It’s game week. I cannot tell you how long I have been marking days off the calendar, listening to the countdown on 107.5 The Game, and reading daily practice reports. Football season is finally here and this was a topic I have heard debated on both 93.1 ESPN radio and on several shows on 107.5 The Game. Now as I have mentioned, I will be picking both Carolina and Clemson football games each week. I am NOT going to pick the total record for each because, well, both teams could either light it up or flame out completely. At this moment, I don’t think either team can win their week 2 games against Georgia and Georgia Tech respectively, however, with strong showings this week that could change. But today, we’re going to see how Clemson would fare against the SEC and how Carolina would fare against the ACC (note I will also not be picking the game against each other, you’ll just have to wait until November for that one).
We’ll start out with Dabo Swinney’s Tigers taking on the Gamecock’s schedule:
Clemson @ NC State: W – NC State is going to be a much improved football team this year, and I think they could be a sleeper team in the ACC, but Clemson’s defense will be too stout and has just enough firepower to beat NC State in a close one.
Clemson @ Georgia: L – The Bulldogs should be able to hold Clemson’s offense at bay and win this one comfortably.
Clemson v. Florida Atlantic: W – Florida Atlantic is a team that could scare some people, but doesn’t quite have enough talent to hang with Clemson.
Clemson v. Ole Miss: W – This one has been the toughest for me to pick. I think Ole Miss is overrated and at home Clemson should be able to win one. They were always able to score on Tyrone Nix…
Clemson v. SC State: W – Enough said.
Clemson v. Kentucky: W – Kentucky has been solid over the past few years, even beating Clemson in the Music City Bowl, but they struggled on offense last year and I don’t think they’ll be much better this year.
Clemson @ Alabama: L – A repeat of last year would be in order.
Clemson v. Vanderbilt: W – This would be the game I could see Clemson slipping on if there was going to be an upset, but not at home.
Clemson @ Tennessee: L – While I don’t think Tennessee is going to be very good this year, Clemson’s never seen the likes of Neyland Stadium and Monte Kiffin absolutely hates Clemson’s guts. Tennessee wins in a close one. Also, for the record, after all of little Lanie’s boasting, I would be pulling for Clemson in this one.
Clemson @ Arkansas: L – Arkansas is the sleeper team this year in the SEC and I don’t know if there is a better offensive playcaller than Bobby Petrino. Arkansas is probably the second toughest place in the SEC to play (behind The Swamp) and the Tigers lose their second straight.
Clemson v. Florida: L – This one wouldn’t be close. Probably worse than the 56-6 drubbing Carolina took last year. There is a strong possibility Clemson wouldn’t even score.
So Clemson goes into the Carolina game bowl eligible at 6-5, but on a 3 game losing streak (sound familiar?), so let’s see how the Gamecocks do against Clemson’s schedule.
Carolina v. Middle Tennessee State: W – New QB coach GA Mangus gets to lead the season off against his former colleagues, and the Gamecocks cruise big to start the season off.
Carolina @ Georgia Tech: L – This one would be close, and if it were at the Brice I would pick the Gamecocks, but I think Tech edges this one in a close ballgame.
Carolina v. Boston College: W – I’m not sure if BC has ever played in a stadium that holds more than 50,000 people (outside of Clemson) and would be in for a rude awakening in Columbia.
Carolina v. Central Michigan: W – I don’t know much about Central Michigan, but I know enough to know they wouldn’t beat Carolina.
Carolina @ Maryland: W – The last time the Head Ball Coach saw Ralph Friedgen, he hung 56 on him in the Orange Bowl. I’m not saying a repeat performance is in order, but the Gamecocks should have enough offense to win this one.
Carolina v. Wake Forest: L – I think Carolina has more talent than Wake overall, but Wake returns 17th year senior Riley Skinner and Jim Grobe is one of the best coaches in the country, sneaking Wake into Williams Brice and coming away with a close win.
Carolina @ Miami: W – Is there a bigger train wreck (maybe Michigan) in the BCS other than Miami? Shannon may be a U alum and a good defensive coach, but he seems to have lost the players down there and is tanking what Larry Coker tanked. Cocks win this one easily.
Carolina v. Coastal Carolina: W – Enough said.
Carolina v. FSU: W – Spurrier v. Bowden. I hope that both teams play well enough to go to the Peach Bowl and we actually get to see this game. A battle of 2 coaching legends. Bowden’s teams mostly owned Spurrier’s during there wars in the 1990’s, but Spurrier bests Bowden here.
Carolina @ NC State: W – Did I just spoil my own prediction for Thursday? No, because I’m thinking at this point in the season the Gamecock offense is clicking while Ellis Johnson’s defense is punishing. Who knows what happens on Thursday….
Carolina v. Virginia: W – Let it be known that no major college football team should lose to Virginia. Colin Cowherd said it best, all schools are known for something. Harvard for its business school and Yale for its law school, and Virginia for curling up in the fetal position on Saturdays during college football season.
The Gamecocks go into the Clemson game 9-2 and looking for an ACC title and a 10 win season.
It’s fun to pretend isn’t it? Mrs. Beer and I drank white wine with our sushi (from the Fresh Market) tonight so I’ll be back tomorrow with a final judgement on Bass.