What Lies Ahead for Steve Spurrier and South Carolina?

DJ BatchlerCorrespondent IMarch 9, 2010

COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 28:  South Carolina Gamecocks Head Coach Steve Spurrier walks the sideline against the Clemson Tigers at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 28, 2009 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Having not made the annual April trip to the Garnet and Black game, everything to be said is merely a guess, therefore instead of true guesses we can stick with what ifs and maybes. 

What if everything goes according to plan in 2010 for Steve Spurrier and South Carolina? 

Maybe the Gamecocks reach that elusive SEC Championship game.

In all actuality it is much too early to make those predictions or assumptions outside of Florida.  What is safe to make assumptions about is the offense. 

With Marcus Lattimore's announcement, and the return of veteran players as well as a group of young wide receivers full of potential, the sky should be the limit.

However, with Steve Spurrier's traditional pass-first, second, and third offense, what does that mean for Lattimore, Kenny Miles, Jarvis Giles, and Brian Maddox? 

In all fairness Spurrier has made attempts at a running offense as of late, but hasn't had much success behind an offensive line that was more like a SIV than a wall of protection.

With new offensive line coach Shawn Elliott and returning offensive linemen as well as several offensive line recruits, improvement is expected immediately.  Immediate improvement is hard to find, but it isn't exactly a long way to get an improvement from South Carolina's offensive line over the past few seasons.

Steven Garcia, the starter for South Carolina all of last season, may actually be in danger this season.  Nothing but praise has been heaped on true freshman Connor Shaw.  The Flowery Branch, Georgia native is earning fans the fast way.  G.A. Mangus has also stated that there is an open competition between all of South Carolina's quarterbacks.

Garcia and Shaw have the ability to use their legs just as effectively as they use their arms, as does Aramis Hilary, another QB on the roster.  Stephon Gilmore, the defensive back who blistered Clemson in the Wild Cocky offense at quarterback, remains a threat to look for as well.

Those four men, used as quarterbacks to be teamed with Lattimore, Miles, Giles, Maddox, and Patrick DiMarco would make one think that the Gamecock running game will be a nightmare for opposing defenses.  While this may be true, as with past Spurrier offenses, the passing game seems just as scary.

Steven Garcia showed incredible improvement from the '08 season throughout the '09 season.  He was the second leading quarterback in the SEC in 2009.  With Alshon Jeffrey, D.L. Moore, Tory Gurley, and a few other dangerous pass-catchers at his disposal, wouldn't the Gamecocks passing game be the nightmare maker?

The Gamecocks could potentially be an offense to look out for nationally in 2010.  However, on the flip side, they could have a huge clusterbomb on their hands that could get out of control.  That's the scary thing when you have weapons with no true success together in the past. 

Could egos blossom and get in the way? Will everyone unite for the greater good and be true team players?  Will toes get stepped on and grudges be held when depth charts are finalized (as much as they can be in a Spurrier offense)? 

Only time will tell. 

I won't predict a 14-0 national championship, but I won't predict a 3-9 disaster either.

Either way, one thing is certain; 2010 will be interesting for those in the Garnet nation.