David Cloninger

All things Gamecocks, especially basketball and football

Cloninger Soundoff: SEC East options up for grabs, for now

09/26/2013 10:09 PM

09/26/2013 10:15 PM

Connor Shaw was asked about it on Tuesday, and true to his nature, he brushed it aside.

No, South Carolina isn’t concerned about Saturday’s biggest SEC game, LSU at Georgia.

The Gamecocks can’t be. Like I said three weeks ago, USC can’t worry about the other guys.

They know they gave away their best chance to win the SEC East in Athens. And while they’re not out of anything, the chances for Georgia to lose two SEC games and for USC to go unbeaten are low.

But that won’t keep the Gamecocks from watching Saturday’s outcome in Athens.

Assuming they handle UCF — and they should — USC will be free to watch the 3:30 p.m. clash between the Tigers and Bulldogs while on the bus or plane back to Columbia. They’ll know how good their chances are upon landing.

While I personally think the ship has sailed, the chance is there. If LSU beats Georgia, the Gamecocks get the Georgia loss back, in a sense.

They’ll still need the Bulldogs to lose one more, while USC can’t lose any more in the conference — but its chances will be greater.

Georgia still must play Florida, which will be a curious game. The Gators’ offense, under new quarterback Tyler Murphy, could suddenly be much improved. But their defense, after rock Dominique Easley tore his ACL, is now suspect.

Of course, if Georgia beats LSU, the Bulldogs can stub their toes against the Gators and it wouldn’t matter to the Gamecocks.

There are lots of possibilities. But as Shaw said, all he’s trying to do is beat UCF.

After Saturday, USC will have a much clearer picture of if it needs to start scouting good spots in Orlando for bowl week, or leave that to another team.

 

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