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South Carolina always seems to be the team that almost was.
Every season the Gamecocks are highly touted and benefit from its membership in the SEC with a preseason ranking that has little basis in logic or fact. Instead, pollsters seem to be relying on their hopes for South Carolina rather than what history has told us.
Once again, the Gamecocks have proven to be a pretty good second-tier SEC East program. And it's not too much of a stretch to claim that the East Division has been the SEC's second tier behind the dominant West for the past few years.
Enough of this “murder's row” nonsense. South Carolina's 2012 schedule included Vanderbilt, East Carolina, Alabama-Birmingham, Missouri and Kentucky to start the season.
Add in late-season games against Tennessee, Arkansas and FCS Wofford, and all of the sudden you're looking at a 12-game schedule with four decent opponents.
So can we stop with all this “week-in and week-out” bull?
Still, the legions of South Carolina fans—and the Gamecocks themselves—believe their own SEC hype. From their standpoint, the BCS has to be the goal each and every season. But despite spending the entire month of September and most of October in the Top 10, South Carolina failed—yet again—to reach the BCS.
Instead the Gamecocks will meet up with Michigan in the Outback Bowl.
Beating up on Michigan should provide a decent amount of entertainment for the Gamecocks faithful, but sooner or later, more will be demanded of the Head Ball Coach—as in a BCS appearance.