Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bracket talk

Think the polls don't matter? They certainly play a role when it comes to playoff consideration.

Each week, The Sports Network puts together its projection of the 2010 playoff bracket on its website. This week, it has the fourth-ranked Gamecocks as the No. 4 seed, drawing a first-round bye and a second-round home game against the New Hampshire-Central Connecticut winner. It’s the only projected bid for the OVC.

Last week, it had them with a first-round bye and second-round home game against Eastern Washington. It also had Eastern Illinois in the field.

The Gamecocks are ranked fourth in both major FCS polls this week. The players, at least in front of the media, are unfazed by it.

“We could be No. 1 this week and out of the Top 25 the next week,” fullback Alphonso Freeney said. “Our point is we know at the end of the season if we win all our games we’re going to be No. 1 and can’t anybody take that from us.”

JSU coach Jack Crowe realizes there is some merit to poll position.

“We had a playoff team they didn’t let in one time because we weren’t rated high enough, so we felt the other side of it – and we were good enough to be in the top 16 teams in the country,” he said, referring to 2008 when the Gamecocks were snubbed for the final spot in the then-16-team field. “So, there’s some personal satisfaction to me we get some credit, but finality is what we’re looking for.”

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