Posted by Josh Kendall on August 1, 2014
Let’s jump right into the 2014 football season.
I have never subscribed to the theory that South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier does more talking in the offseason when he thinks he has a very good team. We’ve heard that a lot this summer because Spurrier has done a lot of talking.
Does that mean he thinks the Gamecocks, who start practice tonight at the Proving Grounds, will be juggernauts this year? I don’t think so. What I think it means, in more general terms, is that Spurrier is happy with where the program is and thinks his team has a chance to be good or very good. He also, it seems to me, thinks he has a team that could win seven or eight games if things don’t go the right way.
Spurrier certainly is not the one who voted South Carolina No. 1 in Thursday’s preseason Amway Coaches Poll. “(Heck) no,” he told us.
The Gamecocks don’t get enough credit the last three years for winning a lot of close games. The flip side of that is that folks don’t appreciate enough the fact that this team could have easily finished with eight or nine wins in any of those seasons. It’s a credit to South Carolina’s players and coaches that they won those games, but they have to keep making those calls and those critical plays if they want to match their recent success.
Spurrier and the Gamecocks will start finding out tonight what kind of team they really have when practice opens at 7:15 p.m. All practices are open to the public until further notice. Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Tennessee started Thursday. Auburn, Georgia and Texas A&M also start camp today. (Ole Miss starts Saturday, Alabama starts Sunday and Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, LSU, Missouri open Monday.
Around the SEC:
The most important story for South Carolina fans outside of Columbia this month will be in College Station, Texas, where Sumlin has to find a successor for Johnny Manziel at quarterback. The contenders are sophomore Kenny Hill and freshman Kyle Allen, a five-star prospect who enrolled in time for spring practice.
The decision will be based on more than completion percentages and practice numbers, Sumlin told the Houston Chronicle.
“It’s grasp, feel, leadership, not giving the other team the ball,” Sumlin said. “That (last) one is a big one for me, and that's the hardest thing for young guys, because a lot of young guys like to give the other team the ball.”
I would have thought Alabama and Auburn started a season in the top five more often, but AL.com points out the Tide and Tigers have never been in the Associated Press preseason top five together. The AP poll wasn’t released Thursday, that comes Aug. 17, but the coaches have Alabama at No. 2 and Auburn at No. 5.
Georgia’s defense will look COMPLETELY different than the last time the Bulldogs took the field. Here’s a scorecard with all the changes.
You don’t see this very often: a Missouri receiver (sophomore Levi Copelin) has been suspended by the NCAA for the season due to a failed drug test.
Posted by JOSH KENDALL on July 31, 2014
The Gamecocks open the season on Aug. 28 against Texas A&M in Williams-Brice Stadium. Between now and then, expect these five topics to dominate the conversation.
Posted by JOSH KENDALL on May 23, 2014
What presidents, athletics directors and coaches will be talking about at the SEC meetings that start on Tuesday in Destin, Fla.
Posted by JOSH KENDALL on May 21, 2014
If beer sales are coming to an SEC stadium near you, South Carolina will not be leading the charge to bring them.
Posted by JOSH KENDALL on May 10, 2014
Jadeveon Clowney’s professional career began on Thursday night, and with it, an era ended for South Carolina.
Posted by JOSH KENDALL on May 7, 2014
Jadeveon Clowney’s stardom jumped another notch Wednesday evening with an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”