South Carolina looks like the SEC's next champ - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

SEC Analysis: It is decided

Kelcy Quarles (99) mans the middle of a talented defensive line for the South Carolina Gamecocks. (Source: USC Athletics) Kelcy Quarles (99) mans the middle of a talented defensive line for the South Carolina Gamecocks. (Source: USC Athletics)
  • LSUMore>>

  • LSU football enjoys team outing at original T.J. Ribs restaurant

    LSU football enjoys team outing at original T.J. Ribs restaurant

    Tuesday, August 11 2015 9:37 PM EDT2015-08-12 01:37:12 GMT
    Tuesday, August 11 2015 10:06 PM EDT2015-08-12 02:06:19 GMT
    The LSU football team took a break from the sweaty grind of fall camp Tuesday night to enjoy some team bonding and great food.More >>
    The LSU football team took a break from the sweaty grind of fall camp Tuesday night to enjoy some team bonding and great food.More >>
  • LSU football wants return to 2011 defense

    LSU football wants return to 2011 defense

    Thursday, August 6 2015 3:15 PM EDT2015-08-06 19:15:51 GMT
    Thursday, August 6 2015 3:36 PM EDT2015-08-06 19:36:51 GMT
    LSU may have ranked No. 1 in the SEC defensively last season, but many fans and analysts agree that wasn’t an accurate reflection of how the team actually played. More >>
    LSU may have ranked No. 1 in the SEC defensively last season, but many fans and analysts agree that wasn’t an accurate reflection of how the team actually played. More >>
  • LSU football reports for fall camp, Miles says Bain was never reinstated

    LSU football reports for fall camp, Miles says Bain was never reinstated

    Wednesday, August 5 2015 12:06 PM EDT2015-08-05 16:06:42 GMT
    Wednesday, August 5 2015 4:52 PM EDT2015-08-05 20:52:04 GMT
    On a steamy and sweltering morning in south Louisiana, the LSU football team officially reported for the start of fall camp. The Tigers checking into the West Campus Apartments Wednesday morning, with their first practice set for Thursday. More >>
    On a steamy and sweltering morning in south Louisiana, the LSU football team officially reported for the start of fall camp. The Tigers checking into the West Campus Apartments Wednesday morning, with their first practice set for Thursday. More >>
  • Texas A&MMore>>

  • Game winning shot rattles out, Ole Miss falls at Texas A&M

    Game winning shot rattles out, Ole Miss falls at Texas A&M

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 11:44 PM EST2018-01-17 04:44:02 GMT
    Source: SEC NetworkSource: SEC Network

    Tyler Davis scored 20 points, including Texas A&M's final basket, and the Aggies defeated Mississippi 71-69 on Tuesday night for A&M's first victory in Southeastern Conference play this season. The Rebels' Breein Tyree missed a 3-point attempt at the other end that rattled in and out as time expired.

    More >>

    Tyler Davis scored 20 points, including Texas A&M's final basket, and the Aggies defeated Mississippi 71-69 on Tuesday night for A&M's first victory in Southeastern Conference play this season. The Rebels' Breein Tyree missed a 3-point attempt at the other end that rattled in and out as time expired.

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  • South CarolinaMore>>

  • Gamecocks enter the postseason red hot, take series from Aggies

    Gamecocks enter the postseason red hot, take series from Aggies

    Sunday, May 20 2018 10:40 PM EDT2018-05-21 02:40:23 GMT
    (Source: Katie Dugan, 247Sports)(Source: Katie Dugan, 247Sports)

    South Carolina put an exclamation point on the regular season with a 10-1 victory and series win over Texas A&M. After dropping four of the first five conference series, the Gamecocks (32-22, 17-13) won five straight SEC series for the first time since 2012, which produced a streak of six straight.

    More >>

    South Carolina put an exclamation point on the regular season with a 10-1 victory and series win over Texas A&M. After dropping four of the first five conference series, the Gamecocks (32-22, 17-13) won five straight SEC series for the first time since 2012, which produced a streak of six straight.

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  • ON TO THE SUPER REGIONAL: Gamecocks hammer Liberty in third game, 5-0, to advance in tournament

    ON TO THE SUPER REGIONAL: Gamecocks hammer Liberty in third game, 5-0, to advance in tournament

    Sunday, May 20 2018 8:59 PM EDT2018-05-21 00:59:46 GMT
    The Gamecocks celebrate after defeating the Liberty twice in the same day advancing to the Super Regional of the 2018 NCAA softball tournament on May 20. (Source: ESPN 3)The Gamecocks celebrate after defeating the Liberty twice in the same day advancing to the Super Regional of the 2018 NCAA softball tournament on May 20. (Source: ESPN 3)
    The Gamecocks celebrate after defeating the Liberty twice in the same day advancing to the Super Regional of the 2018 NCAA softball tournament on May 20. (Source: ESPN 3)The Gamecocks celebrate after defeating the Liberty twice in the same day advancing to the Super Regional of the 2018 NCAA softball tournament on May 20. (Source: ESPN 3)

    With a 5-0 victory over Liberty, the University of South Carolina softball team will advance to the Super Regional of the 2018 NCAA Tournament, facing off against the winner between The University of Mississippi and No. 8-ranked Arizona State University.

    More >>

    With a 5-0 victory over Liberty, the University of South Carolina softball team will advance to the Super Regional of the 2018 NCAA Tournament, facing off against the winner between The University of Mississippi and No. 8-ranked Arizona State University.

    More >>
  • Gamecocks defeat Liberty, 2-0, and force a third game set for Sunday night

    Gamecocks defeat Liberty, 2-0, and force a third game set for Sunday night

    Sunday, May 20 2018 6:19 PM EDT2018-05-20 22:19:10 GMT
    The USC softball team celebrates after defeating Liberty in the early Sunday game of the NCAA tournament. (Source: ESPN 3)The USC softball team celebrates after defeating Liberty in the early Sunday game of the NCAA tournament. (Source: ESPN 3)

    The University of South Carolina softball team defeated Liberty, 2-0, Sunday afternoon to force a third, winner-takes-all game to decide the winner of the Columbia Regional in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

    More >>

    The University of South Carolina softball team defeated Liberty, 2-0, Sunday afternoon to force a third, winner-takes-all game to decide the winner of the Columbia Regional in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

    More >>

(RNN) – Week 1 is complete. That means it's time to honor the analyst tradition of taking a couple preconceived notions, mixing in a dash of limited evidence and making some unreasonably bold predictions.

To get the full effect, print this out, give it to a friend and have him read it in a loud, abusive manner. Everyone knows it isn't commentary without someone yelling it at you.

So, here goes. Meet your 2013 Southeastern Conference Champions: the South Carolina Gamecocks. Provided the Ol' Ball Coach gets out of his own way.

"We got a bunch of hurt guys, acting like they're really hurt," Steve Spurrier told reporters after the Aug. 12 practice. "So right now, they may not play [in the season opener]."

The guys in question were wideouts Damiere Byrd and Bruce Ellington (both sore hamstrings), along with All-American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (bruised shoulder).

When asked if he was trying to send a message for them to get healthy, Coach Grumpycat said "I don't know. Why don't y'all go talk to them?" before adding, "No, I'll handle those guys."

They all played, by the way.

This gets brought up after Clowney huffed and puffed his way through Thursday's 27-10 win over North Carolina. ESPN's sideline reporter asked Spurrier about his All-American at the half; it turned out Clowney had been battling a stomach virus … and his coach had no idea until midway through the game.

10-on-11

Lost in the talk of "Tummy-gate" was the performance put on by the rest of the gang Thursday. The defense held a good North Carolina offense to 2.8 yards per carry and 4.5 yards per pass, all while Clowney did little more than go "BOO!" to keep blockers occupied.

And an off-night due to a stomach bug, a no-huddle offense and the sweltering Columbia heat may be the best thing for USC. Think about it: The most talented, devastating player in college football is in the midst of a nine-day stretch hearing how he's not that good, not that motivated and not that worthy of the praise.

Giant shoulder, meet equally large Chip. He'll be with you all season.

Further confounding the opposition will be how the D-line duo of Gerald Dixon and Gerald Dixon Jr. are both playing college ball.

(Side note: They're half-brothers.)

Rear view

Quarterback Connor Shaw has to enjoy the familiar scenery. Directly in front of him are some really, really big tuckuses (tucki?), there for the singular purpose of keeping him safe.

One of USC's biggest "assets" (yep, went there) coming into 2013 was an offensive line returning four starters from last season. And they are all huge, averaging about 320 pounds. They mercilessly bullied Tar Heel defenders Week 1 as they opened running lanes, including the one that allowed Mike Davis to scurry 75 yards to the end zone.

The freshman tailback is a great complement to the O-line, too. He's a straight-ahead runner with little wasted motion and, as he showed on the TD gallop, can put on a burst of speed at the second level of the defense.

Two words for ya

Speaking of Shaw, here's hoping the Gamecock braintrust takes the glass half-full approach with their signal caller.

A debate on whether junior Dylan Thompson would take over the starting role went on through much of the offseason. The biggest knock against Shaw was he seemed hesitant at times to make a throw, electing to check down to a safer option or run the ball instead.

That may not be a bad thing. One of the senior's best qualities is he doesn't throw many interceptions (seven in 228 passing attempts last year). With a strong defense and an effective running game, USC can manage the clock and ensure teams get few opportunities off turnovers.

Meanwhile, Shaw can make plays with his feet and the occasional deep ball. It may not be dynamic, but the South Carolina faithful would rather win a defensive battle than lose an entertaining shootout.

He must stop taking so many hits, though. The senior QB has a bad habit of fighting for the extra yard when he runs and getting walloped by a defender.

In the words of the great Austrian philosopher Arnold Schwarzenegger, "Get down!"

(Side note: It's hard to find funny Schwarzenegger videos on YouTube without foul language in them. If you don't mind EXPLICIT, there are several.)

Quick notes on the other contenders

Alabama:

Nothing needs to be said about that defense. But an O-line replacing three starters gave up four sacks, and the run game only averaged 2.5 yards per carry against Virginia Tech. Can the offense right the ship before its Sept. 14 date with Texas A&M?

Florida:

The Gator defense looks stingy but not overpowering. The offense will have trouble against better opponents than Toledo. Don't be surprised if Miami takes them to the limit Saturday.

Georgia:

Mark Richt and Aaron Murray's record in big games: Zero-1 million. Not really, but it sure seems that way. With the Gamecocks next, UGA's season may be over before it got started.

LSU:

Some things to like from the Tigers: a win against TCU in Texas, and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron should be able to dice up college defenses after doing it in the NFL for so long. Still, "unforced errors" should be a stat kept solely for teams coached by Les Miles.

Texas A&M:

It may not matter if Alabama is playing well when they come to town. The Aggie defense allowed Rice more than 500 yards, and it's impossible to win a championship playing "race you to 50" every week. Also, Johnny Manziel knew he was talking smack to a team called the Owls, right?

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • SEC FootballSEC CoverageMore>>

  • LSU football legend Billy Cannon passes away

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    Sunday, May 20 2018 2:34 PM EDT2018-05-20 18:34:10 GMT
    Billy Cannon at the LSU Spring Game on April 21, 2018 (Source: WAFB)Billy Cannon at the LSU Spring Game on April 21, 2018 (Source: WAFB)

    LSU football legend Billy Cannon died Sunday morning. He was 80 years old.

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    LSU football legend Billy Cannon died Sunday morning. He was 80 years old.

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  • Ohio State QB Joe Burrow announces transfer to LSU

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    Ed Orgeron has his quarterback. LSU will add Ohio State transfer Joe Burrow to the roster as a graduate transfer according to a report.

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    Ed Orgeron has his quarterback. LSU will add Ohio State transfer Joe Burrow to the roster as a graduate transfer according to a report.

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  • Hundreds pack Birmingham temple to celebrate Mike Slive's life

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    Friday, May 18 2018 4:26 PM EDT2018-05-18 20:26:59 GMT
    (Source: WBRC Video)(Source: WBRC Video)
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    The overwhelming message on Friday morning? Former SEC commissioner Mike Slive was tough man who just so happened to be one of the nicest people you’d ever meet.

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    The overwhelming message on Friday morning? Former SEC commissioner Mike Slive was tough man who just so happened to be one of the nicest people you’d ever meet.

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