Posted by Josh Kendall on September 2, 2014
The last time South Carolina played a game as an unranked football team was Sept. 2, 2010, the opening game of the season, when it beat Southern Miss 41-13.
It was the first game of Marcus Lattimore’s career, which is to say, it’s been a while.
It might happen again Saturday against East Carolina. The Associated Press poll, which the Gamecocks use as their official ranking, will be released around 2 p.m. Tuesday. (Normally, the poll comes out Sunday but ballots are not due until 11 a.m. today because games were played Sunday and Monday due to the Labor Day holiday.)
South Carolina entered the season ranked No. 9, riding the momentum of three-straight 11-win seasons. That all came crashing down in a 52-28 loss to Texas A&M on Thursday night.
It’s hard to say how each AP voter will look at the loss. Do you vote based strictly on what you’ve seen of teams in their first game with the thinking that this is the 2014 poll so 2014 results are the only ones that matter? Do you still figure in your feelings about a team headed into the season because one game is just one game and we don’t know for sure how good anyone’s opponents are this point?
While we can’t know how everyone can vote, I do know how I voted. I’m not sure I’m supposed to reveal this before it is published, but under the “better to ask forgiveness than permission” doctrine, I’ll go ahead and show you guys and give you an idea of my thinking.
As for the above questions, if you only used 2014 results, the Gamecocks obviously would not be a ranked team. I compromised some on the questions, which is the only reason I considered keeping South Carolina in the rankings. However, no matter how much you value the Gamecocks’ recent history, it doesn’t overcome Thursday night’s performance. I couldn’t rank the Gamecocks this week. We will find out shortly if more people agree or disagree with me.
South Carolina’s recent history was built on the likes of Connor Shaw and Jadeveon Clowney. Those players are gone. The Gamecocks have played 53 consecutive games as a ranked team, reaching as high as No. 3 in 2012. If the streak ends Saturday, it will be up to a new group to start it up again against the Pirates.
Here is my entire ballot.
Around the SEC
So get this. You know Florida’s game against Idaho was suspended after one play Saturday due to horrific weather in Gainesville, and may or may not be made up, right? Did you know that three Gators were suspended for that game? And did you know that all three – wide receiver Demarcus Robinson and defensive linemen Darious Cummings and Jay-nard Bostwick – have been reinstated for Saturday’s game against Eastern Michigan? So, essentially, they served a one-play suspension. That’ll teach them.
Alabama still doesn’t have its quarterback situation settled. The Crimson Tide started Blake Sims on Saturday, but he didn’t take full advantage of the opportunity and now Jacob Coker is back in the mix. "I don't hesitate to say there's a quarterback competition and that in some way we'll probably try to play both quarterbacks in this game," coach Nick Saban told AL.com. "I don't know how. But when I figure it out, I'm probably not going to tell you. And I don't know that it's that important, to be honest with you."
Three Arkansas assistants were unable to join the team at halftime because they were stuck in an elevator at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Long live the Bret Bielema-Gus Malzahn conspiracy theories!
The furniture store in College Station, Texas, that bet big on the Gamecocks (figuratively) is having to refund more than $1 million to customers. The owner had insurance, though, so he’s happy to cut the checks, he said.
Two Tennessee fans were married Sunday in the parking lot before the game. By a minister named Thomas Orange. You can’t make this stuff up.
Posted by JOSH KENDALL on August 29, 2014
South Carolina’s football season and the SEC Network’s live football broadcasting debut began with Brent Musburger saying, “And so it begins.” It was over, the game at least, soon after that.
Posted by JOSH KENDALL on August 29, 2014
When a team wins 33 games in three years, momentum becomes a part of its package. The inertia that comes with that kind of run begins to push it along more and more and more. For South Carolina, that is gone now.
Posted by JOSH KENDALL on August 28, 2014
This may not to be a great time to mention this, but East Carolina runs an offensive system similar to the one Texas A&M just used to roll up 680 yards and 52 points against South Carolina.
Posted by Josh Kendall on August 28, 2014
Texas A&M coaches are wondering if Steve Spurrier will run more or throw more in tonight's game. Probably won't matter either way.