South Carolina has more on the line Saturday against Arkansas than just bolstering its bowl resume and inching closer to the elusive 10-win mark.
The Gamecocks will be playing for divisional pride.
It has been a tough year for the SEC’s Eastern Division. South Carolina is 1-1 against Western Division teams this year with a loss to Auburn and a win over Alabama, and that makes it the only Eastern Division team that still has a chance to have winning record against the West.
The rest of the division has been dreadful when crossing the divisional line this year. Florida has lost three straight against the West – Alabama, LSU and Mississippi State. Georgia has lost two straight – Arkansas and Mississippi State. Tennessee has lost an amazing six straight games to Western Division foes. Conversely, every Western Division team is on a winning streak against the East.
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But enough on that. None of that will much matter to the 80,000-plus Gamecock fans who pack Williams-Brice on Saturday. All they want is a victory over the Razorbacks to avenge last year’s 33-16 defeat.
Will they get it? That’s a tough pick for me, the toughest of the year really, but I can’t logically pick South Carolina when its pass defense has been so bad and Arkansas’ passing offense is so good.
Unlike some people, I don’t expect a high-scoring game because I think the Gamecocks will be able to hold onto the ball with tailback Marcus Lattimore.
Still, I think Arkansas wins a tight one, 27-25.
That pick will be welcome news to all my weekly chat friends who know what my record has been in these things. Have a great weekend, all.