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Reviewing South Carolina at Florida: Summing Up What It Means for the Program

South Carolina
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GAINESVILLE FL – NOVEMBER 13: Stephen Garcia #5 of the South Carolina Gamecocks rushes for a touchdown against Will Hill #10 of the Florida Gators during a game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 13 2010 in Gainesville Florida. The Gamecocks beat the Gators 36-14. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

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Two days after taking it to the Florida Gators, Gamecock Nation is still ecstatically celebrating. The glow has yet to fade, the good vibes yet to fizzle out. And perhaps that’s just as well, because while the victory itself was memorable, its implications for the future are just as positive. The win, first of all, ensures or makes possible a number of firsts for the program. These include:

  • Its first SEC East Title, and a shot at its first SEC Title.
  • A shot at its ever first BCS Bowl berth.
  • Its first-ever win in The Swamp.
  • Barring disaster against Troy, its first eight-win regular season of the Spurrier era. Carolina has won eight regular-season games only six times in its history, with the last being 2001.
  • Granting wins against Troy and Clemson, a shot at its first ten-win season since 1984 and only its second ever.

These are / would be great accomplishments for a program with our history, and they should make possible even greater accomplishments to come. This win, along with the previous ones against Georgia and Alabama, is making us a national name, and that should pay major dividends on the recruiting trail. In a year when many of the programs we’re competing with to sign our last few targets–Alabama, Clemson, etc.–are struggling to meet expectations, the ‘Cocks have taken a major step forward. Recruits will see this and, hopefully, will want to catch a ride on this train now that they know that Steve Spurrier’s claims about winning SEC Titles at Carolina were not idle boasting. Javedeon Clonwney, Phillip Dukes, and Lateek Townshend all undoubtedly saw us slaughter the vaunted Gators, and the win should put us that much closer to signing these guys. These are the kinds of players that can help us sustain and supersede the success we’ve had this year.

Make no mistake, this all means that this was a huge win, one of the biggest ever for us. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Some rival fans are going to say that we only won the East because the traditional powers were down. Anyone who says that can shove it you-know-where. We stepped up and took the trophy by winning in one of the most hostile environments in college football, and we had to weather a crowd that was rowdy after the opening kickoff return to do it. That’s a major accomplishment, and its a testament to our coaches and team that they were able to save such a special performance for the biggest stage they’d ever been on. No one can take that away from us, and we’ll always have the banner to prove that we did it. Despite the bumps, this has been a special year, and I think there’s a good chance it could get much better.


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A November To Remember?

South Carolina
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The month of November has been an absolute nightmare for the South Carolina Gamecocks in the past.  But that’s what it is – the past – and this November we’re more talented and even have a little bit of leeway.  Obviously, it would be ideal for Carolina to win out, finish the regular season at 10-2 (6-2), and play for an SEC Championship in Atlanta.  It would be a season of things accomplished: first trip to the SEC title game, first win over a #1 ranked team, first win in The Swamp, first back-to-back victories over Clemson in longer than we want to remember, etc. 

But does the team have to do all of that to satisfy its fans?  Would you be happy to finish 9-3 (5-3) with wins over Arkansas, Troy, and Clemson?  I don’t think that would “satisfy” Gamecock Nation, but it would taste pretty good.  For me, two things can ruin another November of South Carolina football: consecutive losses to Arkansas and Florida, or a loss to Clemson and a loss to Florida after they’ve beaten Vanderbilt.  Obviously, anything worse than that falls into the same category.  I can stomach a loss to the team in the upstate if we get to Atlanta.  By stomach I mean hover slightly above ruin.  Losing to Clemson would put a huge damper on November 2010, but Gamecocks would remember this as the first time we won the East.  Albeit, we’d all prefer to do it in style.   

For Carolina to achieve what it needs to this season to progress as a program, I believe the Gamecocks must, at a minimum, defeat Florida, Troy, and Clemson, and make an appearance in the SEC Championship Game.  9-3 (5-3) and SEC Eastern Division Champs says something.  One can argue that another combination of wins and losses in the 8-4 or 9-3 range will suffice barring we’re not excluded from Atlanta, but I think beating Florida in Gainesville and beating Clemson over two straight seasons, in combination with playing for the conference title, displays true progress.  What say you?        

Poll
What finish to the regular season will satisfy you as a fan and show the college football world at large that South Carolina has made real progress as a program? *We’re all hoping for 10-2 (6-2), but what will you and the hypemeter settle for?





  37 votes | Results


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