COMMERCE, Okla. -- Yes, this is the hometown of famed slugger Mickey Mantle, and what better place to talk about the South Carolina football team smacking a home run.
The road to the BCS championship game starts just across the Arkansas border in Fayetteville.
I posed the questions to Jerry Palm, sports computer expert and inventor of collegerpi.com: What if South Carolina, No. 9 in the BCS rankings, wins out (defeating BCS No. 7 Arkansas tonight, BCS No. 11 Clemson and winning the SEC title game along the way) with No. 3 Oklahoma State and No. 4 Stanford losing a game?
Would South Carolina reach at least No. 2 in the BCS standings?
"I honestly hadn't thought much about them with (Marcus) Lattimore out," Palm said. "But, yes, a one-loss SEC champion has a chance if there is room for a one-loss team in the game. I would not be so quick to assume they'd jump Boise State, but they might."
So, dream big Gamecock fans, and aim for the kind of perfection it took last week to down the Warren Peper-Gene Sapakoff tag team, 9-1.
South Carolina at Arkansas
It gets tougher for Connor Shaw and Brandon Wilds. The Razorbacks also are still in the SEC championship mix, they think.
Peper pick: South Carolina, 24-19
Sapakoff pick: Arkansas, 20-17
The Citadel at Ga. Southern
Georgia Southern better not be looking ahead to Wofford on beautiful Eagle Creek in Statesboro.
Peper pick: Ga. Southern, 28-10
Sapakoff pick: Ga. Southern, 31-14
Stony Brook at CSU
Three Big South losses by seven points or less for the winless Bucs.
Peper pick: CSU, 14-10
Sapakoff pick: Stony Brook, 24-14
LSU at Alabama
Ho-hum, this might simply serve as the first game of a twinbill with The Real Deal rematch taking place in New Orleans.
Peper pick: LSU, 21-19
Sapakoff pick: Alabama, 21-20
Notre Dame at Wake Forest
Weird way for Wake to warm up for Clemson.
Peper pick: Notre Dame, 28-18
Sapakoff pick: Notre Dame, 27-21
North Carolina at N.C. State
Tar Heels are better than a 2-3 ACC record indicates, and look for a fast finish.
Peper pick: North Carolina, 30-17
Sapakoff pick: N. Carolina, 42-17
Virginia at Maryland
Clash of the perplexing. Virginia has a loss to N.C. State between wins over Georgia Tech and Miami.
Peper pick: Virginia, 27-21
Sapakoff pick: Maryland, 24-23
Vanderbilt at Florida
John Brantley is back and the Gators are very fast but that Vandy defense gets it done.
Peper pick: Florida, 30-20
Sapakoff pick: Florida, 21-17
Kansas State at Oklahoma State
Oklahoma exposed K-State. Mildcats?
Peper pick: Oklahoma St., 31-24
Sapakoff pick: Oklahoma St., 38-20
Stanford at Oregon St.
Andrew Luck's Heisman Trophy to lose, or polish.
Peper pick: Stanford, 38-30
Sapakoff pick: Stanford, 35-14
Last week: Peper 9-1, Sapakoff 9-1
Season: Sapakoff 65-25, Peper 64-26
Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter at @sapakoff.
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