Former Gamecock announcer Mike Morgan chimes in on the huge SEC opener in Athens
by Jeff Dantzler
Mike Morgan, an old friend and top notch play-by-play announcer
and talk show host, is a member of the Atlanta and
Gwinnett Braves TV and Radio networks. He broadcasts regional
and national college football and basketball games,
and was the lead announcer on ESPN last Sunday for the MEACSWAC
Challenge, featuring Prairie View A&M and Bethune-Cookman.
For the better part of a decade, Mike was the voice of South Carolina
baseball and basketball – ably filling the shoes of the legendary, late
great Bob Fulton – and did South Carolina’s CSS TV football replay
broadcasts, and was frequently voted the state’s best and most popular
sportscaster. Mike gives us his thoughts on Saturday’s big
How big is the Georgia game to the South Carolina people?
Huge! Second only to Clemson. The game always seems to
dictate whether or not South Carolina has a good year. This year
it could possibly derail what would be the best season in Gamecock history.
It’s also the closest thing South Carolina has to a true SEC rival.
What has Steve Spurrier – a breath of fresh air in so many
areas – meant to the program?
It’s kind of funny. A year ago, much of the fan base was really losing
patience. After last season, he’s only second to Ray Tanner (standout
Gamecocks baseball coach) for the mayor. With that being said, the fanbase
is in a spot it’s never been in before. Picked to win the East, now you
know what it’s like to be the hunted. Now you find out how quickly fans
can get spoiled, and turn on a coach when losses come with more on the
line (see Mark Richt). If he takes them to Atlanta again and actually wins
it, they’ll put a statue with a visor in front of the stadium.
What’s your take on Georgia?
Love Murray. I interviewed him at Media Days, and thought I was talking
to a five year veteran of the NFL. He has incredible presence in maturity.
I think the receivers (including Charles) as a unit are a little
underrated. A Lattimore-like season from Crowell would be just what the
doctor ordered. I’m still waiting to see a Georgia defense that actually
scares people … it’s been a while. If they beat South Carolina in week two,
they’re going to the dome. I don’t see Florida being capable of winning it
this season. Tennessee, Kentucky and Vandy don’t stack up to compete
for the divisional crown.
Where does Athens rate on your places to visit calling sporting
It’s easily one of my favorites. Love the city, love the fans, love Sanford
Stadium. People still come up to me and talk about that 2006 Super-
Regional (which Georgia won to advance to the College World Series) in
which South Carolina hit five straight homers. The football atmosphere is
easily one of the best in college football.
Who’s your pick to play in the SEC Championship Game?
Bama vs. the winner of SC/Georgia. Am I wimping out there … you
bet! I really can’t call it. Garcia is the ultimate X factor, but I do think he’ll
Who are three or four teams that you feel have a good chance
to win the national title?
Bama and Oklahoma are easily my top two. If Florida State beats OU,
they’d be the dark horse.
Are there any games this season you are looking forward to in
I was actually pumped up about Georgia/Boise St. I’ve gotten into
some spirited debates with people at the station about the game itself …
which I thought Georgia would win. Things could get turbulent on Atlanta
talk radio. FSU/Oklahoma is a big on September 17. Georgia/South Carolina,
Bama/LSU, Prairie View/Bethune Cookman. The usual suspects.
What are some of the Georgia-South Carolina games – so many
have been so close – that stand out to you through the years?
I remember the Quincy Carter game in 2000 like it was yesterday. That
game put Lou Holtz on the map (at least for a couple of years). I remember
calling the 16-0 comeback by Georgia. The game was one of the many
that put Lou on the hot seat. Last year’s game stood out too. It was the
only time I can recall watching a UGA/USC game where SC clearly had
Georgia outmanned. They didn’t just out play Georgia, they clearly had
more talent on both sides of the ball.