On Saturday, the South Carolina Gamecocks (6-1, 4-1) travel Knoxville to take on the Tennessee Volunteers (3-4, 0-4) in an SEC tilt.
Both teams have had tumultuous seasons, but South Carolina has obviously done a much better job surviving their run.
When the two teams met in 2010, South Carolina beat Tennessee 38-24.
Where: Neyland Stadium. Knoxville, Tenn.
When: Saturday, October 29 at 7:15 p.m. EDT
Watch: ESPN2. Streamed at ESPN3.com
Listen: WNKT-FM 107.5 FM in Columbia, WIKV 107.7 in Knoxville.
South Carolina (-4), according to Bodog. This is potentially a trap game for the Gamecocks, but I am going with them to win and cover.
Can South Carolina survive without RB Marcus Lattimore and QB Stephen Garcia?
Who Might Not Play for South Carolina
CB Akeem Auguste (foot), T Kyle Nunn (back), FB Matt Coffee (knee), and RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) are out for the season.
RB Jacob Baker (knee) is out indefinitely.
Who Might Not Play for Tennessee
WR Naz Oliver (wrist), and WR Justin Hunter (knee) are out for the year.
DL Stephen Fowlkes (academics), QB Tyler Bray (thumb), and LB Herman Lathers (ankle) are out for the year
BCS/Top 25 Implications
South Carolina currently sits atop the SEC East. Actually, they are tied, but have already beaten their closest competition, Georgia. Their spot in the Top 25 is safe, but more wins are a must if they are going to stay in the SEC East race.
Tennessee's chances at getting into the Top 25 this year are slim to none. They need to find a way to win some games if they are going to make any bowl this year.
What They're Saying
ESPN's Chris Low wrote in his SEC blog that the Gamecocks will have a hard time replacing Lattimore, on and off of the field.
Simply, this is not the same team emotionally without Lattimore. For all of his success on the field, recapturing that edge without him the rest of the way will be South Carolina’s stiffest challenge.
South Carolina Player to Watch
Connor Shaw is the key. Replacing Garcia, in addition to making up for the loss of Lattimore, Shaw will need to be in charge of the offense and not make any mistakes. If that happens, they will win this one easily.
Tennessee Player to Watch
RB Tauren Poole has been effective in games that the Volunteers have won and terrible in games that they have lost. This isn't a coincidence.
He'll need to be a major factor this week.
On the Hot seat
Derek Dooley needs to get his team in gear. Given the injuries and sanctions to Tennessee's program, he's probably safe through the season. But without showing that the program is heading in the right direction, it's hard to see his leash being terribly long.
Despite the injuries, South Carolina is still the better team in this game. It will be reasonably close, but the Gamecocks have the edge.
South Carolina 27, Tennessee 20.