South Carolina's 2012 season will be a huge indicator of how far the program has gone. The Gamecocks new SEC Schedule is pretty brutal, and every advantage they had coming has pretty much been eliminated.
The SEC schedule for the Gamecocks looks like this:
August 30th: @Vanderbilt
September 22nd: Missouri
September 29th: @Kentucky
October 6th: Georgia
October 13th: @LSU
October 20th: @Florida
October 27th: Tennessee
November 10th: Arkansas
The Good: South Carolina gets Missouri, Georgia and Arkansas at home. That's about all the good that comes from the Gamecocks new schedule.
The Bad: LSU has been added to the schedule. Georgia is being moved to the middle of the year. Adding a good Missouri team, and being their first SEC game. Georgia has a cakewalk schedule (they dropped Alabama then added Mississippi).
It's frustrating to say the least, that the ebb and flow of an SEC schedule has been changed. The Gamecocks had been set up for a heck of a year in 2012. Now, it's going to be a bit difficult.
But you know what? To be the best, you have to beat the best. If the Gamecocks really want to compete for the SEC year in and year out, they can't rely on the schedule to bail them out with an "easy draw."
They will be prepared to beat the teams on the list.
It's great to be a Gamecock!