August – the longest month

Is it just me, or does August seem way, way longer than 31 days? For the college football fan, not to mention those longing for the cool, crisp days of Autumn, it sure seems like it. I’m not one to wish my life away, and I am thankful for each day here on this Earth, but c’mon already – is it really just the 15th??

As I sit here waiting out a late summer thunderstorm (much yard work to do), I figured I would take a best case/worst case scenario glance at the 2012 Gamecock football schedule. After a long summer of sickening news from Happy Valley, recruiting scandals and  ominous developments out of Chapel Hill, I’m counting the days to kickoff – two weeks from tomorrow.

So, here goes:

Game Best Worst Comments
8/30 @ Vandy W L Dores will be much improved
9/8 vs. East Carolina W W Gamecocks sink Pirates
9/15 vs. UAB W W A long drive back down I-20 for the Blazers
9/22 vs. Mizzou W L Missouri’s first SEC road game
9/29 @ Kentucky W W No repeat of 2010 here
10/6 vs. Georgia W L Always hard fought, always low scoring
10/13 @ LSU L L At night in Baton Rouge – must play mistake-free to win
10/20 @ Florida W L A brutal October continues – this ain’t the ACC folks
10/29 vs. Tennessee W W Still not the UT of old
11/10 vs. Arkansas W W Hogs’ recent dominance ends in Columbia
11/17 vs. Wofford W W Terriers keep it close for a half
11/24 @ Clemson W L The Palmetto Bowl – Dabo has much to prove

Under the best case scenario (11-1), Carolina gets another shot at LSU at the SEC Championship game in Atlanta. The winner of that game will play for the National Championship.

The worst case scenario (6-6) is truly unthinkable and would have to be considered a catastrophic failure for a team this loaded with talent. The Gamecocks have a troubling, well-documented history of coming out flat the year after a big season, which 2011 certainly was, with the school’s first ever 11 win season. I don’t see history repeating itself  in 2012. Too much talent, too good a coaching staff and a totally different program than in the past.

Well friends, the rain has ended and I have work to do. Until kickoff, I’ll leave you with a little pigskin poetry which appeared in a 1903 edition of The Garnet and Black – then the USC yearbook and now a periodical published by the University. I love this…

The Greatest Game 

The gridirons are deserted now, and gone the season’s strife,

But the game for us has just begun on the football field of life.

Never an intermission there the weary ones shall know,

Nor a time out call for the men that fall, nor the blessed whistle blow.

Never a sub can take your place, and never a man must yield,

For the game is o’er forevermore for the men who leave the field.

Perhaps the world shall see you win, and the pennants wave for you,

And your feet will tear the trampled turf, as you drive the touchdowns through.

Or perhaps upon your very goal the plunging bodies meet,

And the dusty lime of the last white line is crushed beneath your feet.

Perhaps the twilight wind is cold, and the goalpost shadows long,

And the victors swarm upon the field to chant their triumph song.

But if you play the losing game as but a hero can,

The men that buck your line will know the played against a MAN.

W.W. Stephens

Class of 1903

 Go Cocks! 

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