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SEC Football Q&A: Would South Carolina Be Favored over LSU in Columbia?

Sept 29, 2012; Lexington, KY, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier reacts to a call during the game against the Kentucky Wildcats in the first half at Commonwealth Stadium. Credit: Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE
Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE
Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterSeptember 15, 2016

Every Thursday on The SEC Blog, we will feature questions from the Bleacher Report inbox, Twitter and email. 

Do you have a question for next week's Q&A? Send it to SEC lead writer Barrett Sallee via the B/R inbox, on Twitter @BarrettSallee or at bsallee@bleacherreport.com.

 

You've got SEC questions, and I've got SEC answers. Thank you, everybody, for your questions this week, and if I didn't get to them this week, they are still saved and will be used in the future.

And we're off:

 

@barrettsallee If LSU/South Carolina was in Columbia instead of Death Valley, what would the point spread be?

— Angry Bills Fan (@chrisskreager) October 8, 2012

South Carolina would probably be favored, and I'd say it's be somewhere around a two-point spread.

Right now VegasInsider.com lists LSU as a three-point favorite for Saturday night's game vs. the Gamecocks in Baton Rouge. I'm not an oddsmaker, but giving two-to-four points to the home team isn't terribly uncommon, especially in places like LSU, where the atmosphere at night is a point of pride for the fan base.

But after what we saw on Saturday night in Columbia, Williams-Brice Stadium is no slouch either.

Based on that performance, the fact that LSU got out-manned by Florida last week and South Carolina's ability to run the football with Marcus Lattimore and Connor Shaw, I don't really understand how LSU is favored as it is. I would certainly give them the edge if the game were played in Columbia.

 

@barrettsallee who do you like in the matchup:UT WRs or MSU DBs?

— Stuart D. Davis (@stu623) October 11, 2012

In an attempt to dodge the questions, I'll say that I like them both!

That's what makes this game so interesting. Mississippi State cornerbacks Johnthan Banks and Darius Slay both have noses for the football, and can capitalize on Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray's inconsistencies.

But it's going to be high-risk, high-reward for the Bulldogs, because Vols' wide receivers Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson are lethal and will make an impact in the game.

Tennessee leads the SEC in passing offense (329 YPG) by nearly 30 yards per game more than second place Arkansas, and it's going to take a big-time effort from Banks, Slay and Co. to slow it down.

Whether it's a gut feeling or the mystery surrounding just how good Mississippi State really is, Tennessee's wide receivers will make enough plays to get the Vols the win, but I expect the game to go back and forth and be a lot of fun to watch.

 

@barrettsallee got SEC question. Say bama and south carolina are undefeated for the SECCG you think both go to NCG? course if oregon loses

unhedged (@VolCrush) October 11, 2012

No, an all-SEC matchup in the BCS National Championship Game won't happen this year unless there really is no other option. 

It took an extraordinary set of circumstances last season for Alabama to make it to the national championship game, and the uproar over that matchup is way too fresh in the minds of college football fans to happen again.

SEC fatigue is at an all-time high, to a point where non-SEC teams may get bumped up a place or two if your hypothetical situation were to occur.

Human polls still make up two-thirds of the BCS equation, and voters will go out of their way to prevent another SEC vs. SEC BCS National Championship Game—whether that's fair or not.

 

@barrettsallee also. Can vandy pull out the upset at home?

— Daniel Patterson (@Danielpatt) October 11, 2012

Over Florida? There's a better chance of Auburn finding a functional offense this weekend—and the chance of that is slim.

Florida dominated LSU in the second half last weekend in the Swamp. They dominated LSU.

That's not an easy thing to do.

Florida has figured a lot out thanks to a punishing running game with Mike Gillislee, a stifling defense and an effective quarterback in Jeff Driskel—even though his passing stats leave a lot to be desired.

The Gators win, and win big thanks to another solid performance by their offensive line and tenacity by their front seven. Florida has the crystal football on its mind, and won't be caught looking ahead to the showdown vs. South Carolina next week.

 

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