The march toward the SEC Championship begins this week for South Carolina and Georgia in one of college football's most underappreciated rivalries. This is a must-watch game for any college football fan as this marquee showdown "between the hedges" that has both national and SEC implications. Don't believe the records, don't read about what you saw in each team's opening game and certainly don't underestimate either team as both squads will leave it all on the field in an attempt to win this game.

A win for either school brings with it certain bragging rights, leverage on the recruiting trail and early control in the SEC East hunt. For South Carolina, this is yet another chance to prove to the college football world that these are not your Daddy’s Gamecocks.

The new crop of South Carolina talent is ushering in a new standard in Columbia and in the SEC East that must be respected. For Georgia fans, this is hard to swallow that they have begun to lose their luster. Yeah, Georgia may have won the SEC East in 2012, but South Carolina has begun to tame the 'Dawgs here of late, winning four of the past six games and three straight. The UGA quarterback, Aaron Murray, has a 0-3 record against USC. He does not know how it feels to lead his team to a win against South Carolina.

The Gamecocks have 27 players on their 2013 roster from the state of Georgia, and they would enjoy nothing more than to beat the Bulldogs. With a USC win, the trash-talk can continue, and it validates Carolina's argument on the recruiting trail that a shift in power is taking place in the SEC East. Simply put, the Gamecocks are strutting in the face of the Bulldogs.

(Click here to read why Georgia will win)

Coach Spurrier loves to beat Georgia: From his days as a Gator to his tenure on the South Carolina sideline, he enjoys coming out ahead of the red and black. The 2013 contest is a chance for Spurrier to stick a knife in the hearts of Dawg Nation as their fanbase is reeling after the Clemson loss. Georgia fans are beginning to think the worst for the 2013 season and doubt Mark Richt's abilities again. A win for USC would have the Ol' Ball Coach crack a sly grin and allow him to enjoy kicking some salt in the eyes of the UGA faithful.

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Let's be real honest, South Carolina is on the rise, and UGA is beginning to take a backseat in the SEC East. This is only rightfully so as USC has always had the better school off the field and now this new era of owning UGA on the gridiron has placed USC where they belong ... ahead of the ‘Dawgs. When comparing Georgia and South Carolina, the Gamecocks have always had more passionate fans, stronger academics, a prettier campus and now a football team to be proud of. This is South Carolina football and for UGA, they might as well get acquainted to seeing USC dominate.

What it really boils down to is the University of South Carolina is just superior to Georgia. All can agree that a Gamecock is way cooler than a Bulldog and The Horseshoe is grander than the North Campus. Fans of Georgia and their alumni are seeing a new era for South Carolina. Begin to love it as it is here to stay so prepare for yet another USC win on Saturday as the University of South Carolina is simply a better all-around school.

-- Ritch Mahaffey is the founder of the Gamecocks-themed blog Leftoverhotdog.com. Follow the blog on Twitter @LOHDGamecocks.

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