Tag Archives: Gamecocks

Hot Routes: Week Eight

20 Oct


Editor’s Note:  This is the Swanky roundup of our top picks and songs of the week, running every week of the 2012 Year of Football.  For a primer, check out the Introduction.


Week Eight


Baylor (3-2) at Texas (4-2)

The pick:  Baylor (+8.5)

The track:  Fucking Problems by A$AP Rocky, 2 Chainz, Drake & Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar was all over the interwebs this week, and his new album doesn’t even drop until next Tuesday.  This isn’t anything to complain about, however – his wordy, fluid rhymes and eccentric musical tastes are an energizing new force in hip-hop.  Kendrick started building buzz based on his affiliation with Dr. Dre, but the strength of his last album and the early buzz on his new one is pointing towards a big breakout in his own right.  With that breakout comes a recognized acceptance into the ‘young elite’ club of today’s hip-hop world, and “Fucking Problem” is a showcase for some prominent members of said club.  While fellow breakout star A$AP Rocky gets the top billing on the song, Kendrick, Drake and elder statesman 2 Chainz all get their chance to shine over a beat that draws out some of their top-drawer efforts.


South Carolina (6-1) at Florida (6-0)

The pick:  South Carolina (+3.5)

The track:  Me and My Shadow by M. Ward

A potentially major issue in this game is Marcus Lattimore’s health – if he can’t go, then the Gamecocks might be starting at a disadvantage.  If he can go though, I think this is going to be a hard-fought game that stays within 3 points.  The Ball Coach will have his team ready for a fight in The Swamp, and even though they just lost to LSU, I think S.C. will play Florida tougher than LSU did.


Kansas State (6-0) at West Virginia (5-1)

The pick:  Kansas State (+2.5)

The track:  The Page by Chromatics

It was surprising to see this line come out in favor of West Virginia after the embarrassment laid on them last week at Texas Tech.  Sure, the Mountaineers  are now at home, where they can draw upon the lusty, booze-fueled rage of the Mountaineer faithful.  But some home-field momentum can’t fix a defense that hasn’t stopped anyone all season, and Kansas State’s defense most likely picked up some valuable tips from Texas Tech on how to slow down WVU’s vaunted offense.  Kansas State has the edge here, and should send the Holgorsen Mullets to their second straight defeat.


Arizona (4-2) at Minnesota (4-2)

The pick:  Minnesota (-6.5)

The track:  So Many Details by Toro y Moi

On his new track, Toro Y Moi maintains some of his signature sound – laid-back funky electro and spacey croon – while also pushing things in an expansive, moody and interesting new direction.  Electronic squiggles and guitar loops float in and out of a beat that takes its sweet time building up to an emotional climax in step with the brooding lyrics.  When everything winds down in a swirl of drum beats, you’re left wondering what it was you just listened to – and why it sounded so strangely compelling.


Green Bay (3-3) at St. Louis (3-3)

The pick:  Green Bay (-5)

The track:  Poetic Justice by Kendrick Lamar feat. Drake

Aaron Rodgers submitted the “Fuck You” game that many expected last week, and it succeeded in putting a reeling Packers team back on track after a rough start.  The Pack looked great last week, and while the excitement from that fired-up win should be tempered going into this Sunday, the newfound confidence of Rodgers’ offense should be feared by the Rams.  St. Louis has played decently at home this year, but if Green Bay is anywhere close to the level they were at against the Texans (which they should be) this game is not going to be within a touchdown.


Pittsburgh (2-3) at Cincinnati (3-3)

The pick: Cincinnati (+1)

The track:  It Gets Dark by Holy Ghost!

I’m not sure if it was intentional, but it’s suitable that Holy Ghost! released their newest single around Halloween.  This track features the same energetic, expansive new disco sound that made HG!’s debut album so compelling, while also adding in a dark, menacing tone that lends a great edge to everything.  It’s a little bit of Thriller by way of LCD Soundsystem.




Last Week’s Record:  4-2

Overall Record:  21-19


Hot Routes: Week Seven

12 Oct


Editor’s Note:  This is the Swanky roundup of our top picks and songs of the week, running every week of the 2012 Year of Football.  For a primer, check out the Introduction.

Week Seven

South Carolina (6-0) at LSU (5-1)

The pick:  South Carolina (+3)

The track:  Night Light (Joe Goddard Remix) by Jesse Ware

South Carolina and LSU are coming off pretty different emotions after their games last week.  South Carolina rode a wave of crowd-fueled adrenaline on their way to dominating Georgia, while LSU continued to spit in the face of the idea that football should be fun to watch in their grinding loss to Florida.  One big question here is whether S.C. can play at the same high level as last week when their crazy home crowd is replaced by the hostile fanbase at Death Valley.  I think that S.C. has more talent overall than LSU, especially on offense, and that will carry them through.


Tennessee (3-2) at Mississippi State (5-0)

The pick:  Miss. State (-3)

The track:  I Owe You This (feat. Twin Shadow) by Chad Valley

Two artists who know their way around synthesizers and drum machines collaborate for a silky smooth New Wave/R&B hybrid jam.  Chad Valley and Twin Shadow have a love for all things 80s, and their sounds complement each other quite well.  If these guys aren’t on some kind of tour bill within the year, there’s something wrong with the music world.


West Virginia (5-0) at Texas Tech (4-1)

The pick:  West Virginia (-4)

The track:  Hail Bop by Django Django

While I do think that West Virginia will not make it through the season undefeated – their defense is just nowhere near good enough – I don’t think that this is the week for the first loss.  The Dana Holgorsen Mullets have enough firepower to win by at least 4 points here.


Kansas City (1-4) at Tampa Bay (1-3)

The pick:  Tampa Bay (-4.5)

The track:  Reagan’s Skeleton by Yeasayer

This cut from Yeasayer’s recent album is straight from the LCD Soundsystem school of new disco.  Following the template of those great LCD jams, “Reagan’s Skeleton” builds up as it goes along, adding energy with every new layer of sound that comes in.  Eventually it burns everything down in a glorious burst of chaotic dancefloor moves.


New York Giants (3-2) at San Francisco (4-1)

The pick:  Giants (+6.5)

The track:  It’s Not Over by Panama

This is going to be a hotly anticipated game, with the 9ers bringing in the motivation from last year’s heartbreaking playoff loss, and the Giants bringing the defiant swagger of a reigning champ that knows it has something to prove.  I’m not totally sold that the Giants can outright win, but they know how to bring the intensity in big games, and I like their chances of keeping it close.


Buffalo (2-3) at Arizona (4-1)

The pick: Cardinals (-4.5)

The track:  Arch & Point by Miguel

R&B singers always seem better when they’ve got a weird edge to them – when the creative spirit inside their heads is just too strong to be contained, and as a result comes out in awesomely strange sonic flourishes, or in brilliantly twisted lyrics about the thrills of various vices (usually drugs and sex).  R. Kelly is an old-school proponent of awesome R&B weirdness, and more recently, The Weeknd built up some incredible buzz with his own brand of drug-fueled silkiness.  And here we have Miguel, who is firmly staking out his own position in the R&B world with his excellent new album Kaleidoscope Dream.  Invite a few special friends over, light some candles, and buckle in.



Last Week’s Record:  4-2

Overall Record:  17-17

Hot Routes: Week Six

5 Oct

Editor’s Note:  This is the Swanky roundup of our top picks and songs of the week, running every week of the 2012 Year of Football.  For a primer, check out the Introduction.

Week Six

LSU (5-0) at Florida (4-0)

The pick:  Florida (+3)

The track:  Apocalypse Dreams by Tame Impala

Florida over LSU is the popular upset pick this week, and while I don’t think it’s as big of a lock as some analysts are saying, I do think the Gators have a great chance to win or at least keep it within 3 points.  The Swamp will be a very hostile place for an LSU team that has already looked shaky against lesser competition like Towson.  What’s a Towson?


Miami (4-1) at Notre Dame (4-0)

The pick:  Miami (+14)

The track:  Lady High (Kanye West vs. Chromatics) by Carlos Serrano

I don’t normally get into ‘mashup’ remixes – while they could be interesting at first listen, it usually starts to seem like a novelty gimmick shortly thereafter.  The end result is often just going back to the original songs because they’re still better on their own.  This particular mix by Carlos Serrano stands out however because it’s got a hauntingly banging beat, and it features some of my favorite old-school Kanye verses.


Georgia (5-0) at South Carolina (5-0)

The pick:  South Carolina (+1)

The track:  So Bright by Pretty Lights

This is a pretty even matchup on paper, but I think there are a few key things going in S.C.’s favor that will allow the old Ballcoach to take this victory.  First, the Gamecocks are at home, and that stadium is going to downright rowdy.  Second, Georgia just lost their top WR for the year, and that could lead to some uncertainty for their high-powered offense.  Finally, S.C.’s defense is an elite unit that might be the most talented in the country.  They’ll bring everything they’ve got against Georgia.


Tennessee Titans (1-3) at Minnesota Vikings (3-1)

The pick:  Vikings (-6)

The track:  Unpretty (Follow Me Remix) by TLC

Allow me to dip back into the late 90s for a moment with some TLC slow burn action.  I can’t say I was meaning to listen to an old TLC ballad when I came across this sultry remix, but there’s something about this song that brings up some pleasant nostalgia for the grade school days.  Also, electronic touches look pretty good on TLC.  “No Scrubs” dubstep mix coming soon?


Chicago Bears (3-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3)

The pick:  Bears (-5.5)

The track:  Blue Velvet (Penguin Prison Remix) by Lana Del Rey

This line isn’t bigger because the Bears are traveling on a short week.  I still think Chicago will win by at least a touchdown though, because the Jags are just not a very good team.  The Bears’ opportunistic D will have plenty of chances to take advantage of the eventual Blaine Gabbert mistakes.


Baltimore Ravens (3-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-3)

The pick:  Ravens (-6.5)

The track:  Honey by Swim Deep

I don’t know what exactly it is about this song, but it is oddly catchy in a way that I can’t totally explain.  My best guess is that it’s mostly due to the mid-90s power-pop anthem heart that is beating strongly underneath its indie exterior.  With its “Ooo, ooo baby” hook and idealistic vocals about dreaming and cute girls, this will sound perfect over the ending credits of American Pie 5.

Last Week’s Record:  5-1

Overall Record:  13-15