(DISCLAIMER: This post has nothing to do with authentic leadership, innovatie practices, or irresistible churches. It does, however, have something to do with GAMECOCK FOOTBALL!)
Yes, it is time. Time for Lord Spurrier to lead his army of garnet and black warriors into another season of battle in the ferocious SEC. It begins tonight with a trip to the dirt roads of Starkville, MS to tangle with the Mississippi State Bulldogs (8:00 PM ET, ESPN).
A lot of folks are jumping on the State bandwagon and picking them to win because Spurrier's never won in Starkville, our defense is young, Blake Mitchell is shady at QB, we're opening on the road, blah, blah, blah. Nonsense.
Spurrier has only lost one season opener in his career - oddly enough, to Carolina in his last season at Duke.
Our defense having 10 new starters tonight is a GOOD THING. We were terrible last year on D, especially against the run. I'm not calling our D a top 10 or even top 50 D, but they will play fast and hungry. Watch for newcomers Jasper Brinkley, Rodney Paulk, Marvin Sapp, Emanuel Cook, and my favorite, Captain Munnerlyn, to make an impact.
Blake Mitchell is the best QBwe have right now, bar none. Chris Smelley looked great against the second and third team, but he's never played a real college game. Blake will be vastly improved over last year, and he wasn't too bad last year. He got bigger, he's got a better o-line, better RB's, and two or three solid options at receiver.
We opened on the road two years ago against Vandy. People all over said, "Watch out...the Gamecocks could go down." Yeah...we won 31-6 and it should have been about 52-6. And that was under Lou "QB Draw" Holtz.
Bottom line: Carolina wins tonight, and I'm not sure it will be close. State's offense is terrible. Their defensive line is good...maybe great, but it won't be enough to slow down the Gamecock offense. There are too many weapons to cover. Look for Blake to play well, Sidney Rice to be his usual self, Syvelle Newton to make a big impact, and the defense to play inspired ball.
Final score: Carolina 31 - Miss. State 6