vs North Carolina (W)
Facing the Tar Heels in Charlotte is hardly an easy start to a season, but I feel that the Gamecocks will pull it off for two reasons: last year’s conclusions and modern lopsidedness.
While South Carolina football exceeded expectations with the three aforementioned performances, North Carolina failed expectations by wrapping up its 2022 with four consecutive losses.
As for the recent history between the rivals, the Gamecocks hold a large advantage, having won eight of the last 11 meetings. Their last was the 2021 Mayo Bowl (also in Charlotte), where the Tar Heels entered as 12.5-point favorites before falling 38-21.
With all of that overachieving on USC’s end colliding with all of that underachieving on UNC’s, how can we not humor the idea of the Gamecocks walking out of Charlotte with a win here?
To summarize that last analysis, I gave the Gamecocks an edge over the 2022 ACC Coastal Champions, who have both a title-winning head coach and Heisman-hopeful quarterback. If they can handle them, they can handle the Paladins.
@ Georgia (L)
It’s almost frightening to shift from a guaranteed win to a guaranteed loss so quickly, but that is nonetheless what this visit to Athens has us doing.
The Bulldogs have won seven of the last eight run-ins with USC (five of which have been decided by at least 24 points), along with having won the last two national championships. It’ll take a miracle for South Carolina football to lead once in this game, much less win it.