The Rattler Effect

By: Kipp Branch news services

Coming off a 7-6 season with a win over North Carolina in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl, things are looking bright in Columbia, South Carolina.

Shane Beamer has the Gamecock Nation believing that Carolina will be contenders in the SEC East in 2022. I cannot think of a more optimistic fanbase than South Carolina in my history as a college football fan.

South Carolina is still in rebuilding mode; expectations are rising once again until you look at a schedule from hell.

South Carolina has a lot of experience returning this fall, it has a good young head coach and with the addition of Spencer Rattler at QB, the Gamecocks look to make noise in the SEC East.

South Carolina has put all their eggs in the basket of one Spencer Rattler, the Oklahoma transfer at QB. Can Rattler lead this program to 8 wins this fall? Let us look at the schedule.

9/3/22 vs Georgia State: South Carolina is only a 13-point favorite at home over Georgia State currently. Does that mean Carolina could struggle in this contest. Give me Carolina at home 34-17. 1-0

9/10/22 @ Arkansas: The Hogs are expected to be good, and Carolina must travel to NW Arkansas to play this one. This is one of those games Carolina must have if they want to be relevant in 2022. KJ Jefferson will be too much for Carolina on the road. Arkansas wins 35-24. Carolina is 1-1

9/17/22 vs Georgia: Carolina fans point this game as one that will shape a season. I believe it is listed as a noon kickoff in that furnace of a stadium.

September games in Columbia are brutal. If you lose to Arkansas on the road, then how do you expect to beat UGA? They will not. UGA wins 38-20. Carolina drops to 1-2.

9/24/22 vs Charlotte: Carolina bounces back with a 42-13 win to even the record at 2-2

10/1/22 vs South Carolina State: Carolina wins this one easily 49-10. 3-2 on the season.

10/8/22 @ Kentucky: UK thinks the UGA game at home in November will be for the SEC East Championship.

Could the Cats take South Carolina lightly? Carolina puts up a great fight, but they come up short in Lexington 24-21 to sit at 3-3 at the halfway point of the season. 0-3 in the SEC.

10/22/22 vs Texas A&M: This is where Carolina salvages their season when an overrated Aggie team travels to Columbia.

Everything comes together on this day for South Carolina and Sandstorm reigns as it is piped into a raucous crowd. Carolina wins 31-27 to go to 4-3 on the season. 1-3 in the SEC.

10/29/22 vs Missouri: Mizzou gets thumped by Carolina 31-14. 5-3 and 2-3.

11/5/22 @ Vanderbilt: Vandy is awful. Carolina easily 45-10. 6-3 and 3-3 in SEC play. Bowl eligible.

11/12/22 @ Florida: Toss up game. I like Carolina’s depth right now better than Florida’s. Shaky nod to Carolina 28-27. 7-3 and 4-3.

11/19/22 vs Tennessee: Senior night in Columbia. Tennessee is a trendy pick this fall based on their offense. Can they stop anyone is the key?

I like South Carolina’s defense better than the Vols. Give me Carolina in front of a jacked-up home crowd 38-35 in a wild affair. 8-3 and 5-3.

11/26/22 @ Clemson: I will not pick South Carolina to ever beat Clemson again until they accomplish it. Clemson at home 28-21. 8-4 regular season and Shane Beamer could run for office in the state.

Best case: 8-4 as outlined above with a bowl game in Orlando or Tampa on NYD.

Worst Case: 5-7 with losses to Arkansas, Kentucky, Georgia, Texas A&M, Florida, Tennessee, and Clemson.

We will see how the Spencer Rattler experiment transpires.