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Talkin' South Carolina With Garnet And Black Attack

As promised, more Q&A action. This time: Gamecock Man from Garnet And Black Attack, who has more bar recommendations, among other things.

I know they've said it won't be a problem, but do you have any concerns that the size of Jasper Brinkley and Eric Norwood (good lord they're huge!) will be a liability in pass coverage?

Great question. On the one hand, Brinkley and Norwood are fast for their size, and at any rate the coaching staff seems to believe that our secondary will be effective without too much help from the linebackers. However, it's true that the big guys aren't considered elite in pass coverage. This is maybe more true of Norwood; we've seen that Brinkley can hold his own in coverage, but Norwood hasn't played linebacker since high school and has had to adjust to the position. So, I guess my answer would be that while this shouldn't be a major problem, it could be something of a liability if an opposing team figures out how to exploit it. I think our staff believes that moving Norwood to linebacker will be enough of a help in run defense to make it worth the risk of pass coverage problems.

If I can only visit one bar while I'm in Columbia, where am I going?

I would say Yesterday's, which is right off campus in the Five Points district. I went to this place almost every Thursday evening while I was at Carolina. Yesterday's serves up reasonably priced drinks and also has some pretty tasty Southern food. Uncle Louie's in the Vista area was also a personal favorite.

Do you think we'll see both Tommy Beecher and Chris Smelley in the opener? From what I've read about South Carolina's fall scrimmages, it sounds like Smelley has maybe been a bit better; just how committed is Spurrier to Beecher?

Barring a total collapse on Beecher's part, I don't think that we'll see Chris Smelley in the opener. Spurrier has said over and over again that he wants to give Beecher a fighting chance to hold onto the starting job. Pulling the plug on Beecher in the opener would seem to go back on that claim. However, like I said, all bets are off if Beecher throws a couple of interceptions in the first quarter.

Is this going to be the breakthrough season (however you might define it) that you guys have been waiting for Spurrier to deliver?

Well, lots of us disagree about what constitutes a "breakthrough season"; some mean a New Year's Day Bowl and top 15 ranking in the final polls, while some mean an SEC championship and possible shot at the national title. I'm probably in the former category. I don't think we're going to win the SEC this year; while it wouldn't surprise me too much if we pulled off an upset against either Georgia or Florida, I just don't think we're good enough to hang with those two teams in the standings throughout the season. I do think that we could possibly win eight or nine regular season games, which I would consider a pretty successful season and maybe even a "breakthrough." That would get us into a decent bowl and would give us some momentum going into recruiting. We really need that momentum, because Clemson seriously killed us last year in recruiting. I would also like to see us beat Tennessee and supplant them for third in the SEC East. That would be a sign of progress.

Look into the future and tell me how Stephen Garcia's next drunken run-in with the police will play out.

Well, I hope I'm looking into my imagination here more so than into the future, but here we go: Garcia will be arrested after police find him drunkenly passed out on the lawn of the USC Horseshoe. While being questioned regarding why he continues to screw himself and his team over, Garcia will reveal that Ron Morris, noted for the anti-Gamecock vitriol he spews in The State, has been paying him to make a fool of himself as part of Morris's effort to sabotage USC sports. Garcia will be kicked off the team and will eventually enroll at South Florida, where he will lead the Bulls to a surprise appearance in the national title game in 2011, although the Bulls will lose to Ohio State, who will be happy to finally avoid playing an SEC team in the postseason. Morris, to the chagrin and perplexity of Gamecock fans everywhere, will weather the scandal and will continue to be employed by The State.