Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Final 2008 SEC Football Power Poll

The SEC Power Poll's post-bowl edition is up so make sure to check it out...
Here is my ballot --
  1. UF
  2. Bama
  3. Ole Miss
  4. UGA
  5. LSU
  6. Vandy
  7. USC
  8. UK
  9. Ark
  10. UT
  11. Aub
  12. MSU

USC takes on UF

If there was ever a game we need to win during early league play...I feel it is this one. We have the Garnet Army being rolled out, home game for SC, UF is young yet 3-0 in SEC play and USC needs to bounce back from 2 SEC losses to maintain some relevance in the SEC East talk.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

USC DL Coach talking with Bama

According to Joe Person with THE STATE not only is Gamecocks tight ends coach/special teams coordinator Ray Rychleski listening to overtures from the Colts but Gamecocks defensive line coach Brad Lawing is having discussions with Alabama about a job coaching in some capacity the 'bama defense. The 51-year-old Lawing worked for Saban at Michigan State in 1999 and has ties to Sunseri who was hired recently.

Could that make 7 coaching changes for Spurrier......this can not be helping him maintain a passion for coaching as this coaching carousel is getting ridiculous. I know the coaching game is changing with big $ and long term deals but this is not helping build stability for the USC program. I can understand one or two coaching changes but with the possibility of 7 on the horizon this is not funny anymore. Yes - new blood coaching these kids is good but so are relationships with not only players but high school coaches. Remember we need to build this program and this is not helping the cause. Year after year we need to win the recruiting wars with Clemson over in-state talent but this is taking steps backwards as we were just starting to gain traction on this front. I know Spurrier was confident in his staff over the last few days as being one of his best but now it seems you will have to make it even better.

upgrade to the parking at the fairgrounds

For those of you that park in the fairgrounds you will be happy to know that construction has been underway for months renovating the parking are around the fairgrounds. Next time I am by there I will take some pictures of the construction going on.

Per the state fair website.

South Carolina State Fair Parking Improvements

BP Barber is providing design services to the South Carolina State Fair for improvements to the Fair’s 30-acre parking area. The improvements will result in approximately 4,000 parking spaces that will be available for events at the fairgrounds, as well as University of South Carolina football games. The parking area features drive isles constructed asphaltic concrete pavement and parking spaces comprised of Bermuda grass. The parking area will be heavily landscaped with a 25-foot landscaped area surrounding the site and landscaped islands interspersed among the parking spaces. The landscaping features native trees and shrubs and local favorites such as Live Oaks, Red Maples, Black Gums, Crepe Myrtles, Sabal Palmettos, Tulip Poplars, Abelias and Tea Olives that are designed to provide aesthetic interest throughout the year, and spectacular foliage during the Fall. An irrigation system will be installed for maintenance of the trees and shrubs. The parking improvements also include new electric lights and poles. The storm drainage system for the parking area is a standard type system with underground detention to avoid the need for an above ground detention system. Services provided by BP Barber included site design (grading and storm drainage), landscaping planning and design, permitting assistance, surveying and construction administration services. The project is scheduled for completion in June 2009.

Monday, January 19, 2009

USC has new RB Coach

Graham in, Rychleski out?

Mr. Graham, 33, comes to SC from Miami of Ohio and before that he had gigs at Tennessee-Chattanooga and Tennessee-Martin. I like the hire, he has big time college playing experience and has NFL playing experience (he played five seasons with the Ravens, Seattle and Green Bay before pursuing coaching). Graham becomes the fifth assistant hired by Spurrier and South Carolina since Jan. 6.

I really hope USC tight ends coach/special teams coordinator Ray Rychleski does not leave for the NFL gig that he has flirting with him. We all should know something by the end of the week on this front. He has been a great coach for USC and I would love to see him stick around for another few years....not to mention the gamecocks do not need another coach to leave as it would make 6.....

thoughts? Is Graham a good hire? Will Ray go?

Gamecock Basketball a good example

We all know now that the USC Men's basketball team lost to UT over the weekend by the score of 82-79. The Gamecocks now stand at 12-4; 1-2 in SEC play. As the team begins to prepare for their 4th SEC game I desire to see 3 areas improve moving forward ---

1. Interior Play--- Carolina has given up 96 points in the paint during the last two SEC. Our boys down low have to step up and get down to basics. Box out, keep man in front and be tough.

2. Playing as a unit--- The type of style USC plays is up-tempo with costs and rewards. It can create TOs and easy baskets but also the pressure USC places on the ball,when broken, can lead to easy buckets for the opposing team. SC needs to play as a unit. The next game will be another test but if played as a solid unit then great things can occur. Communicate on the court and play with your instincts.

3. D --- Carolina got back in the hunt vs LSU and UT by locking down on Defense. This should go along with the up-tempo style of play.

I have to say I really like the direction Horn has the boys going. I hope the USC Football team watched or read about the game and how the basketball team did not give up. Do you hear this...they did not give up. They battled, they fought and yeah they came up short but they showed more heart in the second half of the UT loss than the USC football team did the last 3 games of the season. I hope the entire USC athletic program can learn from the USC men's basketball team as they are a great demonstration of heart and leadership. I much rather watch (and pay gamecock club dues) to watch (and support) USC teams that give it 110%.

Is this true?

I heard from someone the other day say that "South Carolina has the highest per capita basis of players in the NFL than any other state."

Is that true?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Gamecock Draft Day Preview

According to Scott Wright at this is a breakdown of the draft hopes for the 7 Gamecocks heading to the NFL ---

Jared Cook, TE
Projection: Rounds 2-3
The buzz: Fast, athletic former wide receiver who could be one of the first players selected at his position.

Jamon Meredith, OT
Projection: Rounds 2-3
The buzz: Versatile blocker with excellent athleticism and quickness who could project to tackle or guard.

Emanuel Cook, S
Projection: Rounds 3-4
The buzz: Short, lacks great timed speed and has some character concerns but is very tough and physical.

Captain Munnerlyn, CB
Projection: Rounds 3-5
The buzz: Certainly doesn’t have the ideal height that you look for but is extremely fast and very athletic.

Kenny McKinley, WR
Projection: Rounds 4-6
The buzz: Average size and speed but has good hands and probably profiles as a slot receiver in the NFL.

Jasper Brinkley, ILB
Projection: Rounds 5-7
The buzz: Massive linebacker whose best fit at the next level will likely come inside in a 3-4 scheme.

Mike Davis, RB
Projection: Round 7 or undrafted free agent
The buzz: Short, compact runner who could compete for a roster spot but won’t be more than a backup.

Ryan Succop, PK
Projection: undrafted free agent
The buzz: Kickers don't get drafted so he will have to wait and see where he ends up

Garnet Army?

Am I hearing this right that USC Basketball Coach Darrin Horn has coined the phrase "Garnet Army" to describe the SC Student Section? And this will be rolled out next home game vs. Florida.

Any truth to this? If so what do you think of the name?