We have all seen Steve Spurrier make some noise here and there at South Carolina. In 2005 he came in after Florida told him if he wanted the job he would have to go through the interview process like anyone else. Florida got Urban Meyer. In 2005 Spurrier's boys beat Tennessee on Rocky Top for the first ever. Two weeks later in Columbia, South Carolina defeated #12 Florida for the 1st time since 1939. This win took the East crown off of Florida's head, smashed it, and gave it to Georgia. Florida had to settle for 3rd in the East, losing a tiebreaker to Carolina. That 2nd place in the East 5-3 conference season is tied for the best in Carolina's short history in the SEC. Since then we have seen glimpses of Carolina trying to get to the next level, but it always ends in a late season collapse. Spurrier nearly pulled off a magical win in the Swamp to crush Florida's 2006 Title hopes. Had that happened it would have taken a while to clean the egg off of Jeremy Foley's face. As we all know, Florida blocked an extra point and a last second Field Goal to win by 1. It is not all disappointment though, Spurrier is the only coach in USC history to be bowl eligible every season. I would call it an accomplishment to post 5 consecutive non-losing seasons at Carolina, but the late season disasters are haunting Gamecock fans everywhere.
This year is different. With no Tim Tebow the Mighty Swamp Creatures look more like a harmless lizard crawling around your neighbor's backyard. The Florida offense is lackluster, and the defense has not faced a real challenge. The rest of the East is down, and Carolina has already proven something by beating Georgia. Marcus Lattimore is a beast in terms of freshman running backs. Stephen Garcia seems like he has finally matured into a confident quarterback who is able to manage games without making unforced errors. This team may have the best defense in the SEC. They held Georgia to 253 yards of offense and 6 points. I picked Carolina to go 10-2 and win the East this year. Now I am certain this team WILL beat Florida and win the East. The Question now is how good can they be? Can they beat Alabama? You bet. Can they beat Alabama twice? No. I may be considered crazy for saying this, but if they lose at home to Alabama, then get revenge in Atlanta it is possible they can handle their other games and make it to Glendale in January. Arkansas, Auburn, and Florida all have unanswered questions and right now i think Carolina can beat all 3 of them. If I am right, i cannot wait for another Spurrier vs. Alabama showdown in Atlanta. Just like old times, well except for the fact that this Carolina team plays an absolute opposite brand of football that the Gators played in Spurrier's hay day. There is one thing I disagree with, i do not think this is Carolina's only chance to win the SEC. They have talent coming back in the next few years, but with the East side down and out, it is certainly their best chance. If your a Carolina fan, i suggest you get tickets to the Swamp for November 13th, because your going to witness history.