The Midseason Report for South Carolina is up over at Team Speed Kills, but that's the "no homerism version."
South Carolina now stands at the midpoint of the season, and it has gotten to a 4-2 record in a roundabout way. The Gamecocks lost to Vanderbilt, but beat a resurgent Ole Miss. South Carolina defeated N.C. State 38-0, but didn't look dominant doing it. They lost to Georgia 14-7 just 10 days after falling to the 'Dores. And both the Wofford game and the UAB game were closer than they should have been.
Tommy Beecher was the starter for N.C. State, and Stephen Garcia has looked good so far -- but Chris Smelley is your quarterback. The defense is improved but, in a twist of irony, had a bad game against Ole Miss, whose defensive coordinator is Tyrone Nix.
And after that whiplash-inducing start, the goal should remain the same: Progress means winning eight games. And it's still possible, though maybe slightly differently than I first imagined.
|Original Call||Current Call|
|at KENTUCKY||LIKELY WIN||TOSS UP|
|LSU||PROBABLE LOSS||LIKELY LOSS|
|TENNESSEE||PROBABLE WIN||PROBABLE WIN|
|ARKANSAS||LIKELY WIN||LIKELY WIN|
|at FLORIDA||LIKELY LOSS||LIKELY LOSS|
|at TEAM FROM THE UPSTATE||POSSIBLE WIN||POSSIBLE WIN|
The original call on the Team from the Upstate was probably a bit optimistic. This one might be a bit pessimistic -- but no reason to take any chances, right? The Tiggers look eminently vulnerable this year and might be looking for a new head coach by the time the Gamecocks visit. They might also be looking for their dignity, though, so the rivalry set-up could make them dangerous.
Kentucky looks harder, no doubt. Who knew they had a defense? But Tennessee looks just as bad as your humble correspondent thought they would be, and maybe worse. LSU looks stronger; I'm still not sold one way or the other on Florida.
So cheer up. The season can still be a success. But it has to start with a win against Kentucky.