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GEORGIA VS SOLUTH CAROLINA

SEC FOOTBALL PREDICTION

9/13/08

3* South Carolina +7 over Georgia - We should have sent this game out when the numbers came out on Sunday Night when there were still +8's on the board. Bookmaker.com, the first to post the lines each week, opened up at 8. Every point helps and it's essential to get the best number on any play you make. But still plenty of value left getting a touchdown in this match up. This play is pretty much an automatic. The SEC is still one of the strongest, if not the strongest conference in College Football. All one needs to do is glance at any SEC teams schedule from a year ago, or any year for that matter, and you'll learn to expect the unexpected. It's perhaps the most exciting conference with some of the best games year in and year out.

When you look at any game, you first have to throw the pointspread out the window. You're first question should always be, can the team I'm looking to back, win this game? Particularly in the case of an underdog. You should never look at a dog, and play the game because you think a team can hang within a number. That's a losing approach. Heck, if you can predict that a team is going to lose but by less than 7, well, you deserve an award. The ideal betting situation is to back a dog that can win straight up, making the points a bonus. So, can South Carolina beat Georgia?

To answer that, let's take a look back to last year. Early season handicapping is much different than mid to late season handicapping where you can use a statistical approach, common opponents and such. Two games into a season, you need to make assumptions based on the first two games, often against weak opponents however in some instances you can take a look at the prior year.

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We first need to recognize that these teams are largely intact from a year ago. Georgia returns 8 on offense and 9 on defense while South Carolina returns 7 on offense and 10 on defense. In looking back to last year, you can perhaps understand why SC is a 7 point home dog this week as we have two teams that have gone in different directions since midway last year. Georgia won 7 straight and is 2-0 already this year while SC is 1-6 going back to last year and their collapse down the stretch and are coming off a loss at Vandy where they didn't look good at all. But it's not as if they weren't competitive. There's a two point loss to Clemson and an overtime loss to the Vols thrown in there. But the pressure is on Spurrier for sure. There are high expectations for this years team.. The talent is there. Any shortcomings will fall squarely on the shoulders of the Ol Ball Coach. (By the way the Vandy loss shouldn't surprise anyone. We've pointed out numerous times already this year that Vandy beats good teams EVERY year. Last year Georgia only squeaked by Vandy by a field goal)

Much has been made about Spurrier and his struggling offense. But these very same things have been said since he's been at SC. His teams have started slow offensively. This offense will get going. There's a lot to be said about starting the season against weak opposition the way Georgia and many other teams do. There's no preseason in College ball. It takes a few games to get the kinks out. Look for the SC offense to get better each week. Since we're backing SC this week, now would be a good time for improvement.

Prior to each season we do an evaluation of all the teams in each conference. Heading into this year, we had South Carolina pegged as a "good" SEC team. What does "good" mean? It means a record of anywhere from 6 wins on up to 9 or so, with the ability to beat any other SEC team on any given day. We had Georgia pegged as "very good". Very good translates into a 9 or 10 win season and with a few bounces, who knows. But it won't be easy. It never is in the SEC. We're not going to back off our opinion that you'll be hearing plenty more from South Carolina this year. There's just no reason to expect otherwise. They figure to continue to get better on both sides of the ball each week. Their key starters have played together as a team for some time now and will continue to grow as a team. The same can be said for Georgia. We expect a tough, smash mouth SEC game here with the outcome in doubt after 3 quarters. There's simply too much on the line here for both teams to expect anything else. We'll gladly take +7 here and look forward to seeing a much better SC team than we have seen thus far. Gamecocks star receiver Kenny McKinley is listed as doubtful for this game due to a hamstring injury which of course is huge, but we're still going to take our chances here in a game that has all the makings of a last second field goal to win it. 3*  South Carolina +7

 

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