The Gamecock fan base is divided right now for numerous reasons. It's pretty unique. They aren't divided to the point of any in-fan-base-fighting, but they sure are standing on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to the team.
It's almost like a political race with a democratic and republican side.
For example, you have the fans that believe that the world is ending because of a close game against Vanderbilt. Then you have others believing the team is fine. Of course, there are always those in the middle, but for the sake of argument, we're leaving those out.
Now we come to the big topic in "Gamecock World". Connor Shaw and his deep-shoulder bruise.
What do you do with him? Latest reports have him zinging the ball around, giving the thumbs up to fans, and generally looking pretty sharp with no noticeable pain.
Ok, so what now?
Here are the two sides.
On one side of the spectrum, you have fans that say start Dylan Thompson, even if Shaw is fully recovered. The reasoning isn't because Dylan Thompson is a better quarterback. It's because people truly believe that Shaw can't make it through the season due to his bruising running style and now is the perfect time to get Thompson or Seth Strickland reps with the starting unit in real game scenarios.
Should the Gamecocks Sit Connor Shaw even if he's healthy enough to play?
The idea is if one of these games gets close (God forbid), Connor Shaw can come off the bench and save the day.
The other side? If your quarterback is healthy, he needs to play. A member of the Cockytalk board (a Gamecock message board site) named LegalCock said it better than I could. He stated:
"If he's healthy, I would start Shaw and act like the freaking number 9 team in the country, score some damn points, avoid turnovers, have at least one receiver make a play on the ball and hand a comfortable lead to Thompson or who the hell ever about midway through the third to let him get some PT so he won't shart in his pants the next time we need him to play, like a normal good program does."
I want to shake this unknown Internet person's hand.
I happen to be in this group.
Look, good teams don't sit their best players. They get experience for their backups by blowing out the teams that they are supposed to blow out. No, the Gamecocks were not supposed to blow out Vanderbilt. ECU? That's a different story. If you are truly the number nine team in the country, this shouldn't be close.
And, if healthy, Connor Shaw should be the one leading the charge.