Top 5 Heisman Contenders After Week 5

Louisville vs. Clemson. Washington vs. Stanford. North Carolina vs. Florida State. All three of these games have dramatically shifted my Heisman ranking, and as fun as they were to watch, who the heck is the top Heisman contender now? Week 5 shook up the Heisman race like a California earthquake, so how do things stand now?

 

Honorable Mentions:

Dalvin Cook – If the Seminoles didn’t have two losses, then you’d see him a lot higher up on this list.

Christian McCraffrey – Stanford suffered a terrible loss to Wisconsin, and while McCaffrey is amazing, he can’t be this entire Stanford offense.

Tommy Armstrong Jr. – This is your official dark-horse Heisman contender. He’s got Nebraska at No. 12 (AP Poll) in the nation with his arm and his legs.

 

5. Jake Browning – QB – Washington

Image result for jake browning

I’m absolutely in love with this Washington team, just check out my last article. While this defense is what really makes me believe in their chances as a Top 3 team, Jake Browning is absolutely fantastic under center. He isn’t draft eligible until next year, but Browning is already a lock to be a Top 5 pick in next year’s NFL Draft. Browning hasn’t topped the 300-yard passing mark in any game yet this season, but the Huskies are 5-0, and greatly because of him. The number one trait among Heisman winners: They win games.

4. Greg Ward Jr. – QB – Houston

Image result for greg ward jr. 2016

Not only can Greg Ward Jr. get it done through the air (over 1,300 passing yards thus far), but he also has the running ability of a running back. At 5’11”, Ward will probably never make it in the NFL, but he has certainly made his mark on College Football. Houston is currently ranked at No. 6 (AP Poll), and with only Louisville as the only real threat left on their schedule, Ward should be able to put up huge statistics and the Cougars should keep on winning games.

3. Deshaun Watson – QB – Clemson

Image result for deshaun watson vs. louisville

Last week, I didn’t even have Watson in my Top 5, as he’s thrown way too many interceptions for a Heisman contender and his team struggled in their first two games. After a huge win against Louisville, he jumps up my list in a major way. He threw 3 interceptions, but in a game like the one we saw on Saturday, when you have two Top 5 teams going up against each other, winning the game matters a lot more than statistics. Watson willed his team to win, so he gets a big bump up the rankings. Although he won, I’m not ready to forget about those first two games where he should’ve posted a lot bigger stat lines.

2. J.T. Barrett – QB – Ohio State

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It seems like people have just stopped watching Ohio State and Alabama. There is clearly a VIP section in the Top 25 rankings, and it’s at No. 1 and No. 2. Fans just assume that Ohio State and Alabama will consistently win, so J.T. Barrett seems to not get as much hype as he deserves. Barrett doesn’t have the stats that the other candidates do, and that’s because the Buckeyes have blown out every opponent that they’ve faced, so they take him out once the believe that they don’t need him anymore. Fun Fact: Barrett has only thrown SIX, yes six passes in the fourth quarter this season. Ohio State is winning and J.T. Barrett has done nothing to move him down the rankings.

  1. Lamar Jackson – QB – LouisvilleImage result for lamar jackson vs. clemson

I know that this is controversial, but it really shouldn’t be. With 2,313 total yards already this season, Jackson is putting together a historic season. Let’s put his stats into perspective. If Lamar Jackson were his own team, he would be the 30th best offense in College Football, above Ohio State and only 4 yards behind Clemson. Are you freaking kidding me? The fact that people had Lamar Jackson as the unanimous top Heisman contender before Week 5 and then fault him for losing to Clemson is insane. Jackson played an incredible game, and it wasn’t like Louisville struggled. It was an instant-classic type game that anyone could have won. I know that I’ve said that winning is the most important thing in these types of games, but Jackson willed his team to win, and maybe if James Quick had pick up the extra yard on that fourth down, we would be talking about one of the best players in college football history. Jackson is still the best in College Football by leaps and bounds.

 

 

 

 

Photo Credits:

Lamar Jackson gets choked out by Ben Boulware, doesn’t get a flag

http://www.cleveland.com/osu/index.ssf/2016/01/jt_barrett_ohio_states_heisman.html

http://www.zimbio.com/photos/Deshaun+Watson/Clemson+v+Louisville/OFNY-TZYKGD

Greg Ward Jr. out for Houston, Kyle Postma will start

http://www.seattletimes.com/sports/uw-husky-football/jake-browning-and-uw-offense-have-plenty-of-room-for-growth/

SP1 Elite’s Top 25 Rankings After Week 2

 

 

  1. Arkansas Razorbacks (2-0)

After squeaking by Louisiana Tech 21-20, many were suspect about the Razorbacks. All of those doubts seemed to go away after a 41-38 OT win against 15th-ranked TCU. Quarterback Austin Allen had one heck of a night, throwing for 223 yards and 3 TD’s. For this team to continue its successes, it will have to lean heavily on Allen.

 

  1. LSU Tigers (1-1)

Image result for lsu tigers week 1

LSU experienced one of the farthest drops in the polls that College Football has ever seen, and despite a 34-13 win against Jacksonville State, they did nothing to show that belong back in the discussion of a Top 15 team. That loss against Wisconsin will continue to haunt the Tigers this entire season.

 

  1. Oregon Ducks (2-0)

Image result for oregon ducks 2016 virginia

A 44-26 victory over UVA is nothing to write home about, but the nucleus of the Ducks, Dakota Prukop and Royce Freeman, each played exceptionally well. Prukop was the big question mark entering this season, but the former Montana State quarterback looks to have found a home in Eugene. The Ducks have a tough mid-season, seeing Washington, USC, and Stanford, but through the first two weeks of college football, Oregon looks the part of a Top 15 team.

 

  1. Florida Gators (2-0)

 

It’s no doubt that the defense is the strong point of this, allowing 14 points through two games, but against SEC foe Kentucky, the offense shined bright, putting up 45 points versus the Wildcats. All of the Gator’s stars were on display. Luke Del Rio threw for 4 TDs and 320 Yards, Antonio Callaway reeled in 129 Yards and a TD through the air, and Jalen Tabor and Marcus Maye each picked off Drew Barker. This team has a legitimate shot to shake up the College Football world.

 

  1. Miami Hurricanes (2-0)

 

Miami is making it look easy. After putting up 70 points in Week 1, they responded with 38 in Week 2. Brad Kaaya is obviously the focal point of this offense, but he threw two interceptions. What I like, though, is that even with Kaaya struggling, running back Mark Walton picked up the slack. Rushing for 155 yards and an insane 4 TD’s. The Hurricanes will see a rough mid-season schedule, but for now, they look the part of a Top 25 team.

 

  1. Georgia Bulldogs (2-0)

Image result for jacob eason vs. north carolina

I have no idea what to think of this Georgia team. After beating a solid opponent in North Carolina, they completely fell flat against Nicholls State. Georgia is still undefeated, but the 26-24 result could be a sign of bad things to come. The offensive line looks bad, and if they didn’t have one of the best running backs in the country to pick up the slack, I’d imagine that we’re talking about an 0-2 team right now.

 

  1. Baylor Bears (2-0)

It must be refreshing for Baylor to finally be playing football after the wild offseason that they had. The Art Briles era is no more, but Baylor still has that uptempo offense that they have become famous for. The real test for Baylor comes midseason, when they face Texas, TCU, and Oklahoma in consecutive weeks. There isn’t much to go off of for this team yet after games against Northwestern State and SMU, but that stretch of three game will determine if this team is for real or not.

 

  1. Ole Miss Rebels (1-1)

 

A loss to Florida State (more on them later) is about the best loss that a team can take. They hung with the Seminoles up until the end, but this loss shouldn’t be as devastating as LSU’s loss to Wisconsin. There is still hope for Ole Miss, and they have a chance to pretty much jump, no teleport, up the rankings if they can pull off the Week 3 upset against Alabama. Don’t count out the Rebels. Ole Miss has beaten Alabama in Week 3 of the 2015 season and Week 3 of the 2014 season. Who says that they can’t make it a three-peat?

 

  1. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-1)

Image result for equanimeous st brown notre dame 2016

Yet another team that lost to a good team (if we’re ready to call Texas a “good” team yet”), Notre Dame is looking to get back into the picture by beating Michigan State this weekend. So far, the Fighting Irish have looked good, even in a loss to Texas, and DeShone Kizer looks like a perennial #1 overall pick in the 2017 draft, so it isn’t crazy to think that Notre Dame will be able to scratch and claw it’s way back into the playoff discussion.

 

  1. Oklahoma Sooners (1-1)

Oklahoma will be rooting for Houston for the rest of the season, because if Houston is truly an elite team, then that loss will look a lot better. Baker Mayfield isn’t what he was last year, and Semaje Perine still can’t seem to break into that top-echelon of running backs, but Joe Mixon has been picking up the slack and more. I think it would be safe to say that Mixon is the best back in Norman this season. The Sooners have a huge chance to regain their reputation with a win versus Ohio State this upcoming weekend.

 

  1. Texas A&M Aggies (2-0)

Image result for myles garrett 2016

Why did the Aggies start the season unranked? They have a quarterback who has proven himself a capable starter, a scary receiving corps, an offensive line that is deep with talent, and that’s just the offense. The defense features, in my opinion, the best player in this year’s draft class in Myles Garrett, a great defensive tackle in Daylon Mack, and a solid secondary lead by Armani Watts and Justin Evans. Now, this team looks great on paper, but how have they performed? So far, they have knocked UCLA out of the Top 25 and won their next game, albeit against Prairie View A&M, 67-0. This team has showed no signs of slowing down.

 

  1. Texas Longhorns (2-0)

 

I don’t think that there is a bigger man on that Texas campus than Shane Buechele, the freshman quarterback who is putting Texas back on the map and putting Texas in the CFP discussion. Of course, he hasn’t done it alone. Jerrod Heard has been making big plays and Tyrone Swoopes played a huge part in the red zone against Notre Dame. The Big 12 is stacked this year, but Texas is atop that division and doesn’t seem to be looking back anytime soon.

 

  1. Tennessee Volunteers (2-0)

A lot of people will fault Tennessee for play Appaclahian State close, but what most fans don’t realize is that this isn’t the Appalachian State from seven or eight years ago. Appalachian State actually almost made the Top 25 preseason poll. With that in mind, Tennessee starts to look a lot better. The theme this year for the Volunteers might be starting slow, as they let Virginia Tech get way out in front of them early before Tennessee reeled them back in, and eventually pulled ahead for the 21-point win. This win will go a long way in determining Tennessee’s rankings throughout the season, and it jumps them way up in my poll.

 

  1. Iowa Hawkeyes (2-0)

 

Is Iowa for real? As good as the Hawkeyes were last year, I somehow still can’t answer that question. Iowa’s performance in Week 2 helped make that answer a little more clear. I really wondered if they would be able to put points up on the board in bunches, and they showed me that it wasn’t an issue, as they piled up 42 points versus in-state rival Iowa State. The trio of C.J. Beathard, LeShun Daniels, and Matt Vandeberg is slowly becoming one of the most feared in college football. Iowa has shown no reason for them to be outside of the Top 15, and next week’s game against North Dakota State could be a game that pushes them up the rankings even further.

 

  1. Wisconsin Badgers (2-0)

Image result for vince biegel 2016 lsu

The big win is obviously the win versus LSU, but as we know now, the Tigers aren’t what we thought they were entering the season. Wisconsin feels like they could lose a couple straight games and then we could end talk about them being one of the most overrated teams this season. On the flip side, there is so much time left in the season that they could be for real and come out of nowhere to reach elite status. Corey Clement is the best running back that no one is talking about, and Vince Biegel is the best linebacker that no one is talking about. While individual players are flying under the radar, this team certainly isn’t lacking any hype. My only issue with this team is their schedule. Wisconsin starts an absolutely brutal, and I mean brutal, four-game stretch in Week 4 that features Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, and Iowa, with the only home game coming against the Buckeyes. There is no way that the Badgers don’t come out of that with at least two losses. For now, the Badgers haven’t shown any reason for me to put them outside of the Top 15.

 

  1. Michigan State (1-0)

The Spartans didn’t play in Week 2, so I couldn’t move them up or down too drastically. However, there is still some fallout from their game against Furman, where they played them closer than they should have, only winning 28-13. I have no idea what to expect from this team, especially since they are entering the post-Connor Cook era, but they are still a contender. They just need to find their footing and then they will be off and running with the rest of the Big Ten.

 

  1. Washington Huskies (2-0)

 

Jake Browning is a legitimate Heisman candidate. Jump on the bandwagon now before it’s too late. The defense is something special, especially the secondary, led by Budda Baker and Sidney Jones. Washington should end up in the Top 10 of the final rankings, barring some major upset, as they really only have Stanford and Oregon as the big names left on their schedule. The Huskies are relatively new to the CFB big-time, so an upset could be more than likely.

 

  1. Louisville Cardinals (2-0)

Lamar Jackson is on his way to breaking records. He already has 13 TDs in his first two games. If Jackson kept up his current pace, he would shatter the previous record for most touchdowns in a season by about 21 scores. Obviously, the Louisville quarterback won’t keep that pace up, but it’s an interesting statistic. I am not completely on the Louisville hype train though, as I have seen former Heisman contenders fall flat on their face before (see Hill, Kenny and Smith, Geno). The defense, lead by Devonte Fields, is also a strength of this unit. Right now, the Cardinals are sitting pretty at No. 8 and depending on this weekend’s matchup against Florida State, they could either jump up to the Top 5 or drop out of my Top 12. This is the week where we finally get to know if this team is for real.

 

  1. Stanford Cardinal (1-0)

 

While maybe not the most convincing win, the 26-13 win over Kansas State highlighted Stanford’s strengths, pretty much just playing through Christian McCaffrey. Quarterback Ryan Burns won’t be asked to do much this season, and if he ever gets into trouble, he always has No. 5 to dump it off to. Even though they only won by 13 points, I’m still on the hype train for Stanford. Peter Kalamabayi looked fantastic at the outside linebacker position in Week 1, posting 6 tackles and 2.5 sacks. After only playing one game, I can’t see enough to move this team up or down too drastically.

 

  1. Houston Cougars (2-0)

 

Everyone will talk about the win against Oklahoma, but I think that the game against Lamar showed a lot about this Houston squad too. With superstar quarterback Greg Ward Jr. out with an injury, the Cougars started Kyle Postma behind center. Him going 14 of 25 for 125 yards and 1 INT is not a good sign for this team, but the running game picked up all of the slack, with four different running backs combining for six touchdowns. I was a big believer that this team wouldn’t be the same without Greg Ward playing, but Houston has proved me wrong. The defense was amazing, shutting out Lamar. I know it’s Lamar, but credit where credit is due for this squad. If Houston is for real is a question that will be answered on November 17th against Louisville, assuming that the Cardinals are still a Top 10 team by then, but for now, I can’t any reason not to put the Cougars way up on this list.

 

  1. Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0)

Image result for jt barrett 2016

It’s okay Buckeyes fans! Don’t get mad at me for putting you guys out of the Top 4. It was a coin flip between you and Michigan and I was really just splitting hairs with the decision to put Michigan ahead. I should have a lot more clarity on this after next week, when Ohio State faces off against Oklahoma. The Buckeyes are an extremely young team, and some say that it is a rebuilding year for the Urban Meyer-coached squad, but remember last time the Buckeyes had a “rebuilding” year?

 

  1. Michigan Wolverines (2-0)

 

Finally, after so long, the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry will actually decide something beyond just bragging rights. Michigan has scored 63 points and 51 points in their first two games, respectively, and have allowed a grand total of 17 points through the first two weeks of the season. In two weeks, they face the Wisconsin Badgers, and I know that Wisconsin looks good, but watching this Michigan team so far, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Badgers get beat by four or five touchdowns. That’s how well-rounded this Wolverines team is this year. The receiving corps is fantastic, and the defense is one of the best that college football has to offer. If I had to put my money on it, I would say that the Wolverines will be in the CFP.

 

  1. Clemson Tigers (2-0)

 

Don’t overreact too much everybody! Every team has their close games, and while Deshaun Watson may not be playing like a Heisman contender, this Clemson team is JUST FINE. JUST….FINE. They have superstars all over their squad, from Cordrea Tankersley to Deshaun Watson to Mitch Hyatt to Mike Williams. Geez, how far can I go with this. Clemson just needs to find it’s footing and then it will regain its reputation as one of the best in college football. Just don’t overreact to the close game against Troy.

 

  1. Florida State Seminoles (2-0)

Image result for demarcus walker vs. ole miss

Deondre Francois looks like the star of this team when I watch the Seminoles play. Sure, Dalvin Cook is still amazing, but he has yet to rush for over 100 yards in a game yet, so Francois is the real impetus behind this team’s success. Of course, the defense is spectacular. Derwin James (Get well soon!) is a potential Top 10 pick who has to be stuck in college football for two more years, while DeMarcus Walker just can’t be stopped rushing off of the edge. This may not be the best team in college football, but it is the most fun team to watch.

 

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide (2-0)

Image result for jalen hurts

Alabama would be the most fun team to watch if they didn’t just blow out every opponent that they played. A 52-6 victory against a solid USC team felt like an NFL team versus a College team. Not Fair. Alabama continues to be the best team in college football, but Week 3 has not been their friend for a while now. The last two seasons, Alabama has lost Ole Miss in Week 3, and guess who they are playing this weekend! Now, Alabama has the talent to beat Ole Miss by four touchdowns, but at this point, it’s all a mental thing. If Alabama can get over this barrier that is the Ole Miss Rebels, then we might as well hand them the CFP Trophy right now.
Photo Credits:

http://www.scout.com/player/186194-jalen-hurts

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/florida-state-seminoles/os-fsu-demarcus-walker-transforms-in-second-half-against-ole-miss-20160907-premiumvideo.html

http://buckeyextra.dispatch.com/content/stories/2016/01/12/0112-looking-ahead-cfb.html

http://www.scout.com/player/148470-vince-biegel

Draft analyst: Myles Garrett brings to mind Von Miller

http://newsok.com/article/feed/1071160

Georgia QB Jacob Eason to make first start vs. Nicholls State

http://photos.oregonlive.com/oregonian/2016/09/oregon_ducks_against_the_virgi_127.html

http://www.buckys5thquarter.com/2016/9/3/12751654/lsu-wisconsin-preview-brandon-harris-bart-houston

 

 

 

 

Restricted Freedom

In everyday life the one constant most anyone can count on is change. It happens to everyone, every day, all the time. We switch clothes daily, switch opinions on the fly and, most notably, jobs from time to time. Most anyone is able to change jobs these days unless there is a handshake agreement or a non-compete clause that would prevent that from happening. 

In college athletics, coaches can switch jobs anytime they want to. Pay a little money on a buyout or wait for a contract to expire and they are on their way to their next preferred destination. 

However, when it comes to college players it is not nearly that simple. Scholarships are being treated like ironclad contracts and if a player wants to leave or transfer they aren’t able to do without there being hoops to jump through and hurdles to clear – but is that right?

To be clear at the top here, I am on the side of the college athletes in both of the following cases. Coaches can up and leave a school and don’t have to sit out a year or two because of rules and regulations. They aren’t required to redshirt and they aren’t slapped with a list of schools or conference that they can or cannot transfer to. This is not right. I cannot be any clearer on that. 

If a student athlete wishes to transfer to another school for any reason – to be closer to family, not getting enough playing time, if it’s not a good fit athletically or academically – they should be allowed to be released from their scholarship and go where they are going to be able to best advance themselves academically (which should come first) and/or athletically and they should be able to do so without restriction on where they can or cannot go. It is as simple as that, period. 

If Nick Saban can be allowed to leave LSU and go to the NFL (where he failed, let’s be honest) then because it didn’t work out he can leave there and go to Alabama with no undue restrictions whatsoever then why can’t his players be allowed to do the same?

Saban is now being a bit hypocritical when it comes to one of his former players, Maurice Smith. Saban is currently blocking Smith (who has already graduated from Alabama) from transferring to SEC rival Georgia…who is now being coached by former long-time Alabama assistant Kirby Smart. Now on the surface – and just off this alone – it would look like Saban doesn’t want to weaken his team and help to strengthen another. 

That may very well be the case but when former player Chris Black transferred to Missouri (another SEC school) he was allowed to do so with no undue strife. Alabama is now attempting to hide behind a rule that is in place but is rarely enforced more times than not. SEC policy – as does most individual university and conference policies – states that it is at a school’s discretion not to allow players to transfer from one member institution in conference to another member institution within the conference. 

Problem is they went against policy by allowing Black to leave (he was injured and released from his scholarship) but they are now enforcing the same policy they just went against when it comes to Smith. Again, to be clear, I am not on the side of Alabama or Georgia – who could do more to acquiesce the situation on Smith’s behalf – or even the SEC. He would be considered a graduate transfer, meaning he would be going to school to work on higher learning while playing football. 

Saban runs a virtual football factory in Tuscaloosa and Georgia is rebuilding as a football program. This one player is not going to make the difference between a national championship or a bowl game. It is literally a “do as I say, not as I do” situation. One player was hurt and allowed to leave but the one that isn’t but has met all of his required academic responsibilities, is not allowed to leave? 

The rules are the rules and should be uniformly enforced, not modified on a whim. Saban allowed Smart to go to a rival school in conference without this or any other pomp and circumstance. To hold Smith there and not allow him to go where he wants, considering the circumstances, is pure hypocrisy.

Former Baylor QB Jarrett Stidham is in a similar situation as Smith is. Following the sexual assault scandal and cover-up that happened (and continues to unfold) at Baylor, Stidham made the decision to transfer from the school and go somewhere else to continue his college career. Unlike the situation at Alabama, Stidham is being allowed to transfer to another school – but just like the situation at Alabama, the inter-conference rule is being enforced on Stidham (Big XII schools are off limits), as well as another caveat that he cannot go to any school on Baylor’ schedule that has already been scheduled in the future (SMU, Rice, Duke and UT-San Antonio). 

This is not right on any level. The student athlete is being penalized for the lack of institutional control that was exhibited on Baylor’s part by allowing crimes to take place and covering up said crimes. Stidham did nothing wrong here but is now being told he can leave but cannot go to the 16 schools Baylor is preventing him to attend. 

If a coach wanted to leave Baylor and go to, say, Texas or Oklahoma as a result of this scandal I’m virtually certain the university would allow the coach to leave with no undue restrictions being placed on him. If Baylor is afraid that Stidham would transfer to TCU or Texas, sit out a year and come back and perform at a high level – especially against them – then they needed to do a better job of controlling the goings on at their university and they wouldn’t find themselves telling a player where he can or cannot play. Stidham is going to abide by the NCAA transfer rule and sit out a season – but he should absolutely not be told by the university that he’s leaving from where, he can or cannot go to school and play football.

These are only two of many cases that happen like this in college athletics. At the end of the day it is hypocritical to let coaches leave jobs of their own free will and go to other jobs with no consequences or restrictions being placed on them at all, while the student athletes continue to get the short end of the stick. 

If student athletes can’t go to whatever school they want to without having to sit out a season then coaches should be held to the same standard. The same thing should apply as far as certain rules and restrictions go as well. If a student athlete is told he cannot go to a school or transfer to a rival conference then the same thing should apply to coaches who want to move around as well. 

Of course, this isn’t going to happen overnight, if ever in college athletics. However, until something is done to prevent things like this from taking place coaches and universities will continue to circumvent and break rules that are already in place, punishing and holding back student athletes…but best believe that if another opportunity comes along for a coach, that they won’t have to wait or sit out for any period of time. 

It’s not right or correct on any level but it is the way this form of business is conducted in the NCAA.

The Rooster Crows

For Gamecock fans, this has been a longer off-season than we have grown accustomed to in the recent years past. 

The three straight 11 win seasons, 5 straight over that team in the Upstate and going bowling 9 of the previous 10 seasons came to an abrupt halt last year. 

And what a year it was for our boys in Garnet and Black. It started off with some optimism in the week 1 win over UNC, but grew dimmer after that. After the horrible flood that plagued our beautiful and strong state, the sudden resignation of the ol Ball Coach and the home loss to LSU in Baton Rouge, the season felt like it was straight out of the twilight zone.

The team found a renewed energy when Coach Shawn Elliot took over the reigns, but was not ultimately enough to get the job done. They would win his first game against Vanderbilt, but lose to an in-state team that just seemed to want it more. 

Is that the best that we can do? We go from Spurrier to Coach Boom?

That Citadel game still just does not feel real to me. Add the embarrassing loss to Citadel and the fact that Clemson made it all the way to the title game, and the salt kept pouring into those gaping wounds for Gamecock football.

Then came the head coach search. Tom Herman is going to be the guy! He’s going to bring some real excitement to the team! Then add and remove several other names, and all of a sudden I had joked that we would end up with Will Muschamp. Will FREAKING Muschamp. 

Is that the best that we can do? We go from Spurrier to Coach Boom? This will never work. And then the man starts talking. In his opening interview he said he could sell ice to an eskimo, and I will tell you that he sold me all the crow I had been rattling off almost instantly.

Then there was the fear of the recruits we would lose due to the head coaching switch and Brandon McIlwain immediately came to mind. We were really counting on him to be the next guy to take over the reigns. If he leaves, that would just be a huge blow to the recruiting class. Not only does he get McIlwain to stay onboard, the staff goes out and gets Bryan Edwards, who is going to be a STUD.

The program is going under a rebuild, or as we are familiar with in the Bible Belt, a spiritual rebirth…

When the Gamecocks were successful, we were winning our state in recruiting getting Mr. Football for SC four straight years. Two are in the NFL, Jadeveon Clowney and Stephon Gilmore. One, Marcus Lattimore, would be a star in the league if it hadn’t been for a horrific knee injury. There has been a new emphasis on taking back the state and not losing them to Georgia.

So after all of this what can Gamecock nation expect out of the first year under the Coach Boom Era? Expect discipline. Expect energy. And expect lots of these faces in the first year or so. 

But that’s OK! The program is going under a rebuild, or as we are familiar with in the Bible Belt, a spiritual rebirth. They could go out and surprise everyone and win the East…not likely but possible. Muschamp has made his expectations clear: winning. Get ready for the rebirth of the Gamecocks defense that once caused fear in opposing teams. Hard hitting, sacks, interceptions and SOUND tackling. 

I believe Kurt Roper will have the offense viable this year and soaring in years to come. Coach Boom has even said that if he had hired Roper sooner he’d probably be at Florida still. Guess that Charlie Weiss hire didn’t work out too well.

Do Gamecock nation…get excited! Don’t take this season too seriously and enjoy your team rise from the ashes. With new uniform combos could we get a fire ants defense version 2.0? Could we get a return of Black Magic? Only time will tell, but the time is almost here!

We will keep you updated on any breaking news, injuries or position Battles. The Rooster is about to crow and Sandstorm will have the stadium jumping. Much like the players emerge from the smoke, so will your Gamecocks this season. Carolina….Forever to Thee.