Worst Case Scenario: South Carolina Gamecocks

BamaNation.netContributor IAugust 4, 2009

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 15:  Head coach Steve Spurrier of the South Carolina Gamecocks watches his team take on the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 15, 2008 in Gainesville, Florida. Florida defeated South Carolina 56-6.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

The South Carolina Gamecocks have a lot of expectations this season just like every other football squad across the nation.

Here is a worst case scenario for Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks the 2009 campaign.

Biggest Asset:  Coaching Ability, Schedule Balance

Our friend here at Bama Nation, 12, suggests that Steve Spurrier may have lost a step or two as a head coach.  This blog entry, won’t dispute that claim.  But what I will suggest is that if you took Steve Spurrier and moved him to a more talented team, could he win?  I think so. 

He’s having a heck of a time recruiting to South Carolina, but if he can get a quarterback, stick with him, and encourage that quarterback positively—it could be a breakout year for South Carolina.

While no SEC schedule is truly defined as “easy,” South Carolina’s schedule is at least favorable.  Ole Miss, Kentucky, Vandy, Florida and Clemson all are at home for South Carolina this season.  Granted, they still have to play Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Arkansas on the road, but I doubt they would trade those home games, for those road games. 

Add in the fact that their out-of-conference games are North Carolina State, Florida Atlantic and South Carolina State, and this schedule could help the Gamecocks some this year.

Biggest Liability:  Offensive Production

In the past five years, South Carolina’s offensive production has ranked 97th, 77th, 20th, 100th and 63rd.  That’s an average of the 71st best offense over the past five years.  For an offensive minded coach, he sure isn’t finding a way of getting yards and points. 

Last year, South Carolina’s rushing offense finished 112th!  I’m not overlooking the fact that Steve Spurrier is a passing coach either, we all know that.  But when your passing offensive ranks 50th with just over 200 yards a game, you’ve got to look at running the ball more effectively to open up the passing game.  When opponents know you’re going to throw the ball a lot, they drop back into coverage and you turn the ball over a whole lot. 

Oh, by the way, South Carolina ranked 107th in turnover margin last year with a ratio of -.85 turnovers per game. Ouch!

Where They Could Stumble:  Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida

Worst Case Scenario:  8-4

I know that every year people predict South Carolina to surprise some people, but to me, if they’re ever going to do it, this is their year.  Georgia’s new offensive stars may not click until the middle of the season, which may be a blessing for South Carolina as they play them in their second game of the year.  I do think they’ll certainly lose to Ole Miss, Alabama and Florida, which would put their worst case scenario for me at 8-4.

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