Gamecock Football Predictions

I did a newsletter every month for about 15 years, and every year in the August issue I would give my predictions for the upcoming South Carolina football season. This was one of the most read and commented on articles in my newsletters, even though I was almost never correct with my predictions, actually I was never correct. Last year, I did a tongue-in-cheek article and predicted a 10-3 season which turned out to be pretty darn close to their actual record which, of course, was 9-4. I even predicted they would play Michigan in a bowl game and beat them. I think I predicted the Capital One Bowl instead of the Outback Bowl, but not bad, all things considered. So anyway, since I’ve been asked by numerous people – well actually, two – what I was predicting for this season and because I need to write a blog and I can’t think of anything else to write about, here’s goes this year’s fearless prognostications.

As I see it, Carolina should open the season 5-1 with wins over Coastal Carolina, Marshall, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and Missouri. The Vandy and Kentucky games are on the road, but they should be winnable, although Kentucky has won four in a row. But I’m sticking with a 5-1 start. The Georgia game is doubtful, although they will be starting a lot of new players and it is a home game, but I have to figure the Bulldogs aren’t ranked number 3 in the nation for nothing.

Then the Gamecocks host Texas A&M with their new coach Jimbo Fisher. That will be a formidable opponent. If Debo Samuel hasn’t gotten injured by then, I’ll pick Carolina. Otherwise, all bets are off on this one. The next three games are hard to pick – Tennessee and Mississippi on the road and Florida at home. I think Carolina can beat Tennessee this year, but Ole Miss is better than a lot of people think. Still I’ve got to go with the Gamecocks. By the way, if you haven’t been to a game at Oxford, Mississippi, you should try to go. That’s a great road trip. So at this point, Carolina could be 8-1 or 7-2 or even 6-3. Let’s hope for 8-1.

Next up is what could be the biggest game of the year – Florida at Williams-Brice. I honestly don’t know what I think about this one, and since I don’t have a good read on it, I’ll go with my heart and pick a victory. That would make Carolina 9-1 on the season with Chattanooga and Clemson remaining on the regular season schedule. They will beat the Chattanooga Choo-Choos (not their real mascot which is actually the Mocs, short for Moccasins, I think), But as much as I’d love it, I don’t think the Cocks will beat Clemson, especially not up there in the cornfields.

So there you have it, except for the bowl game, and let’s go ahead and predict a victory in that as well, giving Carolina an 11-2 season. That’s what I hope anyway. But remember, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, and Florida could all be losses, as could the bowl game, so the worst case scenario would be 7-6. I think they have a better chance of being 11-2 than 7-6, but realistically, they will probably be 9-4 again. Let’s hope for the best though. Go Cocks!

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