First off, I would like to say that this is my first football article. Please critique, but not too harshly.
No matter if you are or are not a fan of South Carolina, you at least know that almost every year they do something to destroy whatever roll they have going. Whether it be a player, coach, or anything else, the Gamecocks just can't seem to keep the ball rolling.
You may not agree or understand why I listed some of the causes below. These are just what I believe could be issues for the Gamecocks.
Yes, I'm starting with one of the names that has made all South Carolina fans groan for years. Blake Mitchell finished his time at Carolina two years ago. Thank God.
Mitchell first led the Gamecocks to the Independence Bowl, in which they were leading 21-0 over the Missouri Tigers, but ended up losing 38-31.
Now I'll give the man his due. The next season he led the Gamecocks to the Liberty Bowl to beat the University of Houston 44-36. Also, Mitchell is the only Carolina QB to defeat Tennessee, Florida, and Clemson in a career.
That's great, but he also caused the destruction of the team in 2007. When they were the No. 6 team in the nation, Mitchell led the team to an embarrassing loss against the Vanderbilt Commodores, 17-6.
After that game, the team would lose the next four to Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida, and Clemson. This would leave the 'Cocks 6-6 with no Bowl that year.
This issue inspires a lot of debate amongst Gamecock followers. Last season the Carolina offense wasn't that great, and the debate was whether it was because of Chris Smelly or something else. That something else...is the OL.
One reason we didn't do too well on offense was because on most pass plays whoever was in at QB would only have...mmm...about four seconds before the rush would get through.
Without a good line, there is no offense. This concept is perfect because the linemen of the University of South Carolina need to step up to get a good season this year.
This was my family last year watching the first game of the season:
"Hey! Look, it's Beecher! He's going to be the reason we go all the way this year."
An hour and a half later:
"What was that? Four interceptions and he leaves during the second half? Does he even want to play?" (That was kind of funny, because as we later found out, he would transfer to LU after the season.)
The first game was against NC State, where he had a 54 percent completion rate, four picks, and received a hit that took him out for the rest of the game.
He would not appear on the field again until we played UAB four weeks later. This is where Beecher would get a completion rate of 50 percent by completing 2-for-4 passes. He had 10 yards total: 20 from passing and -10 on run plays.
Now, who knows how great Beecher really was? I mean, a good bit of his mistakes came from my last complaint. So honestly we don't know.
Over the years we've always sort of had a problem with one player or another. The last two, if I remember correctly, were Blake Mitchell and Stephen Garcia. Both were supposed to be star quarterbacks for Carolina. Garcia can still prove himself.
Back to the matter at hand, for some reason our players can't seem to stay away from any kind of trouble. Garcia keyed a car and used an alley as a restroom, which I'm guessing is indecent exposure. Mitchell had problems with attending class and was in a few fights.
This last one is just a guess because I don't really remember much about it, but I think it's safe to assume that players attended the USC party at which Michael Phelps made an appearance and smoked pot.
Some people wonder if the University of South Carolina should even be in the SEC. Not me, but I felt this needed to be in here. I mean you can't name the top five teams in college football without going to the SEC.
Let's face it folks, the SEC is the toughest conference in all of college football. Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, LSU, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Bama, Vandy, and the list goes on. Carolina joined the SEC in 1991 which actually isn't that long ago.
Since joining, Carolina has only had three winning seasons, as far as their region goes. Also, tough regions mean tougher players. Two of their three rivals had three players that were hard to beat, especially last year. UGA had Stafford and Moreno and Florida has Tebow.
CLEMSON!!!! Oh my God!!! Okay, this shouldn't even be a problem for us, but it is. THEY ARE IN THE ACC!!! The ACC is a tough conference, I'll say that, but if you're in the SEC this shouldn't even be an issue.
And let's face it. Clemson hasn't even been great over the past few years, but Carolina always seems to find a way to lose to the Tigers. It is every Gamecock fan's dream to see Carolina destroy, not just beat, Clemson once in his/her lifetime. Well, that hasn't happened for me yet.
The current record is 65-37-4 advantage Clemson, and that is a tremendous lead. This, and my other problems, is the reason the Carolina Curse lives on. Hopefully, we can fix the linemen problem and work on the last two.