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July 17, 2012
HOOVER, Ala. - Although it might not have necessarily been an intentional dig at an old rival, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier drew a round of laughter when asked about the schedule as how it sets up for his Gamecocks this fall.
"You think I make the schedule?" Spurrier quipped. "If I made the schedule, Georgia would be playing LSU and we'd be playing Ole Miss."
Despite South Carolina beating Georgia last fall, the Bulldogs won the SEC East after Auburn upended the Gamecocks in Columbia, and during the recent SEC meetings the Gamecock coach created some waves when he suggested that division standings should only count games against division foes.
That suggestion gained little support.
Meanwhile, Gamecock players, scoffed at the notion that playing Georgia later in the year will make much difference either way in regards to the outcome of the game.
This year, South Carolina and Georgia meet on Oct. 6 as opposed to the first conference game of the season, which has been the case in previous campaigns.
"It doesn't make any difference at all. I know a lot of people say stuff about us playing them in our first game, but it doesn't matter," Gamecock free safety D.J. Swearinger said. "Whoever is next on our schedule, we're going to be ready."
Wide receiver Ace Sanders agreed.
"I really don't think it will be too much different," Sanders said. "Whether we play them early or play them late, it was still our second game of the season. We just have to prepare for it as we come."
TAMU will keep recruiting close to home
Just because Texas A&M has moved to the SEC, don't look for the Aggies to change their philosophy when it comes to recruiting.
After all, Texas boasts one of the more fertile recruiting grounds in the country, and Aggie coach Kevin Sumlin said because of that, there's no need for his program to alter course.
"I would say there is no doubt that we really emphasize the state of Texas in recruiting," Sumlin said during his session Tuesday at SEC Media Days. "The numbers show that now, but there's no doubt about it, that being in the SEC has increased our footprint nationwide."
Sumlin pointed to neighboring states Louisiana and Mississippi as two states he hopes to make inroads into moving forward.
The Aggies currently boast 24 verbal commitments thus far, 21 from Texas (the others are from Louisiana).
"You look at recruiting over the last 5-6 months, we've probably gotten a few more visits or returned phone calls, or campus visits from guys who may not have looked at us, if we weren't in the SEC," Sumlin said. "But how much of a boost will it give us? It's hard to say."
Spurrier high on Taylor, Clowney
Despite losing first-round draft pick Melvin Ingram off his defensive line, Spurrier still believes his Gamecocks will have one of - if not the - better defensive lines in the SEC.
"We think together those could be two of the best ends in the conference," Spurrier said.
"Inside, we lost Travian Robertson, and actually Melvin played inside quite a bit and some other positions. We think we've got some good defensive tackles. We have all senior linebackers. I think all of them are fifth-year guys. We've got a lot of experience right there at the linebacker position."
They said it
? Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel on why he wore cowboy boots to media days - "I don't own any dress shoes. I thought these were pretty formal."
? "I'll get in a lot of trouble for answering that. Why don't you email the city restaurant council?" - Missouri coach Gary Pinkel when asked by a reporter where he should eat in Columbia, Mo.
? "Everybody wears a tie or a sundress to games. Look at me. I wore a Dri-fit polo to Big 12 media day last year." - Missouri wide receiver T.J. Moe on the difference in Big 12 and SEC Media Days.
? "If LeBron James lost about 40 pounds, that's what he'd look like."- Moe on freshman wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham.
? In the SEC the girls are prettier, the air is fresher and I'm pretty sure the toilet paper is thicker." - Moe.
This and that
Spurrier said that running back Marcus Lattimore will be 100 percent and ready to start fall camp after missing most of last year with a torn ACL. ? Media Days continues Wednesday with Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Florida and Kentucky. Georgia, Alabama, Ole Miss and Tennessee wrap up the three-day event on Thursday.