SAPAKOFF COLUMN: Pigskin Picks, Week 3: Great start for the No. 8 Gamecocks, but not for South Carolina fans
The eighth-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks go into tonight's home game against Alabama-Birmingham with a 2-0 record. Williams-Brice Stadium spectators lag behind at 0-1.
Gamecocks fans were called out by head coach Steve Spurrier for bolting in droves less than three-fourths through last week's 48-10 rout of East Carolina.
“The party in the parking lot can wait, can't it?” he said.
Trying to explain the early exit strategy:
Soft. Clearly, some fans just didn't put in the preseason work. They were not in condition for a full game.
Spoiled. Ho-hum, a top 10 ranking after an 11-win season.
Storms. Forecast called for rain, and the deluge arrived two hours after the game.
Smart. Gamecocks fans can tell the difference between ECU and the SEC.
Steamy. It was 90 degrees and sunny. Of course, that doesn't seem to matter at NFL or weekend Major League Baseball games. Or when fishing, or golfing, or partying in the parking lot.
Meanwhile, we here at Pigskin Picks headquarters, the air-conditioned comfort of Good Wood Furniture, take to Week 3:
Furman at Clemson
One of the biggest roars last week against Ball State came when Daniel Rodriguez caught a pass. The military hero might get another one today.
Peper pick: Clemson, 50-10
Sapakoff pick: Clemson, 42-17
UAB at South Carolina
Guessing that South Carolina fans will arrive early and stay late next week when Missouri comes to town for the 3:30 p.m. game on WCSC-TV.
Peper pick: USC, 49-12
Sapakoff pick: USC, 42-3
The Citadel at App State
Head coach Kevin Higgins doesn't want Citadel players (and fans) to get too excited. Sorry, coach, this 2-0 start is a thrill.
Peper pick: App State, 27-20
Sapakoff pick: The Citadel, 24-23
CSU at Illinois
FIG — Facility Improvement Game — for the Bucs. The win opportunity comes next week with a shorter trip. To Shorter University in Rome, Ga.
Peper pick: Illinois, 42-10
Sapakoff pick: Illinois, 49-7
S.C. State at Arizona
Bad timing for the Bulldogs. Spread offense guru Rich Rodriguez, once a Clemson offensive coordinator, is off to a hot start in the desert.
Peper pick: Arizona, 55-10
Sapakoff pick: Arizona, 56-7
Florida at Tennessee
Strange but true: Volunteers vault into first place in the SEC East, with a dangerous passing attack.
Peper pick: Florida, 24-20
Sapakoff pick: Tennessee, 21-17
Alabama at Arkansas
The wheels are about to come off in Fayetteville. Good news for Gamecocks fans on Nov. 10.
Peper pick: Alabama, 24-19
Sapakoff pick: Alabama, 35-10
UNC at Louisville
The Tar Heels don't have to win but better show improvement after the loss to Wake.
Peper pick: Louisville, 27-21
Sapakoff: Louisville, 24-21
Navy at Penn State
Nothing is going to come easy for Nittany Lions this year.
Peper pick: Penn State, 27-14
Sapakoff pick: Penn State, 21-20
Notre Dame at Michigan State
No, it doesn't count as an ACC game.
Peper pick: Notre Dame, 24-22
Sapakoff pick: Michigan State, 24-17
Last week: Sapakoff 7-3, Peper 4-6
Season: Sapakoff 15-5, Peper 11-9.
Reach Gene Sapakoff at
937-5593 or on Twitter