Wednesday, August 17, 2011

South Carolina is going to win the SEC East because of returning starters

That would be the conventional wisdom speaking.

Sounds, well, sound. After all, if you have a decent year in 2010, and you get a lot of those guys back, particularly the more impactful (which is actually not a word) players, it might stand to reason that you'll be better in 2011.

But, let's think about this for a second, and use South Carolina as an example. Who's returning? Let's take some key players and look at their situations, starting from the top.

QB Stephen Garcia returns for his senior season. He definitely took a step forward in 2010, with a solid QB rating, though he still was prone to throwing the ball to the other team. We're told we're getting a Stephen Garcia who's turned his life around, but dollars to donuts something else will arise. Even if it doesn't, is he really expected to be better than last year? Not really.

Then we look at WR Alshon Jeffrey. With over 1,500 yds and 9 TDs last year, he had about as good a season as a WR can have in college. He's an absolutely known quantity (a damn good one) that teams will scheme against. He'll get his yards and TDs, but honestly, is he going to have a better year than 2010? It's almost a statistical impossibility. Oh, and it becomes even more of an improbability when you look at his current physical conditioning...




Moving on to RB Marcus Lattimore. Tallying over 1,600 yds of total offense and 19 total TDs, he was who many consider to be responsible for uSC's surge offensively last year. He may actually do even better this year, but that will be more in the pass-blocking category. Still, moving from your freshman to sophomore year could yield some benefits, even after such a great rookie campaign.

On defense, the Gamecocks were very average last year, and they may actually improve under DC Ellis Johnson this season, especially with the addition of all-everything freshman DE Jadaveon Clowney. The Cocks return ~7 starters (always a wishy-washy number anyway, considering some guys don't start every game for various reasons).

Without getting into too much more detail, though, let me make my point. The Gamecocks lost 5 games in 2010, and they showed little to no improvement as the season went on. Each good thing was followed by a bad. They failed to handle any amount of success with more success.

You can talk about Georgia losing to UCF all you want, but getting outscored 82-34 over the last two games is hardly reason to be excited about the next year.

So, what is really so exciting and alluring about South Carolina returning a bunch of guys that, quite frankly, weren't all that spectacular as a whole in 2010?

Good teams can definitely take a step back if they lose a bunch of key starters (even though those key starters were not always key starters, either). However, returning a bunch of starters from a slightly above average team does not a championship season make. Just ask the 2000, 2004, and 2008 Georgia Bulldogs, and those teams were far better than the 2010 Gamecocks could ever dream of being.

12 comments:

  1. Very few teams are even ranking Georgia in the top 25. South Carolina is a top 10 team. Spurrier rarely loses his first big game.

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  2. The way we played in the 4th quarter, I don't think we have much room to be talking about finishing. Lost 7 games in the 4th quarter.

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  3. Thanks for the opinions. How Georgia did or didn't finish games in 2010 has little bearing on how South Carolina will do in 2011. The point of this is that the Gamecocks are ranked in the top ten because they get a lot of starters back...but those starters are from a 5-loss team that got pretty much lit up in their last two games. If you do want to address Georgia's woes here, the Dawgs are either ranked in the 20s or outside of the top 25 in most preseason polls. Just some food for thought.

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  4. I do believe Marcus broke 48 tackles in last years game . He's bigger and stronger and faster. Oh and we added more speed to the offense. Gonna be nice to walk out of the flea pit with another win against the flea bags

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  5. @ 5:26, the confidence is cute. I agree with South Carolina's plan to get bigger, faster, and stronger. For some reason, Georgia felt it was better to get smaller, slower, and weaker. Richt needs to work on that strategy. I won't predict the outcome, because I don't know. But, I will go on record as saying that Lattimore won't rush for more than the 182 yards he did last year.

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  6. Dave,

    Remind me to post only replies that agree with you.

    Small of you, sir. Very small. Owning up to it Dave ? What constitutes an allowable post ? I don't see any rules.

    But, 1 rule I have down, Dave, is you can blast any post away for whatever reason you so desire. I mean it is your board, right.

    So blast away.

    Small of you.

    Very small Dave.

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  7. Let's see if we can get a dialog going here. I am assuming this is in response to my deleting a couple of comments? If so, I deleted it because I actually saw the same exact comments posted verbatim on another blog. As such, it came across as spam, especially being that the comments really didn't have anything to do with yesterday's blog.

    That being said, if this is in response to something else, please clarify.

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  8. It is not on any other WebPages.

    Show me where it is sir ?

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  9. They can be found here, at around 1:25am this morning in the comments section. Looks like someone either stole your post(s), or you were a little tipsy last night and forgot you did this (which I would have more respect for, btw). Just know, I didn't delete them because I disagreed with something.

    http://www.sportsandgrits.com/2011/08/richt-fired-after-week-five-and-called.html

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  10. When South Carolina is the premier team in The SEC East with their 5 losses last year including all their games at the end of the year that really mattered, then we are not looking good here at UGA.

    Sorry, but sites that delete posts are not high on my list. There are lots of blogs out there. I can try to remember your blog sir.

    Let's see.

    Bull

    Blawg

    Ok.

    See ya.

    I am not into censored sites.

    You can be like ecdawg now and say that you are right, you are gone.

    But, of course that is MY decision at his site.

    Not his.

    And, likewise here.

    Easy you see ?

    Opinions that differ - and trust me my deleted post has a different opinion from yours Dave here on this blog - when they are deleted I move on on my own.

    And,, I will have my say about it Dave, sir.

    As I did with ecdawg.

    I'm right ecdawg.

    Oh, no sir. You are right ecdawg and you too Dave.

    You disagree with my opinion.

    Fine.

    Guess what ?

    I disagree with your opinion.

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  11. Those posts you refer to at whatever that other site are, are written by me sitting there typing them in. They are unique to that site, sir.

    You obviously, have not read them there either.

    If you don't like part of it, why not say what you don't like about it THERE on that site Dave ?

    Instead, I see NO REPLY at that site.

    Moving on.

    Have a fun blog.

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