Monthly Archives: October 2010

SEC East Race – Graphic Explanation – UPDATED UPDATED UPDATED

And Then There Were Two

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Banal Gameday Predictions – Tennessee Edition

Buck says:  USC 37, UT 20.  If there was ever a must win for South Carolina since joining the SEC, this is it.  Every scenario that leads to the SECCG starts with a win against UT.  A loss doesn’t mathematically eliminate the ‘Cocks, but realistically would be a mortal wound.  UT scares me, simply becuase they’ve been able to hang around with some pretty good teams for a while, and should’ve beaten LSU in Baton Rouge.  But the Vols are seriously depleted and demoralized, so I think we jump on them early and often.  Look for another big game from the offense, starting with the opening drive.  The defense needs a lock down performance to get their confidence up with Arkansas coming up next.  It will be good to see #21 on offense again, I’ve missed him so…

Tbone says: SC 38, UT 10. What Buck said, but with better D.  I think UT might score once in their opening couple of series, but look for Travian Robertson, Ladi Ajiboye and Devin Taylor to have big days from then on.  Notice a certain someone missing from that list?  So do I.   So. do. I.  Anyway, on offense I think Garcia is due some props on the national level, and this might the game for it to happen.  BONUS prediction:  two weeks is not enough to fix what’s wrong in Gainesville, UGa rolls.

This One’s Personal

I’m not sure when it started.  Maybe it was in 1992 when former walk-on Hank Campbell dropped UT just short of that game-tying 2 point conversion.  That loss ultimately knocked the Vols out of the SEC East race that year, so it must have hurt.  Maybe that was the beginning, but regardless, it always seems like the Volunteers particularly enjoy smacking South Carolina down.  The numbers don’t help the perception, as Carolina has only defeated Tennessee three times since joining the conference.
But it goes deeper than the records.  Tennessee has made many a career by stealing our best players and then beating us with them.  It’s no secret that former head coach Philip Fulmer liked to raid the state for talent, and it’s also no secret that our coaches fought him tooth and nail.  But regardless, the pattern established itself throughout the last two decades:  Tennessee took the best two or three players from the state, and South Carolina was left to divide the scraps with C.T.U.
Just take a look at the following short (and not nearly exhaustive) list: Shaun Ellis, Dominique Stevenson, Darwin Walker, Albert Haynesworth, Jon Hefney, Anthony McDaniel, Eric Young, Robert Ayers.  All from South Carolina.  All spurned the home state school to play for the Volunteers.  Most, if not all, went on to NFL careers.
[Speaking of Haynesworth, he will always be a pariah to Gamecock fans.  No one will forget how he stood victorious in the end zone that year at Williams Brice and taunted our departing fans while waving a UT flag.  It was classless, but it also particularly stung like a betrayal.]
The SC to UT pipeline was so understood, so part of the southern football landscape, that when Derek Watson spurned the Volunteers and signed with Lou Holtz’s Gamecocks, the UT coaching staff assumed that major NCAA violations were involved.  After years of NCAA scrutiny brought about by Fulmer’s report, no major violations were uncovered (I think maybe Buddy Pough bought Derek a burger at the Williamston McDonalds when he shouldn’t have or something, but still).
Then came the defection of our former Recruiting Coordinator David Reeves.  One day he was recruiting for us, and the next he was calling those same recruits and telling them Carolina was all wrong for them.  Again, maybe it was part of his job, but for sensitive Carolina fans, it was another betrayal and another attempt to keep the UT jackboot on our state’s neck.
As a culmination of years of insults and defeats (both on the field and in the recruits’ living rooms), UT coaching wunderkind Lane Kiffin was overheard telling then-highschooler Alshon Jeffrey that if he went to South Carolina he “would pump gas for the rest of his life.”
To Carolina fans it felt like the nuclear option of insults, despite the fact that it backfired and Jeffrey signed with USC.  The slight was all over the media, and stays with us still in the football zeitgeist even though young Kiffin fled to the west coast soon thereafter.
Then we saw the photo from the Byrnes High School game.  You know the photo.  The one with Corey Miller and the young ladies in it.
 I, for one, understood the photo to be further evidence of just how far Tennessee would go to keep Carolina down.
So just after noon this Saturday, when toe meets leather and another UT-SC matchup begins, I want you to know this, Coach Dooley:  you and your orange-clad soldiers are about as welcomed in Williams Brice as, let’s see, I’m looking for a historical analogy . . . . . . . . .  

Sunday Night Snark, Monday Afternoon Q&A Edition

Question:  How many CTU players does it take to operate an elevator?
Answer:  More than twelve.
Question:  How many Offensive Coordinators does it take for Vandy to win a conference game?
Answer:  More than three.
Question:  How many years has it been since the Baylor Bears were ranked in the top 25 went to a bowl game?
Answer: More than sixteen.
Question:  What needs to happen for the Kentucky Wildcats to win the SEC East (Cheesy Biscuits not accepted as an answer)?
Answer:   South Carolina loses to Tennessee and Arkansas AND Georgia loses to Florida and Auburn, AND Florida loses to South Carolina and Vanderbilt.  Oh, AND Kentucky has to win out.  Oh, AND Hell has to freeze over.
Question:  What was so hard about getting out of that two floor elevator in Clemson, SC?
Answer: Confusing Control Panel

SEC East Race, A Graphic Explanation – Life of Pi Edition, UPDATED, UPDATED

And Then There Were Three

Banal Gameday Predictions – Vanderbilt Edition

Buck says:  USC 23, Vandy 10.  People were so worried about the post-victory hangover last week.  I’m more worried about the post-crushing defeat hangover this week.  I expect the Gamecocks to be ornery and sluggish throughout this one.  Thank goodness Vandy’s offense stinks, because if not we would be in trouble in this one.  Our defensive backfield needs a confidence boost, and i think they’ll get it, albeit against the worst passing offense in the conference.  That said, Vandy is not nearly as bad as their showing in Athens last week, and we’ll struggle, but ultimately pull out the W.  Bonus:  If Lattimore is indeed dressed out and ready to play, expect him to get no fewer than 15 carries.

Tbone says: USC 38, Vandy 7.  Someone’s gotta pay for last week, and sorry ‘dores, its you.  Kenny Miles will get into an early groove, and run for over 100 yards, because The State is running out of contrived controversies to ‘report’ on.  Garcia will throw a pick early, and look for Vandy to get a trash TD as Auguste, Culliver, Gilmore, and Swearinger all decide to cover the same guy at least once.  BONUS PREDICTION:  Kentucky gets destroyed by the Pups (it took every single one of the Fates converging in the Wildcats favor last week, no way they get that many Greek demigods’ thumbs on the scales again). BONUS BONUS PREDICTION: LSU squeaks out a win over Auburn (The Hat obviously has a pact with the Devil).  BONUS BONUS BONUS PREDICTION:  Florida will not find a way to lose this weekend.  I know they don’t play, but still.

More Fun With Venn Diagrams – CTU Edition

CTU Football History Explained

Fanbase Snapshot

Null Set re: Dabo Swinney's Hygiene Habits

TRC Internet Meme Tutorial

As a public service to those of you struggling with the series of tubes that is the internet, we occasionally offer explanations for viral internet phenomena.

This week, we will look at the Venn Diagram Meme

Venn diagrams are graphic representations of relationships between sets of data.  Put another way, a Venn diagram shows you a picture of how two or more groups of things are related. 

Multiple uses in statistics, education, science, etc., and also now an internet phenomenon.

The meme associated with Venn diagrams usually involves a humorous twist or cynically profound point in the apparent association of the data sets.

An example:

Gamecock 2010 Season

You Really Got Me This Time, Gamecocks

Dear Gamecocks,

I gotta say, you really got me this time. I was hook, line and sinker my friends.

Yeah, we had a positive start to the season. The wins over Southern Miss and Georgia were all right I guess. Beating Georgia any time at anything is a positive. Then there was that stinking Furman game. And it stunk, trust me. That “here we go again” feeling was back, but at least we escaped with a win.

Auburn was a pretty good game, I’ll hand it to you. No moral victories, but you guys played well in a hostile environment against what has turned out to be a pretty good team. There were some classic Gamecock mistakes thrown in there at the end, of course. But that game left no reason to get terribly optimistic, right?

Yep, the season was cruising along at a very USC-like pace. We’d lose to Alabama, then string together a few wins and cross our fingers heading into the final stretch.

But then came Alabama. Whoa, man, that was a doozy. I mean, you guys beat the defending national champs SOUNDLY. I have to admit, I bought in. Bought in hard. Even with all my experience with you guys, I was there. Seriously. I even wrote about “limitless possibilities” or some tripe like that.

You were the media darlings. Spurrier was back. Garcia had matured into a real, live quarterback. Lattimore and Jeffery on the same team? Just not fair. Sure, the defense gave up a few passing yards, so what? That’s part of the price you pay stopping guys like Ingram and Richardson.

I looked down the schedule – Kentucky, win. Vandy, win. Tennessee, win. Arky, win Florida, win the SEC East. Troy…seriously? Clemson, win. Whoa. Not only are we in the SEC Championship Game, we’re in the discussion for…

No, no, I didn’t get quite that far. But I could see it from where I was standing.

Sure, I heard all the talk about a letdown against Kentucky. I even cautioned against it myself when talking to all the folks patting my back over the ‘Bama game. But deep down I was having none of it. “This team is SO different,” I thought.

You guys even kept the ruse going in the first half against the ‘Cats. Not to play ifs and buts, but take away those three turnovers and you guys are up, what, 35-0? 42-0? I was OK with an 18-point cushion, though, so I forgave the mistakes. No way you guys could blow that lead.

Then came the punk. A real second half Chernobyl. I went from laid back on the couch, to sitting up, to edge of my seat, to standing, to outright larynx-busting yelling at the TV. And the coup de gras? You give up the go-ahead TD…drive to their 20-yard line with 11 seconds to go…call your final timeout with the clock stopped…then throw a pick?

Bravo, Gamecocks, BRA-VO.

So, Gamecocks, here is my point – I’m done with you. I’m done watching you, reading about you, writing about you, following you. I’ve had it. I’m tired of losing sleep when you lose. I’m tired of being in a foul mood for days after a loss. I’m tired of being a jerk while suffering through your games.

I’m going to spend more time with my family. I’m going to get to work on that bathroom remodel my wife and I have been talking about. Maybe go fishing or play a little golf. I’m going to sell that 50-inch TV (which I bought for you, by the way), because I’m done.

D-O-N-E…

Sigh…

OK, so see you Saturday night? Seven o’clock, right?

SEC East, A Graphic Explanation, Life of Pi Edition UPDATED

"All In" (can't believe I just quoted Dabo)

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