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THE THREAD [05.22.07] :: Fanatical

Has anyone else noticed that the Gamecocks' new basketball coaches seem to have trouble keeping players?

First, the women's team lost leading scorer Jordan Jones and booted two more players from the team. Oh, and one recruit has jumped ship.

Now, Chad Gray is gone. The reasons? Not very specific.

"We wanted Chad to succeed both on and off the court at the University of South Carolina and gave him ample opportunity to do so," Horn said. "Unfortunately, he was not able to meet the minimum requirements that we have established, and we are disappointed in that. We wish him nothing but the best in his future."

That could be anything from repeatedly ignoring simple rules to running guns for the ETA.

Anybody got more? (Though if your source is a message board, you can keep it to yourself.)

Just some new-regime turnover right now. But, especially on the women's side, something that looks to be growing disturbingly common.

SMQ takes an intriguing look at a team that he generously calls "an enigma": The 2007 Mississippi State Bulldogs.

How is this of interest to South Carolina fans? Because the apparent secret to the Bulldogs' fortunes last year hinged on how the defense played.

The question going forward is, how does the defense decide when to show up? There was no rhyme or reason last year -- they shut down André Woodson but got carved up for five TD passes by Casey Dick two weeks later. The strong pass rush was one of the catalysts of so many turnovers; though MSU was last in the SEC in sacks, it was first in tackles for loss and also got a lot of hurries from Titus Brown and Avery Hannibal, who are both gone.

The defensive coordinator for Mississippi State in 2007? Ellis Johnson. The defensive coordinator for South Carolina in 2008?

Ellis Johnson.

Now comes free with hot seat index. The team from the Upstate is expected to do well. Again.

"This could be the most talented Clemson team of the Tommy Bowden era," said Athlon Sports senior editor Mitch Light in a news release. "There are some issues on the offensive line, but there is tremendous talent at other key positions, most notably at running back. The defense, which was outstanding last year, should be a strength once again. The goals at Clemson are very high this year, and they should be. This is a very, very good team."

So happy, he could cry.

Clemson fans, don't worry about adding "or else." Flounder's got you covered.

I hope that klempson fails like they always do...we hear this kind of talk from their camp and supporters every year (or at least since 1981). But every year they find some way to suck. ...

Tommy will find a way to lose to a lesser opponent...that is what he is known for!

We can hope. But C&F fears this could be "the team" for Baby Bowden.

Speaking of fanaticism, the Mormons love them some football. Apparently. Because they're pressing the case for national championship contenders BYU and ... Utah? (HT: EDSBS)

Sure, everybody can dream in the summer.

But Utah???

Speaking of HTs to EDSBS, which really needs them not at all from C&F, Orson highlights what might be one of the most bizarre videos featuring the other USC. Ever.

Finally, for those who won't visit between now and then, remember Memorial Day.