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Southern Miss vs. South Carolina

Week One College Football Picks

9/2/10

Interesting game to kick off the 2010 college football season as Southern Miss hits the road to take on Steve Spurrier and the South Carolina Gamecocks. South Carolina is an early 14 point favorite at Bet Jamaica in this game and we feel that price might be a tad too high for several reasons.

Yes, it's the SEC taking on Conference USA and there will always be a talent gap between those two conferences, but were not so sure South Carolina deserves to be double digit favs in the first game of the year. Southern Miss took some hits offensively which is the reason for the high line. They lost their top two backs and 4 offensive lineman. The 4 offensive lineman is what hurts the most. The bright spot offensively is that they get QB Austin Davis back, who went down mid season last year with an injury. He's one of the better QB's in the country.

Interested in who all the top services like in this game? Find out on our Football Consensus Report. 75+ of the Nations leading handicappers all on one report!

While there's a talent gap between the SEC and Conference USA, Southern Miss manages to recruit some of the talent that's left. It's been a winning program year after year. They have been to 8 straight Bowl games and have played well enough when they have stepped up in class over the years. They didn't embarrass themselves against Boise St. in 2 games. They played respectably against Auburn in 2008. Played within 9 points of Alabama in 2005 and even hung with the Gators for awhile in 2006.

What their past shows us, is that the talent has been there over the years to compete with the best teams in the country. None of the top teams they have played over the years has mopped the floor with the Golden Eagles. Over the last decade, they were at least competitive just about every time they stepped up in class. Always in the ballpark of a couple of touchdowns, and even pulling a few upsets along the way. That's what attracts us to their side here.

South Carolina and Mr. Spurrier haven't exactly been consistent, and they certainly haven't been known as fast starters. In 2008 they lost to Vandy and only managed to get by Wofford by 10. In 2007 they only beat La Lafayette by 14 as 28 point favs. In 2006 they beat Wofford by a touchdown and in 2005 they beat Central Florida by just 9. All of these examples came in the first few weeks of the season. Southern Miss, even having lost several offensive players, still figures to be a better football team than the teams mentioned above.

This might be Spurriers year at SC, who knows. The talent is there. But his teams reputation as slow starters and the added motivation on the Southern Mississippi side of taking on a high profile SEC program has us gladly taking +14 here in a game that will likely see plenty of mistakes on both sides as these teams shake the rust off. Southern Miss +14.

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