The moon cast a pallor across the vacant urn,
As the spector of coaches breathed and burned. - J. G.
As an amateur writer, with little more than cursory access to my least favorite team during the offseason, I'm often left with little more than my own sound reasoning and astute observations by which to assess the butt-whomping everyone knows is coming to Columbia in 2015. Facing his toughest schedule yet (with his greatest dearth in talent yet) points decidedly at Spurrier spending his final year in Columbia much like his diminutive, bespittled predecessor, Lou Holth, spent his - sad, disconnected, and full of regret. And so I thought it fitting today to take a look at the South Carolina schedule to see just how bad it will get. What I found was even more hilarious than I could have imagined. Today we preview games 1-4. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust... May the football Gods have mercy on your soul, Ol' Ball Coach.
NORTH CAROLINA- S. Carolina and Spurrier welcome college football back into our lives in their annual lead off spot against what will FINALLY be a plucky UNC team. The Tar Heel offense is loaded this year, led by the good when he wants to be senior quarterback, Marquise Williams. I think he'll want to be good in this game, and he'll carve up a vastly retread Gamecock defense. The UNC defense got exponentially better this offseason with the firing of one of the games great dumbasses, Vic Koenning. I'm kidding, I doubt their defense will be much better, but that shouldn't matter because they're facing a Gamecock offense that loses 9 starters (9) from last year's meaningless record-setting bunch, and they'll be searching early for their 2015 identity. Simply put, don't expect much scoring from Spurrier's bunch in this one.
PICK: UNC 31, USC 9
KENTUCKY - I expect Spurrier to win this game, though it certainly won't be easy. Last year Kentucky had the 2nd funniest of three blown 14 point, 4th quarter lead Gamecock losses; this year The Wildcats boast perhaps the league's second best quarterback in Patrick Towles, and he'll make like unpleasant for Spurrier all day. Reeling from the first of two humiliating 2015 losses to ACC teams, his bunch will find a way to create turnovers all day, turning what should be a fairly easy Kentucky win into an implausible Spurrier victory.
PICK: USC 9, Kentucky 7
GEORGIA - What can I say about the Georgia/S. Carolina rivalry? By my estimation the Dawgs should have lost exactly one game to the Cocks. Ever. Even so, this game is historically decided in the 4th quarter, and I expect this year to be no different. Georgia just put a handful of quality players into the NFL, but they are deep enough to re-load at nearly every position on defense. Both teams are searching for a quarterback, though neither has anyone as talented as Clemson's Deshaun Watson. Between the hedges in 2015, the Dawgs win a close, ugly, turnover-filled spectacle.
PICK: Georgia 17, USC 9
CENTRAL FLORIDA - Spurrier will regret ever scheduling this game. South Carolina will win, but the physical toll exacted on his starters heading into the teeth of the schedule will last for weeks, perhaps months. In fact, I expect a major contributor to go down with a season-ended in this game. Don't ask me why, because I won't tell you. Pharoh Cooper will play like an All American this day, and account for all 9 of the Gamecocks' points.
PICK: USC 9, UCF 3
Tune in Wednesday for games 5-8.