Be happy, folks, be very happy.† Itís probable you last felt this optimistic on that beautiful fall afternoon of November 12, 2005.† South Carolina had just beaten Florida for our fifth straight SEC victory.† The future of the program looked brighter than ever.† The possibilities were endless.
Oh, sure, there have been moments since then, some glimmers.† But the 7-5 glimmers that we hoped would turn into 10-2 eye-searing sunbursts have never materialized under Steve Spurrier.† Those end of the season swoons doomed us.† Those horrific bowl games.† The corner never got turned.† ††††††
This week Iíve read words Iíve never seen applied to us this early in an SEC season.† Or at any point in any SEC season for that matter.† Words like contender and frontrunner.† Atlanta†and December have been used in the same sentence.† We have been called a ďcompleteĒ team.† We have a true freshman on Heisman watch lists who has been compared to Walker, Jackson, Smith and Peterson.† We have talented veterans and talented youngsters and depth.† So far we are even good on (gasp!) special teams.
I love the attention, I really do.† And I love the fact that I think we have a really good team for the first time under Spurrier.† I knew we were going to beat Georgia.† And I know weíre going to beat Furman the way the 13th ranked team in the country is supposed to beat Furman.†
Iím having fun.† But still, I worry.
I worry that Marcus Lattimore carried the ball 37 times in his second college game ever.† I worry that heís averaging 4.6 yards per carry instead of 6.4 yards per carry.† I worry that people are comparing him to Walker, Jackson, Smith and Peterson.† I worry that the offensive line wasnít as good on Saturday as everyone is giving them credit for.† I worry that UGAís 3-4 defense is just plain bad against the run.† I worry that weíre not getting pressure on the quarterback, and that we havenít forced a bushel full of turnovers yet.† Most of all Iím worried about the three Aís:
Auburn, Alabama and Arkansas.†
Two of those teams we think are pretty good.† One we know is very good.
Weíre a better team than Auburn, but we play them at Jordan Hare at night.† Weíre not a better team than Alabama, but we play them at home.† Weíre a better team than Arkansas, but what year are we not, yet we still lose to them too often.
Throw in Kentucky on the road and a Florida team that will right the ship (trust me), and thatís one heck of a minefield we have to negotiate.†
The first two weeks of the season couldnít have been scripted any better.† Iíve seen similar scripts the past five years, but this one is definitely different.† I donít believe the swoon will come this year.†
But still, I worry.