Ole Miss vs South Carolina isn’t always a prestigious SEC clash. But tonight’s Ole Miss vs South Carolina match is a big litmus test in the SEC. Ole Miss vs South Carolina is the first big test for a Mississippi team that is actually hoping for an SEC and national title. But a loss vs South Carolina could knock the Rebels down to pretender status once again, before their real tests start. Not only that, Ole Miss vs South Carolina is a statement game for Steve Spurrier as well.
Ole Miss goes to South Carolina ranked fourth in the polls, their highest ranking in decades. For the first time in recent memory, the Rebels are among the national title contenders, even if it is the end of September. But Ole Miss hasn’t proven that they are for real yet.
Ole Miss vs South Carolina is the first of many giant tests for Houston Nutt’s Rebels. The game comes over two weeks before a showdown with third ranked Alabama at Oxford, which could be for the SEC West title. However, that game will lose some of its luster if the Rebels slip up at South Carolina.
For the Gamecocks, they need a big year to answer growing questions about whether Steve Spurrier still has it. The Gamecocks are 2-1 thus far, and are running out of time to get to the next level under Spurrier. Beating a top 5 team at home would be a good first step towards that goal.
The Ole Miss vs South Carolina game could be a good place for an early upset this week. At least one top 5 team has lost in the each of the first three weeks this season, and Ole Miss is probably the most likely team to do it this weekend. Though they are ranked high, the Rebels are not a traditional power, and therefore have more to prove.
Four SEC teams are in the top 10 right now, with Ole Miss taking its place alongside Florida, Alabama and LSU. A win at South Carolina will exceed expectations that the Rebels could stay there for good, especially since they get Alabama and LSU at home this year.
Oklahoma State was a pretender with massive preseason hype, then they got knocked out of the top 5 by Houston. Traditional powers like Oklahoma and USC also got taken down in big upsets, though they just followed their now-traditional formulas. The Rebels hope to prove they are different, and can become national factors for the first time in almost 45 years.
ESPN carries this Thursday night showdown, as Ole Miss vs South Carolina is slated for a 7:30 kickoff.
Yahoo Sports- “Time for Ole Miss, S.C. to put up or shut up” ca.sports.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news
ESPN- “Three reasons: Ole Miss at South Carolina” espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/8108/three-reasons-ole-miss-at-south-carolina