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

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SEC Football Q&A: Would South Carolina Be Favored over LSU in Columbia?
Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier (left)

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:

 

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

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
South Carolina QB Connor Shaw

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.

Georgia at South Carolina highlights

 

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.

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
Tennessee WR Justin Hunter

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.

 

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

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
Alabama head coach Nick Saban (left) with LSU head coach Les Miles

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.

 

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

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Florida RB Mike Gillislee

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.

Florida at LSU highlights

 

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