David Cloninger

All things Gamecocks, especially basketball and football

Cloninger Soundoff: Women off to better-than-expected start in SEC

01/19/2014 10:26 PM

01/19/2014 10:34 PM

Sunday’s expected clubbing of Alabama gave South Carolina a 5-1 record in the SEC heading into its first bye week. Looking at the schedule in the early season, I didn’t think the Gamecocks would have only one loss over its first six league games – not with three on the road and one home game against Kentucky. Two or even three losses seemed reasonable.

Yet USC’s only defeat was by two points in overtime on the road, to a Texas A&M team playing out of its mind lately. It’s certainly forgivable, and after the Gamecocks finished their game against the Crimson Tide, they could really look at their position.

At 5-1, USC is tied with Vanderbilt (and holds a tiebreaker) and a half-game behind Texas A&M for first place. The Gamecocks should be favored in their next five games, and get a week-long break before the biggest one – the Commodores, again, next Sunday.

Vandy has not lost since losing to USC on Jan. 5, beating Tennessee and LSU, each at home, in that span. The Gamecocks crushed Vandy last time by working their inside game – the Commodores haven’t gotten bigger in their last four games, but they have gotten better.

USC wins in Nashville, it should roll in its next four games. That would leave the Gamecocks 10-1 heading into its crucial five-game stretch to end the year.

That trophy isn’t so heavy that an entire team couldn’t lift it.

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