Tag:South Carolina
Posted on: October 20, 2010 2:40 pm
 

Marcus Lattimore to miss Vanderbilt game

Posted by Adam Jacobi

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier announced today that he's starting Kenny Miles at tailback for his Gamecocks' game this weekend against Vanderbilt. Miles is quite conspicuously not Marcus Lattimore, who sprained an ankle in last week's contest with Kentucky.

Gamecocks fans have every reason to be nervous about this development; Miles led South Carolina in rushing last season with 626 yards, so he's not untested. At the same time, though, the Gamecocks' rushing offense was 91st in the nation last season; with Lattimore in the fold, they've been up at 69th and rushing for 25 more yards per game. More importantly, before the Kentucky game, South Carolina was 4-1 and on pace to significantly better its 2009 record of 7-6.

But Lattimore's absence is even more immediately problematic for the Gamecocks. When he hurt his ankle last weekend, South Carolina was leading 28-10. When Miles replaced Lattimore, South Carolina was outscored 21-0 and lost by three points. That's not to put the loss all on Miles -- he wasn't exactly tasked with guarding Randall Cobb, after all -- but Lattimore's effect on a game can't be underestimated. Until the freshman's ankle heals, South Carolina's offense will more closely resemble its 2009 iteration, and that's not a good thing.

For more breaking news and analysis follow us on Twitter @CBSSportsNCAAF or subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Posted on: October 19, 2010 1:28 pm
 

Saban questions toughness of today's players

Posted by Tom Fornelli

I turned 30 recently, and it's somewhat of an odd age.  On one hand, I realize that I'm not a kid anymore, but at the same time, I sure as hell don't feel like a full-fledged adult yet.  Still, the signs are starting to creep in, and they're scary.  Just the other day the words "kids these days" came out of my mouth, and they came out in a direct, non-sarcastic tone.

I don't want to turn into that person that compares the world of today with the world of my youth, or how things were when I was younger.  I'm afraid that when it happens I'll officially be old.

This is not a fear that Nick Saban has.  He's in full-blown "back in my day" mode at the moment, particularly when it comes to questioning the toughness of today's football player.  Following his team's win against Ole Miss on Saturday, the Alabama taskmaster went on a bit of a rant about it.

"That's what I tell the players all the time, and they hate to hear it, but now I'm going to say it publicly so they can really get upset about it," said Saban.

"You're telling the other guy you're beating me up, I'm hurt and I'm going to stay down here.  It's just like a boxer. If you go down, get up. If you've got to come out for a play, come out for a play. But that's just me. I'm old-fashioned. I know they don't make 'em like they used to. ...

"But a guy lays on the ground and eight trainers go out there and everybody thinks he's hurt and he gets up and runs off the field. When I played, my coach, you wouldn't want to meet him on the sideline. So if you stayed down, you'd better really be hurt."

While Saban brings up some good points -- I'm tired of guys rolling around on the ground like they've been shot because they have a cramp -- he also misses one giant one completely.  He also has horrible timing considering Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand being paralyzed over the weekend.

Still, the one point Saban truly misses on is one he kind of makes.  It's true, they don't make players like they used to anymore.  The players of today are bigger, stronger and faster than the ones of the past.  Which means that collisions are more violent, and will lead to more injuries.  Bones are still bones, after all, and those things can break.

Saban could just ask his own wide receiver Julio Jones, who finished the South Carolina game with a broken hand.  Is that tough enough for Saban?

Some other things Saban thinks they just don't make like they used to?  First, hair gel.  "They're all scented now and make me smell girly."  Then there are scholarship limits.  "Why the hell can't I sign every player in the country!?  If they want to come here, why can't I have them?"*

*Those last two quotes may not actually be true.
Posted on: October 18, 2010 7:20 pm
 

Midseason Report: SEC

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Now that we've reached the halfway point of the season, we have a lot better idea of which teams to take seriously, and which ones we can forget about.  Of course, there's still a lot of football to be played this season, so in the Midseason Report we'll be taking a look at what each team has remaining in front of them, and what they'll have to do to call themselves conference champions.  In this post, we'll take a look at the SEC.

East


1. South Carolina (4-2, 2-2) - The Gamecocks may only be 2-2 in conference play this season, but in the 2010 version of the SEC East, that's all it takes to be on top.  The question is whether or not Steve Spurrier and South Carolina can stay there.  A question that is hard to answer when your quarterback is the completely unreliable and unpredictable Stephen Garcia.   As we saw against Kentucky, the Gamecocks need Marcus Lattimore to stay healthy down the stretch if they're going to hold on  and reach the SEC title game.  The good news is that they have two very winnable games up next on the schedule in Vanderbilt and Tennessee.   After that, however, they get Arkansas and Florida in The Swamp.  All four are winnable games, but if the SEC has taught us anything this season, it's that every game is losable as well.

2. Florida (4-3, 2-3) - Oh the SEC East, the one place in the country where losing three straight conference games still leaves you in control of your own destiny.  Sure, the Gators are 2-3 in the SEC, but all three of those losses came against SEC West teams.  Which means that if Florida wins out it'll be going to Atlanta.   The Gators play Georgia, Vanderbilt and South Carolina to finish out their SEC slate over the next three weeks, and both of the tough games (Sorry, Vandy)  either come at home or at a "neutral" site.  What will determine whether Florida can get it done is which offense shows up.  Will it be the unit that managed to put up 29 points against a tough LSU defense, or the one that couldn't break double-digits against Alabama and Mississippi State ?  I wish I could say I knew, but getting Chris Rainey back can't hurt.

3. Georgia (3-4, 2-3) - Yes, that's right, Georgia is still alive in the SEC East.  Forget about those four straight losses that left us all wondering if Mark Richt would survive the season, the Bulldogs have exploded the last two weeks and are right in the thick of things.  The problem for Georgia is they have no room for error, and have already lost to South Carolina this season.  So even if they do survive a trip to Lexington this weekend -- something Auburn barely did, and South Carolina couldn't -- they still have to play Florida in Jacksonville and travel to Auburn.  Yes, seeing the Bulldogs outscore Tennessee and Vanderbilt 84-14 over the last two weeks was encouraging, but let's not forget that Tennessee and Vanderbilt are horrible.

4. Vanderbilt (2-4, 1-2) - Listen, I'm not going to pretend that Vanderbilt has any chance of winning the SEC East.  It's just I have to include them because the way the dominoes have fallen thus far in the season, they're not out of contention yet.  So, yes, Vandy has a chance to win the SEC East.  I also have a chance at convincing Megan Fox to drop the dude from 90210 and marry me instead.  Let's see which one happens first.

5. Kentucky (4-3, 1-3) - Kentucky is in the same boat as Vanderbilt in that it's alive, but barely.  Though to Kentucky's credit, they've been a lot more impressive than Vanderbilt.  The Wildcats nearly knocked off Auburn and did take down South Carolina, and the tough part of the schedule is done.  The problem is that not only would Kentucky need to win out, but they'd also need quite a bit of help from everybody else.

WEST


1. Auburn (7-0, 4-0) - Cam Newton is the new Tim Tebow, but this kid isn't nearly as interested in quoting the Bible as he is in running over defenses.  I have no doubt that Newton is good enough to lead this Auburn team to the SEC title game, but the Auburn defense leaves me incredibly concerned, as does its remaining schedule.  The Tigers get LSU at home this week, and then have three winnable games before finishing the season in Tuscaloosa for the Iron Bowl.  If Auburn can overcome its defense and win out then I don't think there's any question that this team will be playing in Arizona come January with a crystal football on the line.

2. LSU (7-0, 4-0) - Can you comfortably say that you can predict what Les Miles is going to do next?  No, of course not.  The man is insane, and his team seems to have taken on the identity of its bi-polar head coach.   The most worrisome aspect of the Tigers is obviously the offense, and you have to figure that at some point Jordan Jefferson or Jarrett Lee are going to throw that back-breaking interception to end this team's hopes.  Considering that the Tigers still have Auburn and Alabama back-to-back over the next few weeks before finishing the season in Fayetteville, there will be plenty of chances for them to do just that.

3. Alabama (6-1, 3-1) -
You didn't make the mistake of thinking this team was dead, did you?  Is this Alabama team as good as last year's national champion?  No, there's no way the 2009 Alabama defense lets Stephen Garcia tear it apart.  Still, even if this defense isn't as strong as last season's unit, it's pretty darn good.  The Tide have an easy game with Tennessee this week before having to travel to Baton Rouge, but then they have their last three games at home with Georgia State sandwiched by Mississippi State and Auburn.  If Alabama wins out, it's going to Atlanta, and barring some catastrophic injury, I can see it happening.

Prediction: Trying to predict what's going to happen in the SEC is a fruitless exercise in that come Sunday morning, the entire conference could be turned upside down.  Still, a prediction is what is asked of me, and a prediction is what ye shall receive.

Two teams will travel to Atlanta to play for the SEC title, and I believe those two teams will be Alabama and Florida.  Yep, again.  As far as Alabama is concerned, I just think they'll win out, with the SEC West being decided on the final Saturday when they end Auburn's bid at an undefeated season and a national title.

Florida?  Well, I don't have that much faith in the Gators at this point, but that's still more faith than I'll ever be willing to put in Stephen Garcia.  So they'll be the lucky recipient of a second beating by the Tide in December.
Posted on: October 17, 2010 6:05 pm
 

Randall Cobb calls out Kentucky fans on Twitter

Posted by Tom Fornelli

So far a number of schools have decided to keep players off of Twitter.  Places like Boise State, Miami and North Carolina have all banned the social media site, and if you were wondering which school might be next, I have a pretty good idea.

Randall Cobb
played a pretty big role in Kentucky 's win over South Carolina on Saturday night, and while he no doubt enjoyed every minute of the Wildcats' victory, he also noticed what was going on in the stands in Lexington.  He then took to Twitter on Sunday afternoon to air out his frustrations with Kentucky fans.

Cobb sent out one long message to Kentucky football fans in three tweets.  I'll just get one large (SIC) out of the way now.

"To all the fans: Loved seein Yall come late, love hearin Yall tell us we suck during the game, love that we have to play against our own fans too!  Love that we can't pack the house against the #10 team in the nation.  It means that much more to me.  I love my team!  Brotherhood they got my back n I got they back.  The rest of Yall can get ready for bball season!"

To which Kentucky fans probably replied, "We have a football team?

The three seperate tweets have since been removed, though there are screenshots of each over at College Football Talk .  Oh, and Kentucky basketball season starts on November 1 against Pikeville.  It's only an exhibition game, but I'll bet Rupp Arena is packed.
Posted on: October 17, 2010 12:23 am
 

What I learned from the SEC (Oct 16)

Posted by Tom Fornelli

1. Parity has wrought havoc in the SEC.
  Remember the days when there was no question that the SEC was the class conference in college football?  Well, that either no longer applies to the conference, or everybody has become so good that everybody can beat everybody.  No matter which side of the argument you fall on, one thing is clear: when it comes to who is going to win the conference, none of us know anything.

2. The SEC East is up for grabs. Sticking with the parity theme, while we know that the SEC West is going to finish with either LSU, Auburn or Alabama on top, the SEC East can be had for the taking by anybody who wants it.  South Carolina may have lost to Kentucky on Saturday night, but no matter, if it wins out it's still theirs.  Right behind the Gamecocks is Florida, who have lost three in a row, and Georgia.   The same Georgia team that we all thought might have a new head coach by the end of the season.

3. Cam Newton is a monster.   Newton had a monster performance against Arkansas on Saturday, leading the Tigers to 65 points -- the first time that Auburn's hung 60 on an SEC opponent since they did it to Florida in 1970.  With all the losses in the top 10 this week, it's safe to say that Newton will be on top of the Heisman list come Monday.  The only question is how long will his defense let him stay there?

4. Florida REALLY wishes it still had Cam Newton.
You really do have to wonder how much time Steve Addazio has left in Gainesville following another anemic performance from the Gators offense against Mississippi State.   Anytime your defense holds an opponent to 10 points in your building, you have to win that game.  Florida just couldn't get it done.  It's time to go back to the drawing board, and the Gators may need to put the dry erase marker in somebody else's hand.

5. Marcus Lattimore is the key to South Carolina's offense.
  Lattimore had 212 yards and three touchdowns in the first half against Kentucky, and South Carolina had a 28-10 lead.  Then Lattimore spent the second half on the bench on the second half, and the Gamecocks couldn't do anything on offense, getting outscored 21-0 in the second half and losing.  Leaving the ball in the hands of Stephen Garcia is just not a winning formula.
Posted on: October 16, 2010 12:54 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 6:16 pm
 

Game day weather updates, Week 7

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Here's the weather outlook for all of today's important matchups. It's another gorgeous day across the country, but it's starting to get just a little bit chilly. You should still bring the sunscreen. All times are Eastern.

Noon kickoffs

Boston College at No. 16 Florida State , 12:00, Tallahassee, FL: Low 70s, clear

Illinois at No. 13 Michigan State, 12:00 , East Lansing, MI: Mid 50s, partly cloudy

Missouri at No. 21 Texas A&M, 12:00 , College Station, TX: Low 70s, clear

Afternoon kickoffs

No. 15 Iowa at Michigan , 3:30, Ann Arbor, MI: Low 60s, partly cloudy

No. 12 Arkansas at No. 7 Auburn , 3:30, Auburn, AL: Low 70s, clear

Texas at No. 5 Nebraska , 3:30, Lincoln, NE: Low 70s, clear

Evening kickoffs

No. 10 South Carolina at Kentucky , 6:00, Lexington, KY: Low 60s, clear

No. 1 Ohio State at No. 18 Wisconsin , 7:00, Madison, WI: Mid 50s, partly cloudy

Mississippi State at No. 22 Florida , 7:00, Gainesville, FL: Low 60s, clear

Late night kickoffs

Ole Miss at No. 8 Alabama , 9:00, Tuscaloosa, AL: Low 50s, clear

No. 24 Oregon State at Washington , 10:15, Seattle, WA: Mid 40s, partly cloudy


Posted on: October 15, 2010 3:51 pm
 

The Saturday Meal Plan: Week 7

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet.  Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Sunday in the bathroom.

Breakfast


Main Course - #13 Michigan State vs. Illinois - Noon - Big Ten Network


Yes, the morning menu is still incredibly light this week.  You'd think I'd be beyond complaining about it at this point since it's been this way all season, but I assure you, I am not above complaining about anything .  Though this Michigan State and Illinois game isn't as unfulfilling as it may seem at first glance.

Michigan State is 6-0, after all, and coming off of a very big win against Michigan.   Illinois has also played well lately, with a win not many saw coming on the road against Penn State last week.  Also, let's not forget that the Illini gave Ohio State a very tough time in Champaign a few weeks ago.

There's enough cause to believe that another upset may be in the works this weekend.  First of all, Michigan State is coming off that Michigan win, and there could be a letdown this weekend.  Second, it is Michigan State.  Completely unexpected losses at home against teams they should beat after getting off to a good start to the season wouldn't exactly be a new phenomenon for the Spartans. 

Side Orders: If you don't get the Big Ten Network, and don't have the choice of watching Michigan State and Illinois between Ro-Tel and Velveeta commercials, there are other options.  Florida State and Boston College square off in Tallahassee,  or you could tune in to what could be Tim Brewster's last game when Minnesota takes on Purdue.   Of course, if you want to watch that game I'd suggest spending three hours talking to some sort of counselor instead.  Maybe you should watch Syracuse and Pitt instead, just to see if you should actually take this Syracuse team seriously.

Lunch


Main Course - #7 Auburn vs. #12 Arkansas - 3:30pn - CBS


Now that Alabama has lost, it leaves the door open to a couple of teams in the SEC West.  Auburn is one of them. Arkansas, who has already lost to Alabama, has an outside chance, but to make the most of it, a win over Auburn is a must have.

Of course, even if there wasn't so much on the line for both teams in this game, I'd recommend tuning in just to watch Cam Newton and Ryan Mallett face off.  In other words, expect a lot of points, and what could turn out to be a very exciting, back and forth affair.

Auburn's pass defense left a bit to be desired against Kentucky last week, and don't think that Bobby Petrino didn't pick up on a few things when watching the game tape.  The Auburn defense is going to need to play very well if the Tigers want to leave this one with their perfect record still intact.

Side Orders: There are a couple of other dishes available in the afternoon, including the one that's often best-served cold, which Nebraska is hoping to give Texas tomorrow afternoon.  There's also Michigan and Iowa in the Big House, which will be a defining game for the Wolverines.  We find out if Michigan is either a good team that lost a tough game against a rival last week, or it's still the same old Michigan we've grown accustomed to the last few years.

Dinner


Main Course - #18 Wisconsin vs. #1 Ohio State - 7pm - ESPN


It's been a while since the Buckeyes found themselves ranked as the best team in the country, but if they're not careful, it's not going to last long.  The Buckeyes have gotten off to a 6-0 start this season, but this is the first real test they'll have faced.  Yes, Miami was a tough game, but that was at home and Miami has proven to be pretty average this season.

This is the road, at night, at Camp Randall Stadium.  Ohio State's defense hasn't faced a punishing ground game like it'll be seeing against Wisconsin with John Clay and company.  Ohio State has only ventured outside of Columbus once this season, and that was what turned out to be their worst game of the season against Illinois.

And trust me, it's a lot easier to win in Champaign than it is in Madison.

Side Orders: Kentucky nearly knocked off Auburn at home last week, and it will try to do this same this week when it hosts South Carolina.   The Gamecocks are coming off their biggest win ever, so a let down could be in order.  There's also Florida looking to end its two-game losing streak taking on Mississippi State and old friend Dan Mullen, and the Crimson Tide look to take out their frustrations from last week against Ole Miss and its new mascot.

Late Night Snack


Oregon State may have had some troubles with non-conference foes like TCU and Boise State, but it's off to a nice start in conference play.  They look to improve to 3-0 in the Pac-10 when they head to Washington to take on the Huskies Saturday night on ESPN.
Posted on: October 13, 2010 12:52 pm
 

Jerrell Powe knows how to stop Alabama

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Man, you lose one game in two years and suddenly everybody thinks they know how to beat you.

Alabama is hoping to rebound from its loss against South Carolina last weekend when they host Ole Miss this weekend, but according to the Rebels' defensive tackle Jerrell Powe, it isn't going to happen.  You see, Mr. Powe watched the game against South Carolina and now he knows the secret formula for beating the Crimson Tide.

"I think they got exposed, you know what I mean? Showed that they're a one-dimensional team, that they run the ball really well, and I think South Carolina did a good job of stuffing the run and they really couldn't get nothing going after they got stopped," Powe said. "I think they tried to come out and do the same thing they did against Arkansas - tried to wear South Carolina down with the run - but I think South Carolina did a great job of persevering through the whole game."

Wow, Powe cracked the secret code.  Who knew Alabama was a running team?  I always thought that Mark Ingram won the Heisman last season for his tremendous pass-blocking skills.

Listen, figuring out that stuffing Alabama's ground game is the key to beating them isn't a revelation.  It's actually doing it that matters, which is something that nobody had done until the Gamecocks did it last week.  So you'll have to excuse me if I don't have much faith in Powe and the Rebels this weekend, as last I checked the Rebel defense was 103rd in the nation allowing 32.6 points per game. 

And those games include losses to Jacksonville State and Vanderbilt.   Something tells me that if you can't stop Jacksonville State at home, you aren't going to be able to beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com