THE THREAD [06/14/08] :: Allies and Enemies

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Hillary for President Quarterback. Spurred on by HBC's recent remarks about the freshman signal-caller, the Aramis Hillary love has begun.

This despite the fact that even he seems unsure about where this love comes from.

Asked to compare his skill set to the other USC quarterbacks, the speedy Hillary claimed he’s not even the fastest. An exasperated reporter asked what Hillary brings to the table.

"I don’t know, man," Hillary said with a laugh. "Hopefully, whatever coach wants, right?"

Well, we all hope so.

C&F is having a hard time figuring out where this one is going. Spurrier hasn't been shy about playing first-year quarterbacks at South Carolina, and he sure doesn't seem to be as excited about Smelley, Beecher or Garcia as he is about Hillary. So how much will the newcomer play? And could he start?

Looks like the QB controversy is just getting started.

Turnovers. Luckily, none on the field, but plenty off of it.

Harris Pastides, who seemed like a nice enough guy the time or two C&F interviewed him for The Gamecock, is moving up the presidency at South Carolina. This, Eric Hyman assures us, is good for sports.

"He wants a cooperative working arrangement, and he understands the value of what athletics can bring to an institution," Hyman said. ...

Pastides said his track record reveals a lifelong sports fan who believes in physical fitness — for himself and the campus community. ...

"We will be working like this," Pastides said, intertwining his fingers, "as a family."

Of course, Hyman could just be trying to pave the way for his lifetime contract, too.

Good. Aside from the questionable decision to retain Dave Odom for the 2007-08 season, Hyman appears to have done a good job steering the athletics department. The financial situation is good, the basketball hires were of a high caliber, and South Carolina is asserting itself in the facilities arms race.

SEC scheduling wars begin again. The latest installment is a shot against those who dare insult our conference's bravery courtesy of SBN colleague Track Em Tigers.

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Watch it. We Southerners don't like our honor to be questioned. 

So if you're going to mention the cupcakes in some team's schedule, why don't you mention their regular schedule in the same breath? Perhaps list how many of a team's opponents this season were ranked in the top 25 at the end of the last season?

The Mayor also gets involved, helping to skewer the farcical notion that distance traveled = difficulty of foe.

The fact that the S.E.C. shares a geographic footprint with the A.C.C., and therefore is able to get to B.C.S.-caliber competition by bus rather than by plane, is, quite frankly, a silly basis for bashing the league’s scheduling. There is at least as good an argument to be made for the proposition that proximity produces greater intensity, what with familiarity breeding contempt and all, and the converse of the less-than-400-miles-traveled notion is that the ‘Dawgs deserve more credit for having played Virginia in the 2000 O’ahu Bowl in Honolulu than for having played West Virginia in the 2006 Sugar Bowl in Atlanta.

All that said, the general idea that there are far too many BCS schools facing far too few quality opponents is one that C&F agrees with. His solution would be this: An NCAA bylaw specifying that each BCS team must play another out-of-conference BCS team for each non-BCS team on its schedule.

This would not hurt the schools, such as Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, who already schedule quality out-of-conference opponents, or would disrupt their plans only slightly. Other schools that don't put high-quality foes on the slate would have to clean up their behavior.

This will also never pass -- the BCS schools want their cupcakes, and the smaller schools want the payouts they get for being someone's rent-a-rout.

Friend or foe? C&F hopes it's the former as Patrick Obley begins baseball blogging at The State. It does seem like he'll fit in with the rest of the blogosphere.

Track me down sometime and toss a Guinness in my hand and I’ll regale you with feats that belong lost to fable and song.

C&F's third favorite MLB team is the Rays, so he might have to take you up on that one day.

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