University of South Carolina Football: Championship or Choke Job?
It’s my birthday, sports fans and all I want is a University of South Carolina blowout. And a pony.
It’s no accident that the past five BCS Champions have come from the SEC. Like it or not, the SEC is the best conference in NCAA football and the second best isn’t even in their rear-view mirror anymore.
Being a part of the best conference in the country comes with a lot of perks: top recruiting classes, nationally televised games, and so much respect for strength of schedule that one-, or even two-loss teams in the SEC routinely finish ahead of undefeated teams in the BCS rankings.
It’s a pretty sweet deal for Auburn, Alabama, Florida, LSU and the other schools considered the class of the SEC, but for the long-suffering fans of the South Carolina Gamecocks it’s decidedly less glamorous.
South Carolina joined the SEC in 1991 when the conference increased its membership to 12 teams and split into two conferences. Since then, their fans have remained steadfastly dedicated and optimistic despite the fact that they’ve hovered slightly below, or slightly above, mediocrity with relatively few bright spots.
Well, that is, until this year. On the Aug. 22 edition of Sports Illustrated that’s hitting newsstands in the Southeast, South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey is sandwiched between Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck (better known as the next John Elway) and Alabama running back Trent Richardson.
The headline reads: “South Carolina: Best Gamecocks Team Ever.”
Well, the Gamecocks certainly aren’t below the radar going into their season opener against East Carolina on Saturday. Will it be the beginning of a statement season that earns them a place amongst the big dogs in the conference, or will it be the last word that relegates them to the ranks of Vanderbilt and Kentucky?
That was mean...sorry, Vandy.
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