Monday, September 15, 2008

That's why you're the Gamecocks

Two years ago, I was in Columbia to watch South Carolina go against Arkansas. The Gamecocks shouldn't have had a shot to win it, but they made a comeback and were down six with big momentum on their side. With the ball in Razorback territory, SC's quarterback Blake Mitchell threw a dreadful pass right into coverage and was picked off. After the game, Steve Spurrier said, "That's why we're losers." Against Georgia Saturday, it happened again. First a fumble on 2nd and goal from the 2, then a pick thrown from the 16. Either play executed correctly likely gets the Gamecocks a tie and a shot at the biggest win in their history (they've never beaten a #1 or 2 team) in overtime. Instead, the transformation of Spurrier's image from Evil Genius to Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius continues. It's sad to see, because he's sharp as ever at calling a game but the players never finish the job.

While waiting in the press box for UGA-SC to get going, I watched the Vols stagger past UAB. UF should win comfortably against them if the Gators play even close to their potential. Don't take my word for it - here's what Memphis columnist Geoff Calkins has to say about UT: Florida will kill 'em.

A few other quick college football thoughts...

1. I've never seen NCAA football as stratified as it is this year. The SEC and Big 12 are loaded, the Big East and ACC are pathetic, and the Big Ten and Pac-10 each have only a couple of credible teams at best.

2. The Mountain West Conference went 4-0 against the Pac-10 this weekend, including BYU's 59-0 beatdown of that same UCLA team Tennessee lost to. UNLV coming back from down 10 in the fourth quarter to beat Arizona State in Tempe is as strange an outcome as anything we'll see the rest of the year.

3. Some people are mocking Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis for getting his knee blown out on the sideline, but as someone who's experienced the delight that is ACL repair surgery I feel for the guy. Weis has been overhyped for his supposed abilities as a coach and his arrogance has justifiably turned a lot of people off, but no one deserves that.

4. I like Columbus, Ohio very much. I've spent a decent amount of time there over the years and always have enjoyed it. Ohio State fans can wear on you sometimes, though. They've had a persecution complex for years, convinced the world is out to get them. Even Kirk Herbstreit, who played there and still lives in Columbus, is in on the conspiracy against the Scarlet and Grey! Maybe after losing to USC 35-3 they'll understand - the Buckeyes are good, but not even 25 percent as good as you keep insisting they are.

As for the pros, it was nice to see Matt Cassel get a win over Favre in his first start. Doesn't mean he's the next Tom Brady, but at least the guy has shown he can do the job. That's more than can be said for the Detroit Lions - how do you go from a one point lead with 7:41 left in the game to a 48-25 loss? I feel bad for Rod Marinelli. Of the three Florida NFL teams, only the Bucs won which probably didn't surprise anyone. The Jaguar OL injury situation sure looks like it may sink what was a pretty promising season.

I haven't been spending much time on baseball, especially the NL, but the fact MLB declared Milwaukee a "neutral site" for a Cubs at Houston series is beyond absurd. Carlos Zambrano pitched the first Cubs no hitter in 36 years in front of an overwhelmingly pro-Chicago crowd. Yet again, Bud Selig's leadership proves to be a farce. There was plenty of time to find a place for these teams to play in a truly fair setting. Bud twiddled his thumbs and did nothing until it was too late, and then made the situation even worse with his "solution".

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