South Carolina Preview: Setting the Tone

South Carolina_200I can’t get up for this one, guys. I can’t. I will when toe meets leather, but I can’t right now. It’s a little bit of “Auburn lost two weeks ago and haven’t played since” and a little bit of “South Carolina already has three losses.” The hype that was supposed to be there for a preseason Top 10 matchup is gone, and it’s just a game Auburn should win handily against a team that hasn’t beaten Auburn since 1933.

Yeah, Steve Spurrier is on the other sideline, but when is the last time he beat Auburn? It wasn’t in the last decade that he’s been in Columbia, SC. It was when he was patrolling the sidelines in Gainesville. He seems to have already given up on the season, and you can’t blame him. He’s a winner, but his team is not, other than somehow beating Georgia.

But back to that whole “Auburn lost and had a week off and it feels like they haven’t played in a month thing.” I don’t feel like football season has really started and it’s already half way over. Auburn finally has all of their bye weeks and Thursday games out of the way and can settle down and play their last six games on a steady Saturday-to-Saturday schedule. It’s real football time.

Yeah, in a few weeks we might wish we had a bye week in there, but for right now I just want to get a real schedule going. That starts this week against a team that Auburn should beat.

How bad? Vegas started around 14 points and the bets have taken it to almost 20 points. That means nobody, and I mean nobody, is betting on South Carolina.

That being said, it’s the first week after a bye week and after the first loss of the season. A lot can be determined in this game alone. It can show how Auburn took that loss. It can show how they play coming off a week of rest. It can show how Auburn will take on the rest of the season. This game could be mean everything.

I have a feeling it will take a quarter or so to knock off a little rust and get back into the swing of things. South Carolina is still an SEC opponent with an impressive win under their belt. But after a few deep balls to Sammie and Duke, and a few vintage Auburn runs by whoever Gus puts back there, this game should open up nicely for the Tigers.

Roc will supposedly play more and Jermaine Whitehead is supposed to be back, although I don’t expect him to start or play much, so it will be good to have all the options out on the field and see how Auburn will attack the 2nd half of the season.

Auburn should win. Auburn will win. And after LSU beats Ole Miss, Auburn will move inside the top four in all polls.

Auburn 45, South Carolina 17