Something about the look of Will Muschamp is different these days.
He seems to be smiling more. He’s seemed more charismatic on the sideline as he roots his team on. His tirades seem to have been limited.
He seems to be having a lot of fun.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but he kind of looks a bit like Dabo Swinney.
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Part of that could be the result of a 2-0 start. But what if it’s something bigger and more systematic?
Perhaps the folks in Columbia have taken notice of how Swinney has taken a rival Clemson program to top of the college football food chain and kept it there.
Could the garnet and black be attempting to follow the model? If so, you can’t blame them.
The Tigers have been to two straight national championship games against mighty Alabama, and secured the title earlier this year, their first since 1981, by beating the Crimson Tide.
The man at the center of it all is the ever-charismatic Swinney. The guy seems to always have a smile on his face, he seems to always be thankful of something or someone and is quite the motivator.
Who wouldn’t want to play for a guy like that?
Now, when you look at Muschamp you can see some similar characteristics.
On social media there were several mentions and shares of the passionate victory speech he gave following the Gamecocks’ win over Missouri on Saturday.
He indeed proved a motivating force in that video and his players seemed to be hanging on his every word. They seem to be excited as well.
And why not? USC is 2-0 after beating what is expected to be a solid N.C. State team and followed that with an SEC road win over Missouri.
Not a bad start.
As the Gamecocks head home for another SEC contest in which they host Kentucky at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, they must not let their guard down.
There are already whispers out there that USC could well be the best team in the SEC East this season, and that’s fair to ponder.
But it’s been two games.
What has allowed Clemson to prosper in recent years is the ability to focus each and every week and understand the importance of every individual game, whomever the opponent.
That’s the mindset the Gamecocks must have to keep this momentum going.
However much it pains them, they must look at Clemson as the example to follow.
It works. It’s proven.
Ironically, both being successful helps each other anyway. The head-to-head regular-season finale then has much more meaning and weight with it.
So keep smiling, Muschamp.
You can never underestimate the power of positivity.
Just ask Dabo.
The Coastal Carolina football team returns to action Saturday with a noon road game at UAB (NBC). … The CCU women’s soccer team hosts Georgia Southern at 6 p.m. Friday and Texas State at 1 p.m. Sunday. … The Coastal volleyball team plays at Duke at 7 p.m. Friday, followed by a match at North Carolina at 7 p.m. Saturday. … The Coastal Carolina cross country teams compete in the Appalachian State Invitational beginning at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. … The CCU men’s and women’s tennis teams host the CCU Battle at the Beach from Friday through Sunday. … High school football continues this week with the following matchups: Myrtle Beach at Carolina Forest (Thursday); Andrews at Carvers Bay; Georgetown at St. James; Military Magnet at Green Sea Floyds; Socastee at North Myrtle Beach; and Hemingway at Waccamaw. … The South Carolina football team hosts Kentucky at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPNU). … The Clemson football team plays at Louisville at 8 p.m. Saturday (ABC). … The Carolina Panthers host the Buffalo Bills at 1 p.m. Sunday (CBS). … The PGA Tour heads to Lake Forest, Illinois for the BMW Championship from Thursday through Sunday. … The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series begins the Chase for the Cup with the Tales of the Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday (NBCSN). … In tennis, the men and women both have the week off.
USC this week
Opponent: vs. Kentucky
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Clemson this week
Opponent: vs. Louisville
Time: 8 p.m.