Monday, October 22, 2018

Gamecocks and Tigers Looking for Respect and a Way to Make the Rivalry Bigger

If you are a college basketball fan, today is a big day. The AP released their preseason poll and Ken Pomeroy posted his first set of rankings for the season.

Clemson is ranked 22nd in the AP Poll but is 14th in the first KenPom ratings. The KenPom numbers are great because they have no bias while we all know the AP Poll does.

The Gamecocks do not appear anywhere in the AP Poll and are listed 42nd in the KenPom rankings. The Gamecocks have the 6th highest ranking in the KenPom yet were picked to finish 11th in the SEC by the media. Once again, one of those has bias and one does not.

Clemson doesn't have a great out of conference schedule. Of course with their brutal conference schedule they don't need one. Clemson opens their season against The Citadel on November 6th.

Clemson will host 18th ranked Mississippi State, Nebraska and go on the road to face South Carolina before opening up conference play on the road against Duke on January 5th.

The Gamecocks, trying to fight national perception that the SEC is a weak college basketball league, has put together a really tough out of conference schedule.

The Gamecocks will open with SC Upstate on November 6th, host Providence, travel to Wyoming and then face three straight ranked teams when they travel to Michigan (19th ranked), host Virginia (5th ranked) and then host Clemson (22nd ranked).

The Gamecocks will open their conference season on the road against an unranked Florida team.

Clemson and South Carolina will renew their rivalry on Saturday, December 22nd at Colonial Life Arena. Is their a worse time to schedule this rivalry game?

I really wish both schools would figure out a way to schedule this game when students are on campus and when there can be more of a spotlight on the game. Why not schedule it on the Saturday night of the Clemson/SC baseball series? What a fun doubleheader that would be and the basketball game takes on huge importance as teams are trying to build their resumes for a possible spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Back to the actual game this year, the KenPom ratings have Clemson six points better than the Gamecocks on a neutral floor. It should be a great game. It's just too bad it is not a great date.

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