Maybe I’m the only one, but I never thought I’d see the day where the South Carolina fan base was absolutely despondent over a loss to Georgia. I mean, crushed, based on the reaction I get from people in person, on our site and on the radio.
In a way, it’s a sign of progress. In another way, it’s perplexing. Everybody loses a game, folks. Even Alabama every now and then. The notion that this ends the Gamecocks’ season is silly and likely a function of South Carolina’s relatively short time as a contender. This is how it works gang. It’s not easy.
It may turn out that Saturday’s 41-30 loss costs the Gamecocks the SEC East title. It may even turn out that it was a sign of even worse things to come. But now is not the time to decide that. Head coach Steve Spurrier’s Sunday statement that his team needs to worry more about getting bowl eligible than winning a conference title was seen as a sign by many of the school’s fans to go ahead and make plans for the SEC championship weekend in December, but it’s more likely it was just one of those things coaches everywhere say to put a loss in the rearview mirror and move on.
It’s been two days. If you’re still in the dumps over Saturday’s game, it’s time to get over it. Vanderbilt’s next.
Speaking of division titles, a lot of people believe Saturday’s Alabama-Texas A&M game will determine the champion in the West. (I’m not one of them. I still think it’s Alabama vs. LSU, and I think the Tigers are better than they are being given credit for.)
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has found himself on the receiving end of some jawing since his return to the field. “I think he saw some times today that he saw some questionable things happening after the play that he walked away from," Texas A&M Kevin Sumlin said. "That’s going to happen. We had that conversation last week about things happening on the field and people saying things to him and taking shots. That’s the way it is.” Can’t imagine why it’s been a problem, but anyway. Alabama head coach Nick Saban says no one on his team will say a cross word to Manziel on Saturday. In fact, Saban says, there’s no reason for opposing players ever to speak on the field.
In LSU, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is having a fantastic start to the season. He ranks second in the SEC with 251.5 all-purpose yards per game, and that doesn’t even count the missed field goal he returned 100 yards for a touchdown against UAB last week. Apparently, the NCAA doesn’t have a category for that, but if you it did count, Beckham would have had 331 yards of all-purpose yards against UAB.
Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel is on crutches due to a knee sprain. The school says it’s a minor injury, and that he will be ready for the Sept. 21 Tennessee game. If Driskel can’t return, it could be a blow to a Gators’ offense that can hardly afford any more issues.
This may not seem like an SEC story, but the five-part series about the Oklahoma State that Sports Illustrated will release this beginning this morning could cause some headaches for LSU coach Les Miles, who was the Cowboys’ coach during part of the time investigated by the magazine.
Steve Spurrier and several South Carolina players will speak today beginning at 11 a.m. so check back and lunch, and we’ll let you know what they had to say about the loss to Georgia and the upcoming game against Vanderbilt.