Saturday, August 22, 2009

An SEC Prediction from the AJC / Carolina 7-5?

Mark Bradley, of The AJC, went through the entire SEC schedule and predicted the outcomes of all 144 games.

You can click right here to read who he thinks each team will lose to, but below are his projected final standings:

SEC East
1. Florida 12-0
2. Georgia 8-4
3. South Carolina 7-5
4. Kentucky 7-5
5. Vanderbilt 5-7
6. Tennessee 4-8

SEC West
1. LSU 11-1
2. Alabama 11-1
3. Arkansas 8-4
4. Ole Miss 8-4
5. Auburn 6-6
6. Miss. State 4-8

thoughts? do you agree?

Social Media Evil in the eyes of the SEC?

The SEC has decided to allow fans to use Twitter and Facebook during league games, which reverses an earlier decision. Fans still, however, cannot post game video on the internet. So I guess when LOHD use twitter this season as we enjoy our seats that we paid a seat fee and gamecock club dues for not to mention the price of a season ticket book for...well, I am glad the SEC will allow me to fully enjoy my seat for the price I paid for it.

Question --Does the SEC intend to sue every person who posts video of a game shot with cell phone camera?

Also here is the Exact Wording of the SEC's Revised Ticket Policy . Here is a summary:

"No Bearer may produce or disseminate in any form a "real-time" description or transmission of the Event (i) for commercial or business use, or (ii) in any manner that constitutes, or is intended to provide or is promoted or marketed as, a substitute for radio, television or video coverage of such Event. Personal messages and updates of scores or other brief descriptions of the competition throughout the Event are acceptable. If the SEC deems that a Bearer is producing a commercial or real-time description of the Event, the SEC reserves the right to pursue all available remedies against the Bearer. "Absent the prior written permission of the Southeastern Conference, game action videos of the Event may not be taken by Bearer. Photos of the Event may be taken by Bearer and distributed solely for personal use (and such photographs shall not be licensed, used, or sold commercially, or used for any commercial or business purpose)."
(h/t - Year 2 on )

For the moment, these policies seem a lot more grounded in fear than reality. Sure, these days someone could theoretically live stream a game from their camera phone. But a shaky, low resolution video from the upper deck of Williams-Brice Stadium isn’t exactly the same as watching CBS's telecast on your big screen TV. Social media should be viewed a fantastic compliment to sports that is good for both fans and the TV networks.

I am sure the SEC will continue to mold these rules because technology will continue to evolve and their is no stopping social media. But at least the SEC saw the writing on the wall to make the changes now.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Gamecocks WR/CB Joe Hills off the team

Say it ain't so Joe......

Per Joe Person (Sports writer, The State newspaper) USC football coach Spurrier announced just before practice WR turned DB/FS Joe Hills is no longer with the football team.

#85 Played in 11 of 13 games, making three starts as a WR in 2008 but recently got moved over to the USC secondary. Seems he was not happy.....story here.

Show Clemson some love

News from The Gamecocks Week 1 Opponent: NCSU

N.C. State tight end Mario Carter will have knee surgery as it was reported this week and will miss at least the season opener against South Carolina, coach Tom O’Brien.

Carter, a redshirt freshman, was third on the depth chart behind George Bryan and Matt Kushner. Not huge news to gamecock fans but still worth noting.

O’Brien also announced that freshman offensive lineman Denzelle Good will miss the season after reinjuring his shoulder. O’Brien said it was likely Good would have redshirted even if he had been healthy and not seen action. So again not huge news to the gamecocks but still worth noting.

Garcia....please watch where NCSU Safety Justin Byers is on the field in 13 days. Byers had two of the team’s three interceptions in this past Tuesday NCSU scrimmage.

USC Special Teams please note that Audi Augustin blocked a field goal attempt, and Terrell Manning blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown. So don't mess up....god I miss Succop. In that same scrimmage NCSU LB Audie Cole led the team with nine tackles. Ellis Johnson please take note.

Lastly, as you are probably wondering what the NCSU QB did in the scrimmage.....Russell Wilson and Mike Glennon combined to go 20-for-40 for 232 yards with one touchdown pass.

The next 13 days are critical for South Carolina as this is not the same NCSU from last year. Be ready, visit this post to learn more on NCSU through our eyes and Go Cocks!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gamecock Recruiting News / Fulton Update

Manning (S.C.) High’s John Fulton, one of the nation’s best cornerback prospects, continues to favor SC over his other four choices.

Fulton, who is ranked No.5 in the state on The Observer’s Top 25 prospects list, states that BAMA is #2 right now....other finalists are Georgia, Florida and LSU.

He’s planning visits to all five schools. Another indication of that Gamecock lean—he’ll visit Georgia the weekend the Bulldogs play South Carolina. Fulton once again showed off his talent this past week in a scrimmage against Summerville, catching two TD passes at wide receiver and forcing a fumble on defense.

If South Carolina can land this kid to go along with the others from the current 2010 class plus land Marcus Lattimore ---just might signal that the Gamecocks are finally ready to step up with the league’s elite. This kid and many from the 2009 and 2010 class are loaded with talent and probably will end up ranking as 2 of the best classes Carolina has ever seen.

Gamecocks Pic of the Day / QB talks strategy

USC QB No. 5 Stephen Garcia talks with quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus....

Insert a caption for the above pic in the comments section.

(Photo credit: Rich Glickstein/

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Gamecock Clippings / Mid-Week Gamecock News in Review

Here is gamecock news in review just in case you missed it....

Gamecock Football

Opponent News: NCSU

Former Gamecocks

Gamecock Video to Watch this Week

Gamecock Basketball

Other News of Note

Garnet & Black Attack Blog Posts of Note

LOHD Posts to read again

Gamecocks & NCSU to Shake Hands

NCSU Head Coach O’Brien plans to have his team participate in a pregame handshake with South Carolina before the Sept. 3 opener if Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier agrees.

In order to promote sportsmanship, the American Football Coaches Association and NCAA are urging schools to hold a pregame handshake for their entire teams on the opening week of the season.

Possible Caption for this Gamecock Editorial Cartoon

One of the best editorial cartoonist around - Robert Ariail - has drawn the above cartoon and has asked for help in putting together a caption to go along with this USC / Clemson cartoon.

Please post your caption in the comments section and also please visit Robert Ariail, the former Editorial Cartoonist for THE STATE paper, at his blog - .

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

5 Keys to Gamecocks Success in 2009

I recently did a guest post over at dealing with what I see as the "5 keys to Gamecock Success" for 2009 on the gridiron.
Here is what I wrote ---

Many Gamecock fans are beginning to become anxious to see Spurrier bring gridiron glory to Columbia, SC and this year will not be any easier. With one of the toughest schedules on paper and the loss of several key players to the NFL, Spurrier needs this year’s young team to step up if he is to catch UF in the SEC East. Spurrier has brought in five new coaches to help mold his team and has pledged a renewed emphasis on the running game to free up the passing attack. Will this help? Only time will tell but here are the five keys to the Gamecocks being successful in the powerful SEC East….

1. QB Play — All eyes on a right-hander from Tampa as he gets the keys to Spurrier’s Offense and with it the entire responsibility of the gamecocks winning against a brutal twelve game schedule. Spurrier has even gone on the record to say that success rests with Stephen Garcia in ’09. Garcia (Soph) has the talent and skills to lead the offense but the biggest question is “will he seize the opportunity?” Garcia completed 53% of his passes last fall when he was splitting time with Chris Smelley (transferred to Alabama for baseball). Garcia had 8 INTS, 832 yards passing and 6 TD throws. As stated, it is on his shoulders to lead the gamecocks to wins and to help improve Spurrier’s 28-22 record at USC.

2. Rushing Offense — Spurrier this past offseason has stated that he will rely more on the rushing attack to help free up his passing attack. Makes sense right? Well it is true that Spurrier loves to air it out but what makes his offensive strategy a success is a good running game which we have not had. The gamecocks have finished last in the SEC in rushing offense for 2 years straight. Not good. Yes we could have labeled this “improved offensive line” but that would be too easy to place blame and this is all intertwined anyway. USC ranked 112th out of 119 teams nationally in running yards per game with 94.1. Enter new USC Offensive line coach / running game coordinator Eric Wolford plus RB Coach Jay Graham. These two men are charged with getting better production of a talented group of ball carriers. To change things up the Gamecocks have put in a new one-back running scheme out of the shotgun formation. You will see deeper handoffs in the backfield in 2009 and most likely a running back by committee approach made up of: Brian Maddox, Jarvis Giles, Eric Baker and the occasional “Cocky Formation” with Stephon Gilmore. Let’s be honest it can only get better! And it has too for the gamecocks to have success this fall.

3. A Go-To WR to Step Up — After losing Kenny McKinley, the school’s all-time leading receiver, and the beast at tight end – Jared Cook – the likely targets are gone. Enter _____ ? That is right, no one has been cast as the successor of the “go – to” guy title. SC has guys that can fill the shoes with the likes of Dion LeCorn or Moe Brown but the experience question mark abounds when talking about the group.

Could see a surprise WR being the leading receiver with Tori Gurley and newcomer Alshon Jeffery, who passed on USC to come to USC. I think Jason Barnes will fill the shoes as he has the frame and athletics to get the job done for USC. The tight end position may not miss a beat after losing Cook to the NFL with Weslye Saunders filling those shoes. He is a big TE and can get the job done as he creates mis-matches in the secondary. Again talent is all over the place in the receiving corp but what the gamecocks must have is for someone to step up their game and seize the day to become the playmaker for QB Garcia.

4. Winning the TO game — the gamecocks have to do better in turnover margin in 2009. Last year the gamecocks turned the ball over 38 times, worst in the SEC. The quarterbacks threw 27 interceptions last year. Pathetic, oh it was the worst in the country last season. So if the gamecocks can correct this issue and not be TO happy then a bright season is ahead for Carolina. Along with this comes the defense stepping it up and getting the ball back with its share of forced fumbles or INTs. Playing smart and making plays and not being dumb is what it boils down to for the gamecocks to help their chances in 2009.

5. Carolina Defense must continue to dominate — Gamecocks defensive coach Ellis Johnson has done a fine job the last couple of years with putting a unit on the field that has kept Carolina in position to win. This must continue this upcoming season. Some will think that the USC secondary will be a weak point for USC this fall after losing several players from the backfield to the NFL. But Carolina has restocked the position and has guys filling those shoes like Gilmore, Auguste and safeties Culliver and Holloman. At least, we hope.

The ‘D’ is lead by All – SEC and future NFL star Eric Norwood at linebacker. Most offenses will attempt to stir clear of him this fall but the defense is littered with talent to close up holes and shut down opponents. One area on defense that Carolina must improve on is “red zone defense.” In 2008, the gamecocks allowed 23 TDs out of 39 total chances by the opposition. That must improve for the gamecocks to win games this fall. The questions that critics and fans have on the Carolina defense may be a little much as this unit has talent in place for this upcoming season the question is will they dominate? If they do then a winning season is down the road.

thoughts? What did I miss...

Mr. Irrelevant nails a 47 yarder

LOHD forgot to mention that "Mr. Irrelevant" Ryan Succop (Kicker, KC Chiefs) nailed a 47 yard FG to close out the first half vs Houston over the weekend. Granted KC lost 16-10 but it was still a good showing by Mr. Succop with that FG and a extra point.

Also note that former Gamecocks corner and current Texan corner #23 Dunta Robinson had 2 tackles in the same game. And another former Gamecocks corner and current Texan CB #32 Fred Bennett had 2 tackles to add in the Houston win.
Good job from former gamecocks!

Monday, August 17, 2009

2009 Preseason Coaches' Poll

This is a little old but we figured we would ensure you saw this preseason poll.

To no one’s great surprise, Florida was the No. 1 team in the preseason coaches’ poll that was released recenlty. The Gators, coming off a national championship season, received 53 of the 59 first-place votes. Second-ranked Texas received four first-place votes, while No. 3 Oklahoma and No. 4 U.S.C. each got one. Alabama rounded out the top five.

1. Florida (53 first place votes), 1,466 points
2. Texas (4), 1,386
3. Oklahoma (1), 1,358
4. USC (1), 1,321
5. Alabama, 1,134

The rest of the SEC teams are as follows:
9. LSU, 917
10. Ole Miss, 889
13. Georgia, 707
37. South Carolina, 18
39. Auburn, 12
42. Kentucky, 9
44. Arkansas, 6
56. Tennessee, 2

Other Pre-Season Polls
-2009 Preseason Consensus
-SI - Ranking every FBS team from 1 to 120

So South Carolina is 60th in one and 37th in another...what do these polls mean anyway as we are all 0-0 right now?

Gamecock Baseball Recruits choose MLB

On the last day to sign or go to school, Brooks Hall signed with the Milwaukee Brewers this afternoon for $700,000. He had signed to play for Ray Tanner but everyone knew he would choose the MLB route, this makes it official. I was holding out hope he would come play for the gamecocks b/c we surely could have used his right arm on the mound.

Also Catcher Wil Myers of High Point, N.C. decided to take the $2 million signing bonus the KC Royals had offered and forgo his college eligibility. Good luck kids!

T.L. Hanna's Hall signs with Brewers
Two USC recruits sign pro deals

A South Carolina Gamecock's SEC Preview 2009

Recently, I gave a 2009 SEC Preview for GATORS FIRST and he posted it up on his site which you can view HERE.

Or simply keep reading as I posted it below also ---
With the college football season rapidly approaching, is presenting a different take on the 2009 season every day for the entire month of August. We call it our ''Full Month of College Football Previews''. As part of the project, we are having fellow bloggers and other college football personalities from around the SEC and the rest of the nation give us their take on the current state of college football. This approach will allow us to bring you a much more in-depth look at the 2009 season than we could possibly provide on our own.

The next in this series is the Southeastern Conference season preview, comes from Flounder at Leftover Hotdog. As he is a South Carolina Gamecocks fan, we turned to him for his specific take on the upcoming season. Also, check out the interview below for his take on the old bowl system, Steve Spurrier's coaching, and split national titles.

Conference Championship: Florida over LSU

Projected Conference Finish
Florida 12-0 (8-0)
Georgia 11-1 (7-1)
South Carolina 7-5 (5-3)
Tennessee 8-4 (5-3)
Vanderbilt 7-5 (4-4)
Kentucky 6-6 (3-5)

LSU 10-2 (6-1)
Alabama 9-3 (6-2)
Ole Miss 9-3 (6-2)
Arkansas 6-6 (4-4)
Auburn 5-7 (2-6)
Mississippi State 4-8 (1-7)

Top 5 Freshmen/newcomers
1. Andre Debose, WR/RB, Florida
2. Bryce Brown, RB, UT
3. Stephon Gilmore, S, South Carolina
4. Rueben Randle, WR, LSU
5. Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Bama

Top 5 Breakout Players
1. Aaron Hernandez, TE, UF
2. Caleb King, RB, UGA
3. Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
4. Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky
5. Jordan Jefferson, QB, LSU

Player Superlatives
Player of the Year: Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
Offensive POTY: Jevan Snead, QB, Ole Miss
Defensive POTY: Eric Berry, S, UT
Overrated POTY: Ryan Mallett, QB, Ark
Underrated POTY: Carlos Dunlap, DE, UF

Bowl Projections
BCS Championship Game: Florida v. Texas
Sugar Bowl: Georgia v. Oklahoma
Capitol One: Alabama v. Penn State
Cotton Bowl: LSU v. Oklahoma State
Chick-Fil-A Bowl: South Carolina v. FSU
Outback Bowl: Ole Miss v. Ohio State
Liberty Bowl: Tennessee v. East Carolina
Music City Bowl: Vandy v. Clemson

And now on to the interview:

Gatorsfirst (G1): How did you become a fan of your team?
Leftover Hotdog (LOHD): I was born a gamecock fan and went to both undergrad and graduate school there so my blood bleeds garnet.

(G1): Describe the game day atmosphere.
(LOHD): There is nothing like game day at Carolina. I have seen many games at other stadiums and few can match the spirit that surrounds Williams-Brice. On a typical game day, fans get there early and you will see all types of hardcore fans. From fans in luxury game day condos to the famous cockabooses to the common folk in the fairgrounds or parking lots. Good times flow all day and all you see is garnet & black. You have fraternities wearing ties and sororities dawning sun dresses. The southern feel abounds. Beer flows like water most of the day and of course there is a constant sound of "2001." It is certainly something special and every SEC fan has to come experience at least once. Heck, if you are luck you may actually see a real gamecock…..then the crowd packs the stadium and “2001” is played and the crowd erupts. Nothing like it.

(G1): Give me some thought on your coaching staff.
(LOHD): I love the 2009 coaching staff. Spurrier has surrounded himself with talent. They bring new energy and a “fire in the belly” attitude that Carolina has been missing. The gamecocks lost 5 assistant coaches during the offseason, including recruiting coordinator David Reaves (left to be with brother-in-law Lane at UT). So some will think that the gamecocks will miss a beat b/c of this but I think this is going to help them – now and in the long run.

(G1): Are you satisfied?
(LOHD): I am very satisfied with the new staff especially the new O line Coach Eric Wolford. Also got a heck of a defensive strategist in Lorenzo Ward and a new QB coach in GA Magnus. This crop of coaching will prove to be the best staff Spurrier has every had.

(G1): Do you wish your team ran different schemes?
(LOHD): It is not a know secret that the gamecocks hope to run the ball more in 2009. This will help free up the passing game a bit. Which was the secret to success for Spurrier back in the day – a good running attack. Overall, I am pleased with Spurrier and his playing calling /offensive strategy. What has been interesting is him finding out over the years that the UF ‘fun-n-gun’ does not work at USC but also not really in the SEC anymore. On defense, Ellis Johnson has put together a great unit that really gets after it. USC has had a great D for the last 2 years and I don’t see that changing in 2009.

(G1): How is recruiting?
(LOHD): Spurrier continues to build this program. He has brought in his type kids the last few years to play his style and you can tell the difference not only in the type of kids we get but we now get looks from kids that if it was not for Spurrier they would not even think “SC.” The gamecocks have had 2 top 15 classes in the last 3 years. Got depth in positions now and actually have position battles taking place, which 4 years ago did not happen. So recruiting under Spurrier is tremendous. The 2010 class is shaping out also to being a great class. So I feel that the program as a whole is going in the right direction despite Spurrier’s 28-22 record.

(G1): Who is a player we might not know from your team that you are excited about this season?
(LOHD): #96 DE Clifton Geathers

(G1): Why?
(LOHD): Much of the focus and talk on the defensive side of the ball has been about LB Eric Norwood. Don’t get us wrong he is a beast and will be in the NFL next season but there are other “key” guys on this unit to watch. Mr. Geathers is one and will have a break out season in 2009…mark our word. Clifton has what it takes to be good from his genes to his size. His brother plays for the Cincy Bengals and his uncle played in the NFL so he knows how to get around an O lineman. Speaking of size, well he is 6 foot 8 inches and hovers around 280. He will get plenty of chances as offenses will be busy knowing where Norwood and the other DE Cliff Matthews are. I see many of headaches caused by Mr. Geathers in 2009 from coaches to QBs.

(G1): Make one point about your school, and another point about your conference, you think is overlooked on the national level.
(LOHD): THE University of South Carolina Gamecocks before the season starts has the number one hardest schedule. So you can see despite all the talent build up that Spurrier has done over the last few seasons there is still a tough road ahead of them. USC plays in the SEC which hands down is the hardest and best conference. It is no cake walk in the SEC East with Florida, UGA and Tennessee each year. So when college football fans and critics give USC and Spurrier grief --- keep in mind what sandbox they play in.

(G1): What do you think about conference title games?
(LOHD): I support this notion as generally it has worked in the SEC in getting the two best teams to match up at the end of the year.

(G1): Was it a good idea to add to 12?
(LOHD): YES. No more and no less.

(G1): Would you change something about the conference?
(LOHD): I don’t think there is anything I would change about the SEC right now. Everything seems to be going well.

(G1): How much did you like the bowl system pre-BCS? As a fan, how much do you concentrate on 'National Championships'? Has this changed in the last decade or so?
(LOHD): Gamecock fans dream about SEC glory as we have never tasted it in football. So winning the SEC East is a goal each season. Let’s start there and the rest will shake out. Generally, whichever team can win the SEC East has a solid standing and chance a New Years’ Day bowl and sometimes due to the is tough test the SEC winner has national championship implications.

(G1): What sort of changes, if any should be made to the BCS system? Does this opinion put you in-line or out-of-line with other fans of your team and conference?
(LOHD): I don’t know as I go back and forth on this one. I do feel there are too many bowl games and it should be reduced. The current BCS formula generally has pitted the very best teams together so hard to argue that fact over the last few years. A playoff would be good to see but it would not generate the kinds of $$$ bowls do. Greed is the root of the problem. Until that change this scenario will continue.

(G1): Are the polls a good idea in the first place?
(LOHD): YES. Everyone wants to know how they stack up.

(G1): Should they play a role in determining a 'National Champion'?
(LOHD): Yes. It should be part of the equation but SOS and conference play needs to be weighted more.

(G1): How much should non-BCS teams be included in the BCS- and other high payout- bowls?
(LOHD): If a non-BCS team has a tough schedule like most BCS teams and they earn it then let the play. But don’t show me a non-BCS team with a perfect record that has played a bunch of no bodies.

(G1): How much do you watch these teams?
(LOHD): Not often.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Gamecocks Second Scrimmage News/Notes

After reading the posts/news below, here are some of my general observations from the 2nd scrimmage at Willy B today.

Guys that are Stepping up as kickoff draws closer
---Emerging as the playmaker at WR that Carolina needs is Alshon Jeffery and Toni Gurley
---Saunders is the next TE from Carolina to play in the us
---Reid McCollum has his hands on the #2 spot behind Garcia after making good throws
---The running back position is crowded with Kenny Miles staking a claim for some "PT"

Guys that need to foucs for god's sake
---The centers from what I hear - Lemuel Jeanpierre, Garrett Anderson & Seaver Brown - kept missing up which is not good as it can screw up the rhythm of the offense
---K Spencer Lanning had a case of the shanks .... I miss Succup badly and hope this feeling goes away.

Related Coverage
Spurrier Quote of the Day
"These guys (re: qbs) have ability. Our offensive linemen have ability. We should be a dang good offense," continued the Head Ball Coach, "but we're still careless and don't do all the little things right most of the time. We'll keep practicing and keep hammering into our players that we have to cut out the careless mistakes."

Gamecock Clippings

Back from vacation and got a lot of gamecock news to catch up on so here is your Sunday morning shot of related material...

USC Football News of Note
S. Carolina Basketball Notes
Former Gamecocks
Garnet & Black Attack Blog Posts of Note
LOHD Blog Posts