Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Shakespearian Tragedy...or Comedy

You may be the fate of Ophelia,
Sleeping and perchance to dream. 

To say that 2014 was a heartbreaking season for the Gamecocks would be a gross understatement. The SEC East favorite up until kickoff of the season opener, the Gamecocks were embarrassed in the Cockpit. Will the Gamecocks find redemption in 2015?

September 3rd vs North Carolina: The Gamecocks will prove themselves to be the “real” Carolina in the season opener. 28-17

September 12th vs Kentucky: Spurrier has never lost to the Wildcats at home, and this year will be no different. 38-10

September 19th @ Georgia: The Gamecocks won’t have Sandstorm for a psychological weapon between the hedges. This game will be an offensive shootout between the duo of David Williams and Cooper vs Georgia’s Chubb. This game is inconclusive.

September 26th vs Central Florida: Last time these two teams met on the gridiron, the first half looked as if the Knights might upset the Gamecocks. Won’t happen this time around. Williams and Cooper show out. 49-7

October 3rd @ Missouri: Missouri lost a ton of talent, last year was their last chance of a title for the forseeable future. The Gamecocks prevail in Connor Shaw stadium. 35-14

October 10th vs LSU: Last time these two played the #3 Gamecocks’ dream season was derailed by a last minute LSU touchdown and an intercepted Hail Mary. The Gamecocks will remember this, but will it be enough to upset the Tigers? Inconclusive

October 17th vs Vanderbilt: The Gamecocks’ haven’t lost to Vandy, let alone in Columbia, in many a moon. This year will be no different. Offense shows out and an improved defense flexes it’s muscle. 52-3

October 31st @ Texas A&M: Payback coming off the bye week. This game will be close, but a steady dose of David Williams and Cooper will wear out the Aggies. Gamecocks pull away in the fourth. 28-17

November 7th @ Tennessee: The Volunteers are one of the South’s hottest teams, but South Carolina will be coming to Knoxville with vengeance on the brain. These two teams will be evenly matched. Inconclusive.

November 14th vs Florida: It won’t take two special teams miracle plays and an overtime to pull this one off. Florida will be getting used to the new coach, and will look embarrassingly uncoordinated in Columbia. 17-7

November 21st vs The Citadel: Almost a repeat of UCF. The Gamecocks handily defeat the military academy. 42-7

November 28th vs Clemson: That team from upstate will be in the same position as the Gamecocks last year with their secondary having graduated. 28-7

Final regular season W/L prediction: 10-2. The Gamecocks will drop two out of three to LSU, Georgia, or Tennessee, but not all three. The defense will be much improved with some fresh help. The green quarterback, whether it’s Mitch or Nunez, will catch on quick.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Some Good 'ol Fashioned MOAG

- Butch Jones and Tennessee are becoming the Dabo Sweeney and Clemson Tigers of the SEC. I fail to see how the Vols could be so much better than the Gamecocks when we had the same records last year with very similar schedules, we led by two touchdowns vs them late in the game and have in my humble opinion more upside this coming season. Much of the Tennessee love has been created by Jones's hype a lot like Sweeney. One poll lists our chance of winning the SEC 25/1WHILE Tennessee IS 8/1. Time for us to go to Rocky Top and return with a victory. I'm not much of a Jones fan and would love to stomp the Vols who are proclaiming greatness before they have accomplished anything much like the Pickens Paper Tigers.

Their fans will not be satisfied with only beating us this year so Butch will have pressure for once with the lofty pre-season expectations.


- It's all hype. You look at Tennessee since Fulmer and the highlights are three wins over us


- I do not believe I am sunshine pumping when I say I believe we can win 9 + games this year. Why? 
1. the offense can be somewhere from nearly as good to better than last year. I look for the defense to be quite a bit better.
a. OL should be solid though not quite as good as last yr. we do need to stay as healthy as possible. 
b. QB. CM more accurate DT. Longer ball control drives should be the norm. 
c. RB's will be a strength
d. WR Cooper is a stud. We have young talent that must step it up
e. TE. Considering Anderson had a year filled with injury, I look for us to be a little better than last yr.
summary: I expect a good O this yr. SOS will devoye 100% of efforts on the O.

2. Defense
a. DE significant talent up grades. Lewis & Sawyer. should have a solid rush this yr.
b. DT has size and depth. They should be better as a group solely due to experience.
c. LB. 3 high quality starters. should be a team strength.
d. CB. solid 2 deep with athletic talent.
e. S's. JUCO newcomers a real shot in the arm. Have experienced returners as well.
summary: Hole is a better DC than Whammy. He will find ways to put our best defenders in positions to excel.
The 4th qtr collapses vs UT, Mizzou, UK should not happen again. I could see us winning 9 games ... maybe 10.


- Pretty much agree on the D. We'll be significantly better overall (possibly a top 25 unit).

I'm with OP and think a 9 win season is in the cards. There's a reason SS hunted Hoke all those years. Maybe he's a Stoop in the wings. I am not a sunshine pumper either. I am a realist. Last season has been stewing on SS' mind since Jan. He wants revenge against those teams that Ward could not stop in the 4th qtrs. and against those nasty Clemson tigers.


I believe we will go undefeated at home.


- In all seriousness, the absolute best thing about our football team and our program overall is we don't wear urange and we aren't tiggers. Even if we're winless, I'd rather be Garnet than jailhouse urange.


- I like our helmets

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Can Spurrier Win 6 in 2015

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. 

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.

Tune in Wednesday for games 5-8.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


"Got on that little white boat,
 I didn't have a care." - M. H.

I got tired of not working, so I went on vacation. MOAG will be back Monday, April 6. To tide you over until then, the S Carolina football team rushed for 0 yards on 17 carries during Saturday's scrimmage. Lawl.

Monday, March 23, 2015

SEC East Preview

2015 SEC EAST Predicted Standings

1.  Tennessee – The Vols bring 17 starters back, including a 9-pack of ponies for new OC, Mike DeBord.  The offense is Jones's, but it's in good hands with the best pair of double-Ds (DeBord & Dobbs) between Clemson and the mighty Mississip...the old miss, the old man. Tennessee gets Georgia, S. Carolina, and an improved Arkansas at home.  Their toughest road games are @Florida, who sucks, @Mizzou, and @Bama, but they get open date before that one.  Expect the Vols to be 2-1 in conference at worst heading into the Bama game, but after that it's smooth sailing with the exception of a potential toss up at Mizzou.

The Vols are a hungry team that's served its 40 years in the desert.  In fact Butch Jones is Moses without the neck.  Josh Dobbs is a poor man's Deshaun Watson, but a poor man's Deshaun Watson is immensely better than anything else the East has to offer at the position.  They boast an experienced O-line group that should create time and running room, with which Dobbs and a dynamic set of skill position players will take advantage and make points.

2.  Georgia – Mark Richt's bunch, though embarrassingly talented, has question marks on both sides of the ball. The quarterback position is up for grabs between 3 young bucks, and though Nick Chubb will destroy everyone with his killing power (Todd who?), the top 2 receivers, Conley and Bennett, are gone after 9 seasons of service each, and every other wideout is probably suspended or something for the horrible crime of reefers.  The OL should be solid, as should DL and linebackers, but the secondary is still unsettled, as it has been since the departure of Bacardi Sylvester Rambo.  Will Richt be able to put past seasons behind him and not have the classic blunderbuss to the face game against someone like SC or Kentucky?  The road schedule is managable but they draw Bama and Auburn from the west. At least Richt managed to take advantage of Muschamp's hysterical attempt at coaching and wrest control of the Cocktail party.

3.  Missouri – Who cares…maybe they'll win it again and lose to UConn.

4.  Florida – Boom somehow didn't leave cupboard bare, so there's lots of talent for Jim McElwain to work with.  The offense has been an unmitigated disaster last few years so it should improve based on law of averages.  The defense brings back 7 from a salty unit that gave up only one touchdown to Mizzou last year.  The bottom line?  Florida fans want improvement fast and if Jimmy doesn't deliver he might get a faster hook than Boom.  One Mr. Foley better hope things improve too, or he'll be asking Steve Spurrier different kinds of resume questions.

5.  Kentucky – Stoops didn't land a banner class this year but he did add some depth.  Towles is the best returning QB in the East not named Josh Dobbs.  They, along with Missouri and Tennessee, provided us with some of the most hilarious 4th quarter comebacks in 2014.  They'll be good enough to upset some teams on the right day, but they're not a serious threat to make a run at the division title.

6.  South Carolina – This is the most intriguing team in the division besides Tennessee (and maybe Florida).  The Gamecocks are like a hillbilly who wins the lottery but goes bankrupt within 5 years and has nothing to show for except a bunch of Affliction t-shirts and black jeans.  They lose 9 starters on offense and 6 on defense, so essentially the best side of the ball is all gone and the worst side of the ball brings back the majority of an historically bad defense. This comes back to recruiting…Spurrier has not done a good job of adding quality and depth on either side of the ball but the effects have manifested more quickly on defense.  Clowney ain't walkin through that door unless he grows 4 inches shorter, gains 170 lbs, and changes his last name to English.

They have a beast of a schedule, including road games at Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri and A&M, of which they should lose all.  They have tough home losses to LSU and Florida as well.  I predict 2-6 for the Cocks in the division…4-8 overall with the season bookended by 2 beat downs to ACC opponents, UNC and Clemson. And a word here about Clemson, they are going to be really, really, really great.

7.  Vanderbilt – There but for the grace of Spurrier goes Vanderbilt.

For everyone who longs for a throwback to the days before George W. Bush ruined the world, the SEC East in the coming years should help you stomach all the gay marriage and black presidents.  If there's one thing we know, it's that college football is cyclical, and nothing would represent a return to normalcy more than Tennessee and Florida jockeying for the title while South Carolina fans crow incessantly about next year. South Carolina sucks.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Chicken Boogers & House Wood

"Here at this table, I'm able to leave it behind.
Drink 'til I'm dreamin', a thousand miles out of my mind."
- Waylon Jennings, Drinkin' & Dreamin'

Mind of a Gamecock was founded on the belief that Gamecock fan was just a smidgen more less intelligent that your average college football fan (more or less); however, it has departed from its roots.  Therefore, I give you some good ol' fashioned MOAG for your Monday.  Today's topic is predictions for the 2015 season (in other year). Enjoy, and remember, don't forget to tell your friends.  Please don't forget to comment below if you have anything you'd like to say.  I publish everything.

- I predict that Pharoh and Deebo will be the two best WR in the country. I also predict that we will have 10 plus wins this year.

- Chris Lammons will lead the SEC in INTs

- We win the East and beat Clemson.

- The defense will rank in the top 5 in the SEC.

- We will win the East.  We will sweep the “big 4” clemmons, tenn, florida and uga

- UGA won’t have any players suspended for the first few games.

- Brandon Wilds will be one of the top 3 RB in the SEC.

- Assuming Wilds stays healthy, [we’ll have] two 1000 yard rushers. And Mitch (or whoever the QB may be) breaks Shaw’s consecutive completions record.

- 10-2. 3500 yard passer. Two 1000 yard rushers. Two 1000 yard receivers.

- 10-2. Mitch is dominant after a slow start.

- Connor Mitch leads us to 10+ wins and is all SEC.

- David Williams leads the league in rushing.

- We win the East again & demolish Tennessee this year.

- We’ll win 10 games, losing at TA&M and UGA, but will win all games at Willy B.  We will win the East thanks to Georgia losing 3 games it shouldn’t.

- Mitch will break Dylan’s single season passing record.  The defense will lead the conference in INTs.

- No losses in games where we hold double digit leads.

- UNC won’t score against us.

Friday, February 6, 2015

A Couple More Years

"I've walked a couple more roads than you, baby, that's all.
And I'm tired of running while you're only learning to crawl."
- Waylon Jennings
"Nothing beside remains round the decay
of that collosal wreck, boundless and bare."
- Percy Shelley
Life has a curious habit of imitating the art it once inspired, more often for worse than for better.  The iteration of homo genus that spawned us first discovered fire over a million years ago, and, once they all stopped shitting themselves in sheer terror, they got down to the hilarious business of self-extermination.  We first made an appearance around 400,000 years ago, and so far we've taken that inclination to exhilarating new heights.  The more technologically advanced we become, the more rapidly these unintended travesties occur.  In the 15th century, Da Vinci put his futuristic visions of flying machines on paper.  Less than 500 years later the Wright Bros. successfully flew "a machine heavier than air."  61 years after that we flew to the moon.  That is an utterly, preposterously, astonishing achievement, but it hasn't all been flowers.  Our dream of leaving the ground has manifested itself into a commercial enterprise on which we now depend, often with disastrous consequences.  We scoff at our ancestors and their "primitive" fire, all the while ignoring our own folly (Air Korea? Get real).  In 1966 Bill Shatner blew our minds by talking to another person through his watch, and now you can't be at an airport without seeing a hundred bluetooth douchebags behaving like schizophrenics on crack.  Exactly 30 years ago we marveled at the sci-fi classic, The Terminator, but I reckon it won't be long now before someone flips the switch on real artificial intelligence.  If I was a betting man, and I am, I'd put our odds at surviving the next 48 hours after that at about 1,000,000:1.  If by now you're wondering what the hell I'm rambling about, simply put, we reap what we sow.
Shortly after being de-pantsed on National Television by a cheerleader and a one-legged quarterback, the Ol' Ball Coach showed the first outwardly visible sign that perhaps neither his head nor his heart still resided in Columbia.  That's speculation on my part, but it ain't exactly wild conjecture when a head coach tells the college football world he has probably 2-3 more years left in a 4 year player cycle.  His comment delighted fans of both Clemson and everyone not named The University of South Carolina, led to a delightfully devastating decommitment parade, and ultimately begat his deliriously delightful registration on Twitter©. Spurrier eventually reversed field on his early retirement decision, saying, "Yeah, I’m back on the 4-5 [year plan?]. You got to always stay on the 4-5 [year plan?],” but that came more slowly than a Gamecock safety reversing field to try and tackle Artavis (last name not necessary). The whole episode brought forth a slew of S. Carolina fans who wondered, "What the fuck?!," and "Why the fuck?!" Nearly as many Clemson fans began proclaiming, "CoL! The rotten, old son of a bitch is going to destroy everything he's spent the last 10 years building." I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments of the Gamecock fans, and I also agree with the Clemson fans...partly. Spurrier is a rotten, old son of a bitch, but he isn't destroying anything with his whimsy. He isn't destroying what he built, because he didn't build shit.
Gamecock fans, now is when you shut up and listen. Spurrier didn't build anything. Deal with it. Wear the sunglasses. He won a lot of football games during the last 5 years - hell, he win two Citrus Bowls and now we all know you can't spell Citrus without USC - but he didn't do it through program-building. He did it by capitalizing on an unprecedented surge of elite, in-state high school talent. Gilmore, Holloman, Jeffery, Cann, Hampton, Lattimore, Quarles, Clowney...all NFL players, all from in-state, all went to S. Carolina. This is a small state. That many blue chippers playing prep ball here, qualifying, and going to the same school at the same time- either Clemson or S. Carolina - is an amazing historical anomaly. To be fair, you have to credit Spurrier, the mean, old bitchy bastard, for getting them all. That's a big accomplishment; however, the problem is precisely that it IS an anomaly. If we accept that premise, and we do because there's a precedent, then we have to accept the conclusion that, in order to sustain such a high level of "success," he was going to have to replace all that elite talent with more elite talent, which is precisely what he didn't do. No sir, Spurrier was happier'n hell the last 2 years to remind everyone of all the unprecedented achievements his Gamecocks had enjoyed. He and his staff of indecent exposers chose smugness and arrogance at the exact time they should have chosen humility and recruiting. 

From 2009-12, the Gamecocks signed 11 Rivals 100 recruits, 10 of whom were from South Carolina. Since then, they have signed 3 (1 in each class), and only 1 is from this state. Given this data, it's no secret why they were so terrible this year, and why they will continue to be terrible for the foreseeable future. Spurrier can't go outside the state and routinely land the elite talent it takes to win 11 games. He doesn't have Dabo's juice. It's is simple as that. For the last 3 years Spurrier has been too busy patting himself on the back to notice that Dabo has been out there hustlin & baucin in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, and pretty much anywhere else he wants. During their unprecedented 5 game winning streak over me, the Gamecocks had the superior talent every year with the exception of 2009, but this year it was clear which team had more talent and SEC speed (hint: it wasn't the SEC team).

It seems likely at this point that Clemson will win at least 19 of the next 20 games in the series, because Dabo is building a program. Spurrier is building a retirement fund. A couple more years coach? It would take you a couple hundred more years to re-attain the level of success you enjoyed for...a couple years. And you have no one to blame but yourself, jerk.