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Arkansas a "Must-Win" to Save Gamecock Psyche?

If you frequent The State’s, you’ve probably noticed the polls they conduct at the bottom of the front page. Usually, these polls are so predictable that I rarely pay them any mind. You can bet that 99.9% of the time these polls result in a test book example of a skewed right distribution. Every statistics teacher in South Carolina could use these weekly polls as a perfect example of how statisticians can predict human behavior.



However, this week’s poll results are a bit different. The largest bar (Carolina wins by less than 10) does not have as big a lead over the others - as is normally the case. Also, the second largest bar happens to be "Arkansas wins by more than 10" – again, this is somewhat abnormal. With only four bars, it’s hard to pronounce a clear pattern, but it certainly is more of a bi-modal or even distribution than the usual skewed right version I’m used to seeing every week (which would have "Carolina wins by less than 10" with an overwhelming majority and "Arkansas wins by more than 10" the fewest votes). I think this poll provides a little insight into the average fan’s psyche after the Tennessee loss. It’s no secret that last week’s demolition took a toll on Gamecock fans, but that toll might be a little greater with the prospect of another losing streak to end the season weighing heavily on everyone’s minds.


To be sure, there are still quite a few positives yet to take from this season, not the least of which are entirely possible victories over Arkansas, Florida, and Clemson. It is interesting to note, though, that we may be seeing the beginning of a shift in thought from the majority of Gamecock fans. Such a shift could lead to real unrest if we go 6-6 this year, ultimately leading to Spurrier’s early departure if things get bad enough. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the sky is falling here. This could just be an aberration that one might expect after such a disastrous loss. Then again, I haven’t seen this behavior from the poll after any other loss this season.

So what say you, fellow Gamecocks? Is the Arkansas game a must-win? Will you be calling for a coaching change if we go 6-6 this year? I'm interested to hear your thoughts.