Friday, September 14, 2007
Game 3: South Carolina State
When most of the country looks at this weekend's home match-up against South Carolina State, they will shrug at the I-AA (I don't care what fancy acronym they have given it, it's I-AA) opponent. Indeed most South Carolina fans consider this game just another game, but for some reason South Carolina State has decided this is the greatest thing to ever befall them. Sure most I-AA teams view their games against I-A teams as opportunities for an upset, exposure, or at the very least an exciting break from their normal schedule. But there is something else here, or at least people have been writing about something else.
South Carolina State is a historically black college. They have never played South Carolina before. This game came about because SC State, along with Wofford, Furman, and The Citadel, asked that they be considered by Clemson and South Carolina when choosing their 12th game. The smaller schools figured if CU and USC were going to pay someone to come play them from I-AA, why shouldn't the money stay in state. Parts of the legislature agreed and neither South Carolina nor Clemson had any particular objection, so the scheduling was done. South Carolina played Wofford last year; Clemson plays Furman this year. That's it; that's the whole story. No race relations issues, no underlying Klan conspiracy, just one state school playing another.
If you have read the paper this week, you would think this was the triumph of Thurgood Marshall in Brown. Ron Morris, columnist for The State (Columbia), has written articles highlighting the race angle here and here. Today's Post and Courier (Charleston) contains an article by Ken Burger entitled S.C. State - USC Matchup About More than Football. Sorry, Ken; it's not. Why make an issue of something that is not one. Two state schools are playing football and instead of saying, 'I hope we have a good game, isn't it nice these two are playing,' so much media coverage has been trying to create some sort of racial tension between SC State's all black football team and USC's mostly black football team.
Just enjoy the game for what it is: South Carolina playing I-AA South Carolina State.
Even SCSU Coach Buddy Pough is downplaying the historical importance of the game. -Charleston Post and Courier
Here are some articles not predominately about race.
Apparently SC State (who is a historically black college in case you were unaware) will rely on a solid ground game - Greenville News
Also the USC secondary configuration that gave up 0 TD passes to uber-over-hyped Matt Stafford is no longer good enough. USC is shuffling its secondary - Greenville News
South Carolina State has suspended 4 players for Saturdays game. - The State
The Spartanburg Herald Journal proves why subscriber numbers are down. It is reporting that Emanuel Cook will rejoin the USC lineup. Nevermind that Cook, who had an appendectomy in August, PLAYED LAST WEEK!!! That must have been easy for the Spartanburg paper to miss, the game was on ESPN2, some small little start-up network from Connecticut I hear. I took a little time to thumb through the rest of the Spartanburg paper and discovered they are also reporting breaking news: South Carolina secedes, War Possible. Thanks for the heads up Spartanburg. Helpful as always.