We've discussed South Carolina at length here the past couple years and highlighted many items unique to this Carolina team in our game preview (found here). It is not a big secret for this game (or most any other football game for that matter)...the most important aspect of tonight's game in Columbia will be what happens in the trenches. If Clemson can at least hold its own while on offense, the Tigers have a pretty good shot tonight. I don't think the SCar secondary can contain the Tiger receiving corps if Boyd has time to operate and will be in trouble if Hot Rod (in addition to key quarterback rushes) can get it going and force Carolina to put another body in the box. If Clemson also can stymie the SCar rushing attack, the odds of a victory obviously go up tremendously.
While no one will take anything away from the 10 wins Clemson has to date, I'll tell you the season would be a whole lot sweeter with a win today. A win today locks Clemson in a BCS bowl no matter what happens with Florida State or any other team out there. A win today puts Clemson at its first 11 win regular season in over 30 years. A win today should resonate on the recruiting trail and a win today would lessen the trash talk we have to hear for at least a week or so.
Around the country, we have a fairly weak early today. We posted the television schedule yesterday to make viewing decisions for the week/weekend a bit easier. The typical excitement around Florida/Florida State and Michigan/Ohio State is not present this year due to the stark gap in play between the teams this season. Duke at North Carolina looks to be the most intriguing noon matchup today as the Blue Devils are playing for the Coastal Division crown in Chapel Hill
The 3:30 slot is the national game of the week as The Alabama Crimson Tide roll into the Plains to face the Eagles for the SEC West title. This game obviously has national championship implications...Roll Tide. Although Auburn had a week off to prepare for the Tide, I still believe the game matchup favors the two time defending champion simply because Auburn needs to run the football to keep that high powered offense going. Bama is jam up against the run so this will be a big task for the Plainsmen. While Auburn appears to be vastly improved on the defensive side of the ball, I think that the Alabama offense is too good to be kept at bay assuming A.J. McCarron doesn't implode and can hit the broad-side of a barn this afternoon. This rivalry has been interesting over the years and has caught their share of breaks the past half decade, so you never really know what will happen until, as they say, they play the game.
Two of Clemson's victims face off in Atlanta as a depleted Georgia team faces a Georgia Tech in Atlanta. This is the best opportunity for Tech to upset the Dawgs in quite some time as the Athens Canines will be without many important players--none more important than Aaron Murray. Georgia still has more "recruited" talent but the Dawgs' defense in '13 has clearly taken a step back and teams have been known to struggle to defend the Tech option attack.
The evening games kick off with Clemson / Carolina. Many folks in Williams-Brice will be paying attention to Missouri hosting aTm. Obviously if Mizzou wins, they go to Atlanta otherwise the Gamecocks will be headed to the Dome to face Bammer next weekend. USC hosts UCLa in the battle for Los Angeles and in a game that will help decide the future for Coach O out there. While I will agree that he has revitalized a mess left by Lane Kiffin, I cannot ignore Orgeron's previous life that involved a very, very bad stretch down at Ole Miss. Maybe his style is more suited for the West Coast than the Deep South, but if USC wins tonight I am glad I don't have to make a decision about the who will be the head man in '14.
It's Saturday, so it's a Motley Saturday
JUST LIKE THAT! <<SNAPS FINGERS>>