Happy Fourth, everyone. I hope everyone has a nice day planned that will include fun with family and friends, grilled meats, and appreciating whatever blessings your country may have brought you. Here's a bit of news if you're taking a break from the grilling:
CFN's Pete Fiutak provides a pretty solid preview of USC. The gist of his argument? South Carolina is more talented than it has ever been, and it's a legitimate national title contender. However, QB issues could hold it back. I'd say that's about right.
The 2011 College World Series Champion Gamecocks took a welcoming stroll down Main St., Columbia to the Capitol steps to celebrate with the thousands of fans in attendance. The Garnet and Black faithful were in full force by noon as the parade showed off local youth all-stars, Miss SC Teen candidates, youth center/camp associations, and of course the back-to-back College World Series Champions!
USC players say they were loose — and confident — the past two seasons in Omaha because coach Ray Tanner balances his drive to win with an ‘it’s-still-a-game’ attitude. As the coaches taught the team to play small ball to get wins, players held handstand and dancing contests and wrestling matches in the locker room.
A short 365 days ago, we were celebrating the Gamecocks' first national title in baseball. The last at bat at Rosenblatt Stadium was a walk off hit by Whit Merrifield to score Scott Wingo and clinch the 2010 CWS. All that was finally starting to set in. But that was last year's amazing story.
More baseball news.
'Michael's got the biggest heart I've ever seen on a field,' said USC first baseman Christian Walker, who had two more hits Tuesday despite playing with a broken left hand. 'He put us on his back today.'
"It felt like a home game. Sure, we had a lot of fans make the drive up, but not 25,000 of them. This city has really gotten behind these Gamecocks."
Four Gamecocks make the cut.
RBR's outsidethesidelines provides a Pythagorean Wins Analysis of the 2010 SEC football season. For those of you who aren't familiar with the concept, Pythag Wins is a statistical formula used to measure expected wins based on point differential against actual wins; it's thus a useful way to evaluate whether or not a team over or underachieved. Some interesting tidbits from the findings:
-Auburn hugely overachieved. This was to be expected, as Pythag Wins typically views teams that win lots of close games as overachievers.
-USC's expected and actual wins lined up perfectly--i.e., USC didn't under or overachieve. It finished just like one would expect it to based on its statistical output.
-Georgia hugely underachieved. This is to be expected from a team that lost lots of close games and typically won the games it won in impressive fashion.