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South Carolina vs. Georgia: Why the National Press Isn't Giving 'Cocks Any Love

Paul CookContributor IIIJune 26, 2016

South Carolina vs. Georgia: Why the National Press Isn't Giving 'Cocks Any Love

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    During the football season, one of my most cherished Friday afternoon rituals is cruising the major online sports sites during my lunch break. Ordinarily, I wouldn't be too terribly surprised to find that the national media aren't giving South Carolina much of a shot against the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens on Saturday. 

    But what I saw this year was almost enough to make me cough leftover mushroom stroganoff all over my keyboard.

    Over on CBSsports.com, only Dennis Dodd and Tom Fornelli are giving us any love in Saturday's contest. On ESPN.com, the mood is similar. Vegas seems to think the Gamecocks will pull out a close one, but the measly three-point spread isn't exactly a resounding vote of confidence.

    So what gives, you ask?

    Here are my five best guesses.

     

     

1. Stephen Garcia

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    The national media loves to pick on Garcia. 

    I'm convinced that if Stephen Garcia spent the rest of his life sailing the oceans with Greenpeace, traveling the Tibetan Himilayas as a disciple of the the Dalai Lama and nursing baby monkeys back to health in the Congolese rainforests, Lee Corso and Craig James would still be making cheap cracks about that "time he got caught with two girls in his room" or when he "disrupted" a life skills seminar.

    I understand that Garcia is kind of a flaky quarterback, and it's maddening to watch him fumble away games after throwing for 400 yards the previous week. At times he looks like the best quarterback in the SEC. Then he turns around and drops the ball, loses the game, and gets in a fight with a guy over a parking space as he's leaving the stadium.

    But enough is probably enough already, right? Let's give the guy a break (at least until he drops the ball again.)    

2. Mark Richt vs. Steve Spurrier

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    Few people in the national spotlight have the cajones to actually admit it, but it's well-accepted in most circles that coaches (both former and current), pundits, reporters, commentators, sports writers and other assorted hangers on of the sports world all want to see Spurrier fail.  Meanwhile, the opinion on Mark Richt seems to be that he's a generally likeable guy.

    I don't know if this goes back to Spurrier's days at Florida, or if it has something to do with his habit of dropping witty zingers into every recorded conversation he has ("We thought beating Clemson was a big deal, until Kentucky beat 'em"), or if people just don't like the way he wears that visor, but when faced with a choice, I believe most would like to see Richt hold on to his job and for Spurrier to wipe that smug grin off his face.    

3. REM

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    Okay, so this has very little to do with football, but REM put Athens on the national map and in our cultural consciousness.

    Can we really say the same for Hootie?

4. Boise State

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    If Georgia loses on Saturday, Boise State's 35 to 21 victory over the Bulldogs will lose some of its luster. 

    On the other hand, if Georgia knocks off a 12th-ranked team on Saturday, then Boise State suddenly looks like the world-beating, BCS-busters the national media have been salivating for them to be since last season. 

     

       

5. It's Georgia.

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    The obnoxious barking, the chanting, the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," those stupid hedges--the national media want Georgia back on top so that we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief that the natural order of the universe has been restored and all is back to normal.

    South Carolina winning the SEC just doesn't jive with their version of how the world should look.  

    But that's alright, because tomorrow is another game day! 

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