AUGUSTA, Ga. — We are gathered here at the 20th annual Border Bash, where cheerleaders and mascots celebrate the South Carolina-Georgia football rivalry with fans and country bands at Augusta Common.
Old-school braggin’ rights: The Peach State has a lopsided football series edge against both the Gamecocks and Clemson.
New-school: Clemson beat the Bulldogs last week and South Carolina is about to extend its Georgia winning streak to four.
Moreover, we grow more peaches than The Peach State.
Take it from “Mister Peach.” Dr. Desmond R. Layne, a professor at Washington State University, was so dubbed at a Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference in Savannah. This guy has peach credibility on both sides of the Savannah River: At Clemson, he founded the “Everything About Peaches” website.
“As of Sept. 2, according to the Southeastern Peach Report, South Carolina had shipped 2,268 truckloads of peaches to 1,178 trucks for Georgia,” Layne said by phone. “That is about double.”
Just as the Palmetto State is about to double up in football wins.
And while California leads the U.S. in peach production, Layne says Georgia is unlikely to catch up with the peachier South Carolina.
Plus, the Gamecocks have Clowney.
Pigskin Picks partner Warren Peper likes Georgia, Wofford and Michigan more than I do this week.
South Carolina at Georgia
Over/under on sacks for Clowney: 2.0. But look to the other side of the line, where South Carolina’s offensive line can assert control.
Sapakoff pick: USC, 28-27
Peper pick: Georgia, 30-24
S.C. State at Clemson
The first pre-game sellout for Clemson against an FCS team. Those on hand should get to see three or four Tigers quarterbacks.
Sapakoff pick: Clemson, 49-7
Peper pick: Clemson, 40-14
Wofford at The Citadel
If the Bulldogs were looking ahead to this Southern Conference opener while Charleston Southern was pulling the shocker last week, it’s time to prove it.
Sapakoff pick: The Citadel, 22-21
Peper pick: Wofford, 24-17
Shorter at CSU
What an opening weekend for Charleston Southern. The Bucs upset The Citadel, and former CSU cornerback Charles James made the New York Giants practice squad. CSU barely beat Shorter (23-20) last year in Rome, Ga.
Sapakoff pick: CSU, 31-14
Peper pick: CSU, 24-19
Furman at Coastal Carolina
Furman is coming off a 28-21 loss to Gardner-Webb. The Chanticleers might be the best FCS team in the state.
Sapakoff pick: Coastal, 28-17
Peper pick: Coastal, 24-17
West Virginia at Oklahoma
Sooners won last year, 50-49. But Geno Smith is gone to the NFL, and West Virginia might finish seventh or eighth in the (10-team) Big 12.
Sapakoff pick: Oklahoma, 41-21
Peper pick: Oklahoma, 34-14
Florida at Miami
First meeting since 2008. Loser drops to No. 3 in the state.
Sapakoff pick: Florida, 20-17
Peper pick: Florida, 27-24
Notre Dame at Michigan
Surely, this can’t be Notre Dame’s last visit to the Large Domicile. Surely, we can arrange something by 2033.
Sapakoff pick: Notre Dame, 27-24
Peper pick: Michigan, 30-27
Oregon at Virginia
The Ducks’ new play-caller is former Nebraska quarterback and NFL defensive back Scott Frost, a rising star offensive coordinator.
Sapakoff pick: Oregon, 38-17
Peper pick: Oregon, 44-14
Texas at BYU
The Cougars stumbled at Virginia last week. Texas quarterback David Ash is a bit underrated.
Sapakoff pick: Texas, 31-17
Peper pick: Texas, 37-27
Last week: Warren Peper 8-2, Gene Sapakoff 7-3