BCS Rankings 2011: How Will Marcus Lattimore's Injury Affect South Carolina?

Kyle SkovCorrespondent IIOctober 15, 2011

COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 08:  Marcus Lattimore #21 of the South Carolina Gamecocks runs with the ball against the Kentucky Wildcats during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

South Carolina got a win this week against Mississippi State but ultimately lost because Marcus Lattimore went out injured with a sprained knee.

Lattimore has been the work horse and the go-to player for the Gamecocks this season. When you lose a player like that it is a momentum shifter and ultimately does not reflect well for the team on the eve of the new BCS rankings.

The Gamecocks may not feel the effect of the Lattimore injury on their immediate rankings because it will not hold as much clout just yet.

They will feel it though, when their performance dips, which it assuredly will after losing their top rusher who has scored nine touchdowns and run for 779 yards this season.

That is a huge production loss with Latimore going down with a sprained knee.

This also ultimately mans he will be out for some time.

South Carolina was pushing and really could have used Marcus Lattimore down the stretch in the game against Mississippi State, but he was taken out of the game in the fourth quarter.

When the Gamecocks needed high percentage plays Lattimore was always there, but now those touches will have to go to the other backs and inexperienced quarterback Connor Shaw.

Shaw stepped in as quarterback last week and only was playing in his second game this season.

He is a young talented quarterback that should be able to do it but the switch at quarterback and the loss of their star running back does not look well in front of the BCS rankings coming out.

If the Gamecocks are able to win in their next matchup with out Lattimore expect the BCS rankings to look favorably on them. The matchup against Tennessee is the one to keep an eye on when examining their future this season.