Phil Steele on Strength of Schedule. Get ready: Steele has us playing the fourth toughest schedule in the nation--good for toughest in the SEC--based on his previous year W/L percentage statistical analysis. It never gets easier, does it? Now, I'm not one to get too riled up over these rankings, as you never really know how tough your schedule is until about mid-way through the season, after it becomes apparent who's for real and who's not. UGA, for instance, was supposed to have one of the toughest schedules in the nation last year, but many of their opponents--Arizone State, Tennessee, Auburn, us to a certain degree--ended up tanking, thereby devaluing their schedule. Plus, as Get the Picture tells us, there's reason to doubt Steele's particular rankings. However, it certainly seems fair to say that we have a tough schedule, considering that we're playing the usual SEC East slate, inter-divisional games against good Ole Miss and Alabama teams and an Arkansas team that should be improved, and the game with Clemson along with a game at what could be an improved NC State.
Charleston Tourney Update. We appear to be set for this event. The lineup isn't particularly impressive. It includes Penn State, Miami, South Florida, College of Charleston, Tulane, La Salle and UNC Wilmington. PSU, Miami, and C of C are good programs, but most of the others are fairly forgetable. Still, I think this is a good opportunity for us to play some at least relatively decent competition during the non-con slate as well as hopefully to get some valuable national exposure.
Gamecocks Drop to Clemson. The Tigers really handled us in this one, beating us 12-2. Sigh. Next up: Gators in Gainesville.
Other NCAA News
Malcolm White Transfers from Ole Miss to LSU. Many commentators were recently pegging the Rebels as a dark horse team in the SEC next year. Now, though, they have suffered abrupt departures from two of last year's major contributors, White and David Huertas. It may be another uphill climb for Andy Kennedy's team.
Diamond Dawgs Lose to Jacksonville State. JSU calls themselves the Gamecocks, as you may have known. Too bad it wasn't us, huh? At any rate, this was yet another weird mid-week loss for the Dawgs, who have dominated the better half of the SEC but seem incapable of beating the lowly.
Smart Football Talks Hal Mumme. Here's a good story about one of the game's major innovators over the past twenty years. By the way, if you don't read Smart Football regularly, you're missing out. This is definitely one of the most intelligent, informed football blogs on the web, featuring everything from history lessons to descriptions of tactical strategy.