USC Faces Tough Football Schedule in 2007 but let's break it down.
USC coach Steve Spurrier said the goal is to compete for the SEC championship. Compete the Gamecocks will, but win the SEC in 07?
Unlikely, especially given a schedule that ranks as the second toughest nationally, according to rivals.com. Only Washington has a harder schedule. But with Spurrier there is always a chance.......
USC plays at Georgia, LSU, Tennessee and Arkansas as well as back-to-back season-ending home games against Florida and Clemson. Can you say 4-4 in the SEC or 5-3 at the best and most optimistic? I hope not but no matter how much I bleed garnet we have to use logic here.
Let’s break it down:
Sure wins (2): Louisiana-Lafayette, South Carolina State.
Probable wins (4): Mississippi State, Kentucky, at North Carolina, Vanderbilt
Vandy will be a tough, as always, but talent wise we have a edge even if they return 17 starters. UNC is in the mits of a turn around at UNC thanks to the new coach. Butch and Co will do good things at UNC in time but not this year but should be a serious team in 09. UK will be a good one b/c of Woodson and Co. He is a great QB and has talent around him but at the end of the game defense will win and this is a area that UK is not strong in (UK gave up 28.4 ppg last season). MSU sucks --end of story. So there you have it -- six wins for another bowl trip. Most likely based off of that look out bowls in Tennessee b/c here we come.
Now let's move to the games that could go either way (4): At Georgia - USC has lost five straight to the Bulldogs and haven’t won Between the Hedges since 2001 and only three times since 1979. But it’s early, and the Bulldogs return less than half their defensive starters. I say this is the year we beat UGA. Every season in recent memory when we win against UGA our season is better. Look at 07 to be a W against UGA.
At Arkansas - The Razorbacks are team turmoil in the SEC, but the Gamecocks haven’t fared well that state, although they won the last time there 14-10 in 2005. IF and I stress IF we can stop the run then we have a chance here. Stopping the run was a big hurdle last year but I hope and pray Nix and Co have improved, learned and are ready. McFad ran like a crazy man against us. This is a maybe game here. I think we can win here and if our boys step up especially if we win the game at UGA we will win. But if we lose to UGA then are players will bring bad attitudes to the table and cause a L to go down in the record books. It is 50-50 here for a win in 07.
Florida at Williams-Brice Stadium - While the Gators are the defending national champions, USC should have beaten them at The Swamp in 2006. And it is Spurrier vs. his alma mater at his new home - ie EGO. Again we can win this game especially if we bring our "A" game. Should have won last year but us carolina fans are tired of saying "should have won" but I guess we have grown accustomed to "should have" b/c we can all agree there have been lots of them. Again this goes back to a win at UGA and at Ark. Win those and hello ego which translates to a great SEC game. Tebow is good, no doubt but he is still young and prone to errors. People say Tebow can’t pass, but when you run Meyers offense, the longest pass you have to make is 25 yards. The big question mark for UF is the fact that UF has to replace nine defensive starters this season. Force the offense to make errors and the game is ours. This is all up to Blake, he is the key to a win here. He has to perform at a All SEC level with this game. If he sucks well we suck. Right now, today, and let's be honest it looks to be in the favor of UF to win. But if we win at UGA...plus ego....Blake does great in the game....mark it as a WIN.
Clemson at Williams-Brice Stadium - New era has begun. I simply do not see us losing to CU this year. I say win here.
Almost certain losses (2): at LSU and at Tennessee. USC is 1-9 at Baton Rouge and 1-4-1 at home against the Tigers. While Spurrier gets the nod over Phillip Fulmer, the Volunteers still have more talent overall. USC is 1-12 in Knoxville the one win coming two years ago in Spurrier’s first year at USC. Tenn is the SEC East favorite and LSU is the SEC West favorite. I pick those two to meet in Atlanta. We will give it our all against these two teams but talent wise in 07 they have the edge and will win. I hope I am wrong!!!
So add it all up and what do you have: My worst case is we win 7 but I feel we will see USC ending up at 8-4 and could get 9 wins with a surprise win against Ark or UF.
Also, in case you were wondering, eight of the SEC’s 12 teams have schedules that rank among the nation’s top 18, according to rivals.com. The numbers: Auburn (5), Tennessee (6), Florida (7), Mississippi State (10), Kentucky (11), Georgia (14) and LSU (18).
What is your prediction for 2007? Let's hear those early comments before August practice rolls around.....