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The Importance of Beating the Gamecocks

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This game is huge.

Because football season is so short, it is so easy to overreact to every game.  With each win, it feels like a team is never going to lose again, and with every loss, well, it feels like this week.  The truth usually lies somewhere in between. 

But it is hard to understate how important the USC game.  The fact is, almost halfway through the season, we have no idea how good of a team LSU really is.  Was the Florida game an aberration or is LSU really that bad?  Can the defense stop anyone?  Can the offense work against a team that actually plays defense? 

We find out this weekend.  South Carolina is a good team.  They aren't awesome, but they don't stink.  They have a really good defense, maybe even the best we'll face all season, and the offense may or may not have turned the corner. 

If LSU wins, we're an SEC title contender.  If LSU loses, we probably have to make New Year's Day plans at home.  Look at the remaining scehdule:

Georgia
Tulane
Alabama
Troy
Ole Miss
@ Arkansas

Tulane, Troy, and Arkansas should all be wins.  Ole Miss is a toss up.  Georgia and Bama are obviously the two toughest games, but we get both at home.  It's not that LSU can;t rally from a USC loss, it's just that this game will finally tell us the quality of LSU.  A loss pretty much tells us we have almost no chance to beat UGa or Bama.  A win tells us we have a shot in those games, especially since they are at home. 

I really think this game is the difference between 8-4 (or 7-5) and 10-2. I'm beyond nervous about it.  This weekend we find out if the real LSU team stands up.