Great Expectations and Other Tusings

I need to spell this out for you, because I don’t think you get it.  Going into the 2011 football season, we have:

  1. A Heisman Trophy candidate and potential first team All-American at running back.
  2. A likely first team All-American and fringe Heisman Trophy candidate at wide receiver.

    One of many stars on this Gamecock squad.
  3. A potential All-American at cornerback.
  4. One of the best defensive ends in college football on one of the best defensive lines in college football.
  5. A fifth year senior quarterback (yes, warts and all).
  6. One of the greatest college football coaches in the history of the game.

These observations do not appear through the proverbial “garnet-colored glasses”.  These are things that are widely agreed upon by friend and foe, are they not?  And that doesn’t include the likes of Clowney, Byrd, Cooper, Ellington, Shell, et al (mainly because I don’t trust first-year players, but I fully expect a few to contribute significantly.)

Folks, we’re less than a month away from the kickoff of the 2011 season, and I dare say we have the greatest collection of talent in the history of our school.  And I don’t think it’s close.

Let that sink in, and enjoy the next three weeks.  The season will start, and it will fly by.  I fully expect there will be some heartache along the way.

But as long as it’s August 9, I’m just going to go ahead and assume we’re going undefeated.

Moving on:

  • Consider this – what if USC and Georgia switched teams.  Say we had Aaron Murray and a bunch of question marks, and they had everything listed above.  Where do you think UGA’s preseason ranking would be, and what do you think the line on our game would be?  My point is not that we’re getting screwed, because we’re not, but that perceptions are hard to shake.
  • Two things I’ve been sick of hearing the “experts” trot out for the last several months – variations of “the USC/UGA game is huge/will decide the East” and “USC’s success hinges on the play of Garcia”.  Duh and duh, please hit me with some originality blogosphere.
  • Don’t tell anybody, because as I stated above I don’t trust first-year players, but…/makes sure no one is listening…I’m pretty excited about Ellington and Byrd.
  • How excited?  Not only am I going to predict we return a kick for touchdown this year (boooorrrinnnnng), but I’m going to predict it happens in the first game against East Carolina.  And I HATE predictions.
  • Obligatory Jadeveon Clowney is awesome bullet point.
  • I’m still trying to decide if I like Lattimore embracing the Heisman talk, or if I think it’s a bad move.  I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt here, because he has made exactly zero mistakes since enrolling at USC.
  • I’m glad T-bone laid the lumber to Ron Morris for that ridiculous column on Sunday.  It deserves a re-linking.
  • We have Steve Spurrier.  Clemson has Dabo Swinney.  That just makes me smile.
  • We learned today that Post and Courier beat writer Travis Haney is moving to Oklahoma (where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain) to cover the Sooners.  Haney is a good beat writer and seems like a good guy.  His love of sports and his job comes through in his writing, and I appreciate that and will miss it.  I will not, however, miss him live-tweeting Dave Matthews concerts and where he’s having dinner in Omaha.
  • And I guess this is just as good a time as any to admit something to our fair readers.  Please do not hold this against me, but…brace yourselves…I did not care for “Gamecock Glory” /ducks and covers.  I mean, our two victories over Clemson in Omaha are covered in a HALF A PAGE!  WHAT THE HECK IS THAT?!?!

There, I feel better.  Godspeed Travis.