Sports

Cheering For Your Rivals?

This website’s founding editor is a “strength of schedule” fan… meaning he wants every team squaring off against his beloved University of South Carolina Gamecock football team to win as many of their other games as they possibly can. Why?  Because “to be the best you’ve got to beat the…

This website’s founding editor is a “strength of schedule” fan… meaning he wants every team squaring off against his beloved University of South Carolina Gamecock football team to win as many of their other games as they possibly can.

Why?  Because “to be the best you’ve got to beat the best.”  Or something like that.

Seriously, though, the better your opponents are … the better it looks when you beat them.  And whether we’re talking about computers selecting the two best teams in the country (1998-2013) or a panel of human beings selecting football’s “fearsome foursome” (2014-  ) … strength of schedule matters.  A lot.

That goes for all of South Carolina’s opponents – even arch-rival Clemson, which is squaring off against “The” Ohio State University in the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl on Friday night.  Will Folks (a.k.a. Sic Willie) has already picked the Tigers to win this game (owing to the weakness of the Big Ten)- but he also wants them to win.  After all, a Clemson victory over the seventh-ranked Buckeyes would mean the 2013 Gamecocks beat a pair of BCS bowl champions (Clemson and Central Florida) – in addition to its miracle road win over Missouri.

Not a bad resume …

Also, seeing as Clemson has lost five straight games to South Carolina … what do we care if they win their bowl game?

Of course some fans find it impossible to support their rivals under any circumstances.

Take the website Asinine Wisdom, whose author is a University of Alabama fan.  Over the holidays this author penned a marvelous column based on someone asking them whether they would cheer for rival Auburn in next week’s national championship game (due to conference loyalty).

“I can’t grasp how people that are Alabama fans can cheer for Auburn in good conscience. I just don’t get it,” the author wrote. “It is our duty as rivals to put all our collective focus into willing Auburn to lose. As much as some Auburn fans may deny it, they absolutely don’t cheer for Alabama in any capacity, and I would expect nothing less from them.  That’s how it’s supposed to be. I’m expected to wish them the best just because they’re in our conference?  Is that a joke?”

The author adds that such politically correct thinking “is precisely the disease that is infecting and killing college football.”

Wow …

Of course we can understand the source of Bama fans’ frustration …

Anyway, the best argument against cheering for your rival is the impact their victories could have on recruiting.  In other words you don’t want your top in-state opponent picking up too many blue chip prospects as a result of too many big victories.  However the Alabama-Auburn rivalry (whose champion has gone on to claim the last four national titles) would seem to disprove that hypothesis.

Don’t get us wrong: It wouldn’t break our hearts to see Clemson get rolled in the Orange Bowl.  In fact the humiliating 70-33 defeat the Tigers suffered on their last trip to Miami provided us with literally months of delicious schadenfreude.

But a Clemson win is probably in the best long-term interests of the Gamecock football program … not to mention securing the program’s best-ever end-of-season ranking.

That’s not “political correctness” either, it’s simple math.

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38 comments

jimlewisowb January 2, 2014 at 9:07 am

Huh ?

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Jackie Chiles January 2, 2014 at 9:08 am

You should want Clemson to be awful. You do realize that SC competes with Clemson for the same recruits, right? Good players are less likely to go to a program in shambles. So hoping for Clemson to succeed is essentially the same as hoping Clemson takes away your recruits.

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Smirks January 2, 2014 at 9:37 am

Clemson isn’t exactly in “shambles” though. They lost against the #1 team in the country and they lost to us, and I’d say we aren’t too shabby. Ohio State is another fairly decent team, so a loss to them wouldn’t be all that embarrassing to be honest. If Clemson wins, it doesn’t change the great seasons USC has had in recent time, including consecutive bowl wins and dominance in our rivalry.

Hoping for a team to fail just so you can get better recruits seems like poor sportsmanship. Athletes will come to USC if USC shows it is capable. Hoping everyone else sucks more than you do doesn’t seem like something I’d want USC to shoot for.

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Jackie Chiles January 2, 2014 at 10:10 am

“Athletes will come to USC if USC shows it is capable.”

So good players will come to USC if USC is good. But how can USC become good if it doesn’t have good players already? When Clemson was in shambles 4-5 years ago when Tammy was fired, USC picked up some good players that were committed to and/or considering going to Clemson. We’re just now seeing the results of that class. Look at Clemson’s recruiting right now. It’s out-recruited USC the last 5 seasons, in spite of USC winning. If you think USC is going to suddenly going to be a top 5 or even top 10 recruiting team just because it beats Clemson, you’re wrong.

The best way for SC to improve its recruiting rankings is for there to be no legitimate competition in-state for the best players. Right now there is Clemson. Look at UGA’s recruiting for the past seasons. GA Tech is not a legitimate alternative to UGA, so UGA has its pick of the litter for players that want to stay in-state to play college football.

Florida is in shambles right now. Over the weekend a 5 star running back and other commit decommitted and decided to go to FSU. You think FSU fans are sad they got these great commits because Florida is in bad shape? Should they regret their rivals misfortune benefited them?

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It's The Truth January 2, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Let’s get real…..have you been to Clemson? There’s no way SCar, in a rundown industrial section of Columbia, can compete with the beauty of the upstate campus of Clemson (unless your idea of a great college experience is getting mugged at 5 points.) Many players choose to play at SCar because they can’t compete academically at Clemson and they know the only way they’ll get a degree is with SoS’s help.

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Jackie Chiles January 2, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Show me anything other than your own conjecture that shows Clemson’s academic standards are higher for football players than South Carolinas.

CL January 2, 2014 at 4:36 pm

While lacking anything as impressive as the Horseshoe, Clemson does have a lovely campus. it is a veritable oasis in the cow patty that is Pickens County, SC. Some prefer a more metropolitan and cosmopolitan lifestyle, though.

I suspect you know that your comments about academic differences for athletes are BS, but in case you did not let me introduce you to one CJ Spiller, Dean’s List honoree and Acadamic All-ACC performer. Yet when he took the Wonderlic at the Combine, he scored the lowest score you can receive and be considered literate.

Squishy123 January 2, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Plus most USC football players will get to go to classes, to their sports management, retailing, and motel management, in the basement of an abandoned basketball arena,,, there’s something to say about that.

Mike at the Beach January 2, 2014 at 10:20 pm

Please, friend. Even though I don’t get into it that often I like to watch all of the silly college ball trash talk on here once in a while, but you can’t really think there’s even a smidgen of difference between the “academic environment” faced by athletes at big D1 schools, do you? With the exception of the Ivy League outfits (sorta) and the three service academies, these guys (in ANY big program) can pretty much do as much or as little academically as they like. I watched it happen when I was at Carolina, and a good buddy of mine who played for Klempsun told me the same thing went on there, naturally. That’s just the way that is. Do your trash talking and all that, but don’t be silly about it. If you can’t admit that USC’s having a pretty good run at kicking CU’s ass of late, you’re delusional. The worm will turn one day, and we’ll be getting our asses kicked again. No biggie…

Clucksters January 2, 2014 at 8:02 pm

Are you gay?

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Will Folks aka Sic January 2, 2014 at 10:08 am

Again … reading comprehension. Explain your argument in the context of Alabama v. Auburn.

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Jackie Chiles January 2, 2014 at 10:19 am

The Auburn Alabama comparison was laughable at best. Alabama and Auburn are national brands that recruit nationally. They don’t have to get all the talent from their home state because they land 5 star players from around the country. South Carolina and Clemson are not national brands. SC must land the top instate talent to keep up with the likes of Alabama and Auburn.

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shifty henry January 2, 2014 at 10:39 am

These four teams are Shifty’s only football entertainment. But how do I choose on a head-to-head game?

Carolina over Clemson, Alabama, Auburn
Alabama over Auburn, Clemson
Auburn over Clemson
Clemson and Auburn over all other teams

Although Carolina and Alabama are my top favorites I believe in State Pride to root for your main rivals against carpetbaggers……

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TontoBubbaGoldstein January 2, 2014 at 9:26 am

TBG has honestly tried to pull for Sakerlina some over the years for these same reasons….but….. Just. Can’t. Do. It.

ironically, the closest TBG has ever come was when Sakerlina was playing the perpetually overrated Ohio State with their obnoxious, pompous, Yankee fan base (Half of which seem to be occupying Charleston and the Sea Islands).

Buck the Fuckeyes!!!!

*Oops*

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Nölff January 2, 2014 at 9:37 am

Right on. I hate those damn Ohio State flags popping up around here. If Ohio is so great, why are they here?

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shifty henry January 2, 2014 at 10:52 am

again —- CARPETBAGGERS !!

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ugly ass orange January 2, 2014 at 2:39 pm

CLUCK FLEMSUX!
Dumbass Dabo and the porcupine Queen graduate Haley!

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Weepy Sweeny January 2, 2014 at 9:31 am

You don’t have to worry about being conflicted over pulling for Clemson. The Buckeyes are going to kick their asses in another Orange Bowl rout.

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GrandTango January 2, 2014 at 10:35 am

Hope you, not FITS, are right.

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Smirks January 2, 2014 at 9:32 am

Beyond just wanting another SC team to do great, I really do not like Ohio State. The fact that they are Clemson’s opponent is reason enough to cheer for Clemson.

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GrandTango January 2, 2014 at 10:30 am

I’d pull for the Chicago Oba-mites if they were playing Clemson…

Clemson is a disgrace to quality college football. The ACC, other than FSU, should lose its D-1 status.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein January 2, 2014 at 10:03 pm

I’d pull for the Chicago Oba-mites if they were playing Clemson…

Of course you would. You are against everything natural, beautiful, and holy that Clemson represents. While you are fellating your demigod Obama, Clemson students are learning to feed the world and engineer civilization.
While you are wiping Kenyan splooge of all 5 of your chins, Clemson continues to represent all that is wholesome and pure about America.

Dumb@$$!!!

By the way, 9″ said that you might lose your D-1 status also….whatever that means…….

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CL January 2, 2014 at 9:59 am

If Clemson won it would also probably push USC into the top 5 in the final poll and that would be – no, I just cannot do it. Go Buckeyes!

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TontoBubbaGoldstein January 3, 2014 at 3:52 am

TBG totally understands….

Must be bipartisanship or sump’n……

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shifty henry January 2, 2014 at 10:10 am

Well, well, well — such interesting and intelligent comments. Shifty has rolled the Magik Round Dice and they have anointed Clemson the victor in this upcoming joust for the privilege of returning home with a train-load of oranges.

For Columbia’s most maniacal & rabid Ohio State fan (you know who you are) get ready to burn your new $89.99 Jersey! Shifty will eat your ex-girlfriend’s Victoria’s Secret lace panties – while she is wearing them! HAH..!!

For this game Shifty rolled the Magik Round Dice down between her gorgeous, perfumed and luscious breasts (do you remember them and still miss them, old buddy?) HAH..!!

Whoops !!

………. CLEMSON (53)
………. OHIO STATE (44)

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TontoBubbaGoldstein January 2, 2014 at 11:13 am

Clemson 45
Ohio State 24

Urban Meyer gets fired after running on the field and attacking Tajh Boyd after Boyd misses throwing an INT to a wide open OSU safety on a TD completion to Sammy Wadkins…..

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TontoBubbaGoldstein January 2, 2014 at 11:14 am

For Columbia’s most maniacal & rabid Ohio State fan (you know who you are) get ready to burn your new $89.99 Jersey! Shifty will eat your ex-girlfriend’s Victoria’s Secret lace panties – while she is wearing them! HAH..!!

For this game Shifty rolled the Magik Round Dice down between her gorgeous, perfumed and luscious breasts (do you remember them and still miss them, old buddy?) HAH..!!

*whistles softly*

DAY-UM.
You go, Boyee!

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shifty henry January 2, 2014 at 11:28 am

She squeezed her breasts together while each dice rolled downward, flew off like an Olympic ski jumper, and landed between her thighs. She’s truly a good sport!

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Slartibartfast January 5, 2014 at 2:05 am

Another South Carolina team beats the crap out of OSU.. Has OSU EVER beat Clemson or Carolina in the last 25 years? I’m VERY happy for the Tiger win for my Tiger friends!

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GrandTango January 2, 2014 at 10:26 am

LMAO: FITS tortured explanation as to why he’ll be sucking that Orange appendage is laughable…

You two-bit hack. You love Clemson like most of the Dumb@$$ Columbia-based media.
To use the strength of schedule for SC may work for the others who suck on the same knob you toke on…but I’ve seen years and years of amateur liars, like you, at the State newspaper…

It has not been that long ago that you were taking cheap jabs at Spurrier. You published a Tater-based launch against Garcia that has never been confirmed. You did finally figure out this year to pick SC in the bowl to keep from looking stupid again…

Cram it FITS. We know what, and who, you are…You’re a lot of USC J School soil-your-own nest liberals. Go wet your panties over Clemson…while I’ll be thinking of how stupid you look, if Ohio St. is any good..and beats your effeminate little Tajh and Dabo…

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shifty henry January 2, 2014 at 10:30 am

We thought that when you were committed they took your toys away….

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SenseLikeChaps January 3, 2014 at 1:51 pm

You know why Alabama and OSU are so disliked? It isn’t the teams, it isn’t the players, it isn’t the coaching staff and it isn’t how well they play. It is the fans. They have two of the most intolerable fan bases in college football.

Now ask yourself, what are you doing for your fan base? I’m pretty sure one of you cancels out 20 of the rest of us.

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Thomas January 2, 2014 at 1:44 pm

I am not going to point out how emotional based predictions are so…Democrat. I will say that Wisconsin scored 10 points against a strong and healthy OSU in the 4th qtr last September 28th while keeping OSU scoreless in the 4th qtr. We humiliated Wisconsin yesterday.

Urban Meyers is an effeminate fake and if Dabo does not punch out Meyers lights in the 4th qtr, he is more effeminate than Urban Meyers. We won our game. I loathe OSU fans and coaches more then Clemson fans and coaches. I will support the Clemson student-athletes but never will I support any Clemson coaching staff or their fans. So to the players at Clemson, leave it on the field and kick the stuffing out of OSU.

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semi January 2, 2014 at 3:32 pm

I remember a score in the recent glory years of the Coots that has not been relived by the Fitster since 2010 and that was the whippin’ Audubon put on you to the tune of 56-17 which is 39 points and you continue to extoll the virtues of the WVA victory over the Tiggers by 37 points. Seems that the good ole South Carolina education has its limits!

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Mike at the Beach January 2, 2014 at 10:09 pm

Did you read the article?

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TontoBubbaGoldstein January 3, 2014 at 3:50 am

Looks like he probably didn’t.

But it was something that needed to be said.

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Mike at the Beach January 3, 2014 at 2:43 pm

It didn’t *need* to be said… ;-)

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MashPotato January 2, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Bucks 42
Tigers 34

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