Bobby Cremins honored as Naismith Outstanding Contributor to men's college basketball (copy)

Bobby Cremins, former head coach at College of Charleston and Georgia Tech, was a South Carolina basketball player during Frank Maguire's glory years and had some memorable clashes with North Carolina. He knows football, too. File/Staff

The first pick for Guest VIP Picker for The Post and Courier’s 2019 edition of Pigskin Picks was an easy call.

With South Carolina facing North Carolina in the biggest Saturday game for a Palmetto State team, a guest picker with experience at the highest level of competition in this rivalry is imperative.

The esteemed Bobby Cremins was in the thick of it as a South Carolina basketball player during Frank Maguire’s glory years. The Gamecocks were tussling at the top of the ACC with the Tar Heels and Dean Smith, who would become legendary.

Favorite North Carolina memory: A senior-year victory in Chapel Hill, 79-62.

Cremins, a big football fan, is up for the Pigskin Picks challenge.

“You don’t have to tell me about Virginia Tech and Boston College,” he said this week. “I know those teams.”

Pigskin Picks rules for 2019: Winners must outpick both me and the Guest VIP Picker. So if I go 7-3 this week and Cremins goes 7-3, a winner must go 8-2 or better.

And just to let you know, I have been practicing the last three weeks, trying to pick NFL preseason game winners.

College Football Week 1, finally here:

11.10.18.keir.thomas.d.j.wonnum.1.JPG (copy)

South Carolina's Keir Thomas (5), D.J. Wonnum (8) are part of the South Carolina Gamecocks' formidable defensive line. Travis Bell/SIDELINE CAROLINA

South Carolina vs. North Carolina

Keep an eye on running back Javonte Williams, North Carolina’s most dynamic player and running behind the Tar Heels’ best position unit. But the Gamecocks have Javon Kinlaw, D.J. Wonnum, Zacch Pickens, Aaron Sterling and other talented guys on the defensive line.

Bobby Cremins pick: South Carolina

Gene Sapakoff pick: South Carolina

Towson at The Citadel

Since leading Towson to a 44-27 victory over The Citadel last year, Tigers quarterback Tom Flacco took a swing at college baseball. He hit .221 in 140 at-bats last spring. NFL quarterback Joe Flacco’s youngest brother ran for 185 yards and threw for 253 with four total touchdowns against the Bulldogs.

Bobby Cremins pick: The Citadel

Gene Sapakoff pick: Towson

CSU at Furman

Tough debut for new Charleston Southern head coach Autry Denson on the road against one of the best FCS programs in the country.

Bobby Cremins pick: Furman

Gene Sapakoff pick: Furman

Wofford at S.C. State

Buddy Pough wants consistency from S.C. State quarterback Tyrece Nick. Wofford is good enough to run the table vs. FCS competition this season.

Bobby Cremins pick: Wofford

Gene Sapakoff pick: Wofford

Virginia at Pittsburgh

Coincidentally, both of these teams played against a Palmetto State team in Charlotte last December. Pitt lost to Clemson in the ACC Championship Game, 42-10; Virginia beat South Carolina in the Belk Bowl, 28-0.

Bobby Cremins pick: Virginia

Gene Sapakoff pick: Virginia

Virginia Tech at Boston College

Boston College Clemson Football (copy) (copy)

Boston College running back AJ Dillon gets past Clemson's Clelin Ferrell during a Tigers win at Death Valley. File/AP

If the Hokies want to make noise in the ACC Coastal Division, this is a grand opportunity. BC running back AJ Dillon is the ACC’s best back not named Travis Etienne.

Bobby Cremins pick: Boston College

Gene Sapakoff pick: Virginia Tech

Georgia State at Tennessee

Former South Carolina interim head coach Shawn Elliott will make strides after a 2-10 season. But no SEC program has a collective shoulder chip like quarterback Jarrett Guarantano and friends in Knoxville.

Bobby Cremins pick: Tennessee

Gene Sapakoff pick: Tennessee

East Carolina at N.C. State

Mike Houston at James Madison (copy)

East Carolina head coach Mike Houston (in hat) was head coach at The Citadel before leading James Madison (above) to an FCS national championship. Provided/JMU Athletics

The ECU debut of former Citadel head coach Mike Houston, who won an FCS national title at James Madison. The Pirates will get some upset wins soon enough.

Bobby Cremins pick: N.C. State

Gene Sapakoff pick: N.C. State

Oregon vs. Auburn

The Ducks have NFL-bound quarterback Justin Herbert and maybe the country's best offensive line. Auburn has SEC talent and the Pac-12’s recent inability to win big non-conference games.

Bobby Cremins pick: Auburn

Gene Sapakoff pick: Oregon

Boise State vs. Florida State

A new Seminole wind is blowing out of Tallahassee after the dreadful 5-7 season of 2018. Quarterback James Blackman and Co. need something convincing here against the best of the Mountain West.

Bobby Cremins pick: Boise State

Gene Sapakoff pick: Florida State

Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff