Sprints Is Still Giddy, But Does Have Non-Gamecock News As Well // 07.01.10

Still hasn't gotten old yet.

SOUTH CAROLINA WINS SOMETHING (FINALLY)

Mostly positive reactions to the Gamecocks' victory
And those are the ones we're going to largely focus on here, because haters gonna hate. Among the reactions: graciousness generally from the Mayor.

I congratulate the Palmetto State Poultry on their achievement, which caps off a successful regular season, a comeback in Rosenblatt Stadium to overcome in-state rival Clemson, and a stellar pitching performance in the two games of the final series.

Gracious introspection from Groo:

Any observer of SEC baseball knows that this was no fluke – South Carolina has been a solid program for many years now and are often a legitimate contender in the SEC under one of the conference’s top coaches, Ray Tanner. That they’d go on a little tear and win it all at Omaha is not surprising, and it has to make it all the more enjoyable that they got to eliminate Clemson along the way.

There were similarly nice sentiments in posts from Ole Miss, LSU and Kentucky fans, among others.

Then again, this appears to have been the reaction of Shakin the Southland, a Clemson blog, in a post that maybe just happened to be published the day after their rivals won the College World Series: The coach should leave.

The problem is that he's not going to get us to a national championship, and that is what we play baseball for. Since its readily apparent that Jack Leggett is not going to win the key games in Omaha, I think he should resign. ...

17 years of successful baseball and 6 CWS appearances mean absolutely nothing to us if you can't get into the national championship series by defeating the Gamecocks. It is unacceptable.

I don't know. Sounds perfectly acceptable to me.

Questioning 'S! E! C!'
The CWS win marks yet another feather in the cap of the SEC when it comes to winning several championships in the major sports. But lest anyone think that this is another example of irrational SEC fans -- it's not going to last forever.

South Carolina's national title in baseball Tuesday gives the SEC exactly half of the national championships over the past five years in the four major sports -- football, baseball, men's basketball and women's basketball. ...

Is the SEC the best collective conference in these four sports? Over the past five years, the answer is resoundingly yes. But there needs to be a qualifier. History tells us conferences dominate in cycles.

Besides, there are some people beginning to question or even eschew the "all for one and one for all" approach. Veazey:

I mean, those of you last night who pulled for South Carolina, would you root for Ole Miss in the same scenario? Of course you wouldn’t. But, say, Alabama? And, is it sport-specific?

I've always thought you should get a waiver; I have a hard time cheering for Georgia, though I'm getting better about it. (I thoroughly enjoyed the absolute waxing of Hawaii in the 2008 Sugar Bowl.) And I understand that some Tennessee fans might have trouble cheering for an Alabama win in a national title game.

But even for some, that's not enough.

This notion that when the SEC wins that Auburn wins is preposterous. South Carolina won the College World Series. Good for them. Does it make the Auburn baseball season any more or less special? No. It has no bearing. You know what’s best for Auburn? Auburn winning. ... Where was the SEC in 2004 when Auburn was pushed out the BCS title game? No where that I could see.

The 2004 Auburn team is actually a perfect example of how the SEC winning is good for all of its teams. It's almost impossible to think that the same Auburn team would not get into the BCS title game this year, although the pundits were already being creative in their reasoning for choosing Oklahoma instead of Auburn. ("They only won narrowly against Alabama." "What about Oklahoma's similar victory against Oklahoma State?" "Well, that's a rivalry game." Wha?)

It is an interesting question, and obviously the whole idea of this Web site is that there should be at least some common pride among conference members. But to each his own.

The point that I do think is undeniable is that for college sports, where every championship field is decided by people's opinions (yes, playoff supporters, that includes basketball and baseball; otherwise, what exactly do you think a selection committee does?), the relative strength of a league is always going to be a factor. So cheer for whomever you want. But if it makes it easier for my favorite team to get in a field, host a regional or get a better bowl bid, I'm for an SEC victory.

Four Gamecocks are All-College World Series
Which isn't that suprising given that they, after all, won. Also not surprising: Those who made the team.

Tournament MVP Jackie Bradley led the USC contingent as an outfielder. Bradley batted .345 with two home runs and led the College World Series with nine RBIs.

Other USC players on the team were first baseman Christian Walker (.414, two home runs), outfielder Evan Marzilli (.370) and designated hitter Brady Thomas (.381).

Bradley was caught slightly off-guard Tuesday night when he was told he was the MVP, referencing his hitless game Tuesday. The rest of the tournament, though, would not have been possible without him.

This might not turn out all that well
I understand this is a tradition that's been done before for a Clemson national title (sponsored by the wealthiest boosters in the Upstate). But, adding a flag to the South Carolina State House -- how should we put this? -- hasn't always been the best idea.

The Ping-metto State?
The Gamecocks aren't the only good baseball team in South Carolina, College of Charleston coach Monte Lee points out.

In the last 10 years, South Carolina has been in the Super Regional or the World Series eight times. Clemson has been to Omaha, I think, four times in that period as well. We had five teams in the postseason this year. That's pretty dang strong.

In fact, South Carolina hosted an intrastate super regional between the Gamecocks and Coastal Carolina.

OTHER NEWS

Chad Jones transferred to New York hospital
It's being called "the next logical step in his care and recovery," so that sounds like a good sign.

How about either of them do something Heisman-worthy first?
Swamp Things responds to the idea of a Christian Ponder Heisman campaign by suggesting a push for John Brantley to claim the award. Ooh -- or we could wait for the season and see who earns it. I know, radical idea.

Jeremiah Masoli is (probably not) thinking about the SEC
Louisiana TV station: Look who might join Mississippi State as its next quarterback.

According to KNOE-TV in Monroe, former Oregon Ducks QB, Jeremiah Masoli visited the campus this past weekend and is also looking at Mississippi State.

Oregon newspaper: Not so much.

The same report indicated he was also considering Mississippi State, but The Oregonian has learned that the former Heisman Trophy candidate has not visited Starkville, Miss., to date and is not expected to.

Personally, I'm hearing that LeBron James is not just considering the Miami Heat, but Florida as well.

MEYER GOING TO CHANGE HIS MIND IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS AGAIN IT'S OVER
ESPN is alarmed that Urban Meyer hasn't signed his contract yet and finds this SHOCKING detail.

Documents received from public records requests by ESPN.com, and other published reports show that Meyer's indefinite leave of absence amounted to little more than a couple of weeks' vacation -- a trip to Rome and another to Hawaii, which was interrupted by a tsunami scare. There was a weekend getaway to the Masters. And a visit with Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, who took leave of his own team earlier in his career to deal with exhaustion and a bad back.

Well, yeah. You expected something different? Even if so, this is kind of old news.

Skip Bertman worried about LSU cuts
Not for the athletics department. For the academic side of the university. (Is the Knight Commission listening? I know, unlikely.)

Like other state schools, LSU is facing budget cuts, layoffs and furloughs for its employees that threaten to cut programs and encourage younger talent to shop for better options, prospects that "sadden me," he said.

"I’m not knocking anybody for cutting the budget," Bertman said, "I’m just saying it’s a heck of a world to come so far and having to cut back some of the actual departments and some of the actual work."

I have some very strong opinions on this that are best not to mention because of the no-politics rule. But I would simply point out that there are no taxpayer dollars supporting the LSU athletics department and the department is actually helping the academic side some. In the name of academics, the Knight Commission will obviously insist that this be stopped; it's giving the athletics department far too much influence.

Cold-weather SEC Championship Game: Yes. Smaller stadium: No
The Mayor's take on one proposal for a replacement for the Georgia Dome that hosts the SEC Championship Game and the Falcons -- about whom I do care.

The number of fans who could attend the contest on the first weekend in December would only barely exceed the crowd of 62,657 who set the record attendance at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium last October. With all due respect to the Rebel faithful, the record attendance at an Ole Miss game shouldn’t be bumping up against the maximum attendance allowed at an SEC title tilt.

This is the problem with holding the SEC game in pro football stadiums, which tend to be smaller. I'd be for building a stadium -- in Atlanta or elsewhere -- big enough to truly showcase the game. Odds of that happening: Zero. It would be far too expensive and the willingness of the public to finance stadiums has all but disappeared. The stadium would have to host more than that game, and there aren't many events that need 90,000 to 100,000 seats.

Mississippi State looking at 75,000 seats
Davis-Wade Stadium will seat 20,000 more disappointed fans.

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