From marquee to mismatched? 

November, 15, 2013

I will be heading to Columbia, S.C., this Saturday to get a look at Florida against South Carolina. This will be my first live look at the Gators this season and my fourth time seeing the Gamecocks.

Entering the season, this mid-November game looked to have heavy implications for both teams regarding the SEC East race. However, only the Gamecocks still have a chance at punching their ticket to Atlanta. South Carolina holds a 5-2 conference record and remains a half-game behind Missouri. South Carolina holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Tigers, who still have a trip to Ole Miss and a home matchup with Texas A&M remaining on their conference schedule.

As for Florida, a series of injuries has derailed its season. The Gators limp into Saturday’s contest losers of four consecutive games, and at 4-5 are fighting to extend their streak of 22 straight seasons with a bowl game. Defensive tackle Dominique Easley, who suffered a season-ending knee injury after the third week, was one of the most devastating losses. Easley was the anchor of the defense and it would be hard to argue that there was another 2014 draft prospect who was off to a faster start to the season.