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SEC 2009 // Hope and Homerism

Usually, I see my South Carolina allegiance as something of an advantage in writing the content for this site. With the Gamecocks so rarely in contention for anything of note in football, I can look with a somewhat objective eye at the major conference powers. Sure, some are more disliked by those of us clad in Garnet and Black (coughcoughGeorgiacoughcough), but it's not like we have any real affinity for Alabama or (if they return to prominence) Tennessee.

This week, though, is different. And more than a little bit difficult

See, if there's one thing we South Carolina fans have, it's an undying fountain of hope. And sometimes life strings us along, handing us a 6-1 season and a No. 6 ranking, only to dash all those dreams again. But we keep coming back for more.

In many ways, it's not that different than any other fan base. In other ways, it is. The payoffs don't come quite as often when you cheer for a team like South Carolina -- but, oh, the celebration we're going to have if that payoff ever comes -- that'll be worth it all.

That's not ideal, though, when it comes to making predictions on one of the oddest blogs on SB Nation. We have no team allegiance here -- this is not supposed to be a South Carolina blog, but one for the whole SEC. So what do I do with my tradition of never choosing Clemson (or "The Team from the Upstate" as I call them on Garnet and Black Attack) to win the year-end clash? This year, it's not too tough a decision, since a "possible win" for South Carolina isn't a wild call. But what about other judgments, like where to put them in the division or how many wins to project?

My hope, of course, is that I can deliver the preview of the Gamecocks with as little bias as possible. My other hope is that you will keep me honest. If you see some favoritism slip in tomorrow -- or ever -- let me know.

I might not agree with you, of course. Hope springs eternal for a Gamecock fan in July.

MONDAY: South Carolina Leans on Hope, Again
TUESDAY: The Carolina Calendar
EARLIER TODAY: Spurrier Meets with Two Students; The Depth Chart
THURSDAY: Predictions
FRIDAY: Feedback and Conclusions