I’m officially out of the prediction business the rest of this season.
OK, that’s not exactly true. I think they’re going to make me keep picking South Carolina’s games this season in the newspaper and online, but how in the world is anyone supposed to know what is going on this season? Who in the world would have guessed the Gamecocks, Georgia, Florida, Texas A&M and LSU all would lose this weekend.
My Top 25 ballot, along with everyone else’s in the country, was a wreck. I ranked South Carolina No. 17, which I’m guessing you guys think is fair since I haven’t heard from anybody from any of you. Eleven voters in the country, including College GameDay host Chris Fowler, have the Gamecocks higher than me. Forty-two have them lower. Four voters have them unranked.
This is all information you can find on PollSpeak.com if you’re interested week to week, but don’t tell the Miami fans about it. They’re after me on Twitter. I’ve got the undefeated Hurricanes ranked No. 14, the lowest of anybody in the country because I was unimpressed with their narrow win over North Carolina.
Probably my worst vote this week is Florida at No. 18. Nobody in the country has Florida ranked higher, and the Gators fell out of Top 25 this week. I feel good about leaving them in the Top 25, but I probably should have ranked them lower. I just can’t get past thinking that defense is really good.
South Carolina, particularly given the uncertainty over quarterback Connor Shaw’s health, has three games left on its schedule that are toss-ups – Saturday against Missouri, Nov. 16 vs. Florida and Nov. 30 vs. Clemson. A trip to Atlanta remains a possibility but so does a 7-5 regular season. Essentially what I’m saying here is don’t ask me how it’s going to turn out. We’re all going to have to wait and see.
Around the SEC:
If Shaw can’t play on Saturday, Missouri’s pass rush is going to be a problem for the Gamecocks. The Tigers defense is not bad.
Alabama, as we could have predicted in July, topped the initial release of history’s final BCS Standings on Sunday. What none of us could have imagined is that Auburn was 11th in those standings. The Gamecocks came in at No. 21, but I think we’re all past the point of worrying about BCS Standings in Columbia, even as it relates to potential SEC tiebreakers.
If Vanderbilt quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels is indeed badly hurt, we could be looking at more than half the SEC East (South Carolina, Florida, Missouri and Vanderbilt) finishing the season without their starting quarterbacks due to injury. Also, James Franklin cried a little after a beating Georgia.
In Athens, Mark Richt is also hot about the targeting rule, which may have cost Georgia the game against the Commodores. He’s also updating the Bulldogs’ ridiculous injury list as Georgia tries to regroup in a season gone wrong.