Anyone remember the Vandy game from 2007? That was the 4-3 Vanderbilt Commodores who came into Williams-Brice Stadium and sucker-punched the No. 6 ranked Gamecocks.
With the 17-6 win, Vandy finally had hung one in the loss column on the head ball coach.
Steve Spurrier woke up on October 20, 2007, 14-0 all time against Vandy. By the middle of September 2008, Spurrier's record was 14-2. The Commodores made it two in a row by beating the Gamecocks, 24-17 the next season at Vanderbilt.
When they kickoff at 7:30 PM, on August 30 of this year, it will have been approximately 252 weeks, five days and seven hours since that 2007 game was played. In short, about five years—but who's counting, right?
That is how long it has taken the South Carolina Gamecocks to work their way back up the rankings to finally play again while being ranked inside the top 10. Last season, the Gamecocks played three games, including the bowl, while ranked at No. 10.
It was only after their impressive bowl win over Nebraska (30-13), they cracked the top 10 and finished the year at No. 8. They still haven't made it back to No. 6 yet—but again, who's counting?
Probably Steve Spurrier. A guy who is known to be as competitive as any person who ever walked. Of course if we ask him, coach speak 101 would say to downplay the issue.
To say he puts any more into this game than any other conference game, would add unnecessary pressure on his team. It could also boost confidence in an already highly confident Commodore team.
I can almost hear him answering that question now, "five years? That long, huh? Well, they beat us purdy good that day. That long, huh?"
A word to the wise, be careful of a Vandy team that has so much to gain with a win. Emotion certainly isn't everything—just don't discount the huge difference it can make for a team in one game.
South Carolina should win this game.
I would think there will be more than one reference to 2007 made by Coach Spurrier between now and August 30—but, of course, who's counting?