It's going to happen eventually. The day that all South Carolina fans are dreading. Steve Spurrier will hang it up. It won't happen anytime soon in my opinion, but if it did, the "Head Ball Coach" has left the program in amazing shape.
South Carolina will be one of the most sought after jobs in the country when it opens up.
If it came open this year, who would be the top five replacements for Spurrier?
What would I look for? Simple. I'd look for a man who is fairly young (around or under 50), has a proven track record and is an excellent recruiter with a great reputation.
So who fits my personal bill? Here's my wish list of the top five replacements for Steve Spurrier.
At 38-years-old, Sarkisian has taken a terrible situation (0-12 the year before he arrived as coach) and created a competitive environment. His stats aren't gaudy, but he's slowly turning around the Husky program and has a career record of 25-23.
The Huskies are at 6-4 this year, and you can't count them out of any game.
He wouldn't be my first choice as coach of the Gamecocks though. He's got a bright future, but has some work to do in his current situation to prove that he can take a team over the edge.
However, if the Gamecocks really wanted a strong, young coach, Sarkisian is easily the best candidate.
Oklahoma State is having a down year this season at 6-3, but Gundy needs to be given all kinds of credit for his turnaround of the OK State program.
His first season was a disaster. He finished at 4-7 with eleven players suspended from his team before the season. Since then, it's been all up hill. After posting consecutive 7-6 seasons with bowl wins, the Cowboys have gone 9-4, 9-4, 11-2 and 12-1.
His 2011 team finished as the third ranked team in the country and won a BCS bowl (a 41-38 win over the fourth ranked Stanford Cardinal in the Fiesta Bowl).
It was Oklahoma State's first BCS bowl win, and the first outright Big 12 championship. Impressive, considering coach Gundy is only 44 years old.
Yes, I am well aware of the fact that Miami is a train wreck right now.
No, I don't think Golden has as much to do with it as people think. The program is a train wreck in general. With the ongoing effects of the Nevin Shapiro disaster hovering over the entire university and football program, Golden continues to recruit well and keeps the team afloat.
He is currently sitting at 11-11 overall at Miami, but his days at Temple shouldn't be forgotten. He took over a terrible team and finished his career there with a 7-4, 9-3 and 8-4 record over his last three seasons.
This won't be a popular pick of mine, and he may lose his job this year. However, if he could get away from the negative energy of Miami and get a job headed in a positive direction, I believe that Golden could do big things.
At 52-years-old, he's the oldest candidate on my list. However, Charlie Strong would be too good to pass up.
He was South Carolina's defensive coordinator and is familiar with the area. He's a defensive-minded SEC style coach. He's proving this year that he can coach a winning team, as he has the Louisville Cardinals at 9-1 and playing very well.
He's 23-14 at Louisville, which doesn't seem to point to a proven track record, like I had originally stated, but he has the Cardinals set up for big things in the future. He's led an amazing turnaround and would be well suited to guide this South Carolina team.
A 47-year-old who has worked magic at a "small" school, Petersen would be the ideal choice for almost any school.
He's an offensive genius of sorts who is willing to take risks but has always had a sturdy defense. This year, he's got the 10th ranked defense in the country. He's 81-8 in 7 years as the Bronco's head coach with two BCS wins and a 4-2 record in bowl games.
He is a great motivator and would succeed at the SEC level.
He would be the perfect candidate to continue the new-found winning tradition at South Carolina.