays in New Orleans in January will be South Carolina at Arkansas.  With both teams ranked in the top 10 anything is possible.  A couple of domino's would have to fall in order for the Gamecocks to reach the Championship game though.  If the Gamecocks are able to come out of Fayeteville with a win, they would move up a spot and possibly two spots if the loser of the Alabam-LSU game drops below them in the rankings.  This would put the Gamecocks at #7.  #4 Stanford would have a matchup with #7 Oregon with the loser dropping below Carolina, therefore moving the Gamecocks up to #6.  A season ending matchup of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State would also have the loser moving below the Gamecoks and placing them at the #5 ranking.  However, Carolina would have to take care of Clemson for this to happen.  The Gamecocks would be going into the SEC Championship game ranked #5 and would most likely have to play the loser of the Alabama-LSU game.  If the Gamecocks manage to win this game, they would move up one spot and most likely pass Boise State in the ranking placing them at #3 in the country.  The #1 and #2 teams at this point would be either Oklahoma or Oklahoma State, or Stanford or Oregon.  The new Pac-12 has a Championship Game this year so either Oregon or Stanford would be playing in that game and if they happen to lose, South Carolina would be ranked second in the country and heading to New Orleans.  This whole scenario, of course, starts with this weekends game at Arkansas.  So if you thougt the LSU-Alabama game was the only meaningful game this weekend, think again.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Arkansas Looms

With their win at Neyland Stadium yesterday, the Gamecocks improve to 7-1(5-1) and are a step closer towards reaching the SEC Title Game in Atlanta.  With Georgia beating Florida, Carolina is still in first place because of the tiebreaker over the Dawgs.  However, Georgia's remaining SEC shedule includes Auburn at home and Kentucky.  Carolina has to deal with the likes of Arkansas in Fayeteville and Florida at home.  It's not going to be an easy stretch for the Gamecocks but coming out with a win at Arkansas would be a huge accomplishment and would almost guarantee a spot in the championship game.  With the Gamecocks bolsering the best pass defense in the country, it's going to be interesting to see what Tyler Wilson can do.  Arkansas has struggled out of the gate against Ole Miss and Vandy in the last two weeks as well as Texas A&M.  If Arkansas comes out the same way against the Gamecocks, the offense is going to need to put up points because Arkansas can score fast.  I expect Carolina's defensive line to overpower Arkansa's offensive line and I also expect Steve Spurrier to air it out early and often if Arkansas comes out sluggish once again.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pre-Kickoff Comments

We're two hours away from kickoff in Knoxville, TN.  I'm excited to see what kind of game Connor Shaw has without Marcus Lattimore.  He had a good game at Mississippi State two weeks ago but Knoxville is a whole different enviroment.  Brandon Wilds hasn't looked bad in the few carries that he has had throughout the season but we all know Marcus can't be replaced.  I'm looking for Alshon Jefferey to have a solid game against a not so stout Tennessee secondary and he needs 95 yards to pass the all-time receiving yards record at South Carolina.  He also needs one 100 yard game to also pass the record for most 100 yard games previously held by current Seattle Seahawks receiver Sidney Rice.  The defense I think will have its biggest game of the year so far.  They will be facing a true freshman quarterback making his first career start, a very below average running game as well an average offensive line.  This one will be a good one and has the potential to be the game that decides the SEC East.