GAMECOCKS 2007: vs. SOUTH CAROLINA STATE
Why? Why why why why? Why did the NCAA allow teams to add Division I-AA (no, C&F is not calling it the championship division) team to their schedule annually and still have the wins count toward bowl eligibility? Yes, C&F knows, it's money. And the lack of any apparent connection between the NCAA and logic.
But it just sets the stage for bloodshed. Custer had better odds than most of these teams.
Even I'm not that stupid.
That said, C&F has no interest in testing the odds. So, as was the case with Louisiana-Lafayette, here's a somewhat abbreviated preview of the tilt with yet another Bulldog team -- the second of three squads (Georgia, Mississippi State) to use that creative moniker.
QB Cleveland McCoy completed 51.4 percent of his passes last year, going 94-183 for 1,224 yards, 10 TDs and 9 INTs. But he completed 57.1 percent against Howard, 63.2 percent at Morgan State and 61.5 percent at North Carolina A&T to close out the regular season. William Ford, he of the 752 yards and 10 TDs, returns. Still, the Gamecocks have far more power on this side of the ball. ADVANTAGE: SOUTH CAROLINA
Only four of South Carolina State's opponents managed to score 20 or more points in 2006, and they averaged a measley 18.5 points a game. The defense has a decent amount of experience. But losses vs. Bethune-Cookman and at Coastal Carolina to end September were ugly. Again, there's little reason to believe they can contain the Gamecocks. ADVANTAGE: SOUTH CAROLINA
Nothing commends the State performance on special teams. ADVANTAGE: SOUTH CAROLINA
Again, as close to a sure thing as the Gamecocks are likely to get.