It is finished.
As many of you know, I have been one of the staunchest supporters of Stephen Garcia over the past few years. I have written numerous articles, including one last week, calling Garcia a winner, and champion.
I have even blasted fans in a piece that turned out to be one of the most controversial Gamecock related materials I have ever produced (and that is saying a lot).
However, it's time for me to become what I absolutely hate.
I am finally pulling out the white flag and waving it on Stephen Garcia. I give up. I can't support him anymore as the Gamecock starting quarterback. After last night's disastrous performance against Vanderbilt, I finally had the truth slap me square in the mouth and my biased fan glasses finally broke.
South Carolina is a hell of a football team, being led by one of the worst quarterbacks in America.
I won't complain about South Carolina as a team, because last night was the most complete game of the season. Victor Hampton played like the stud defensive back he is. With him back, Gilmore and Hampton form a tantalizingly talented defensive backfield.
The linebackers are tackling beautifully. The defensive line, without question, is the greatest line in all of college football, and I dare you to argue that.
On offense, the receivers have looked wonderful as of late, when they get opportunities. Ace Sanders, Nick Jones and Jason Barnes have had moments of absolute "awesomeness", while Alshon Jeffery is still Alshon Jeffery, albeit a visibly frustrated Jeffery (wonder why?). It gets better next week with Damiere Byrd making his much-anticipated freshman debut against Auburn.
The offensive line is the best offensive line South Carolina has had in a decade. Then, there is Marcus Lattimore, who for my money, is the best offensive player in college football today.
Then, there is Garcia. Poor, overwhelmed, tired and defeated Garcia.
He's not the quarterback that he was for the last two years. He has regressed, as a fifth year senior, in the most important year in South Carolina history. His legacy will forever be known as the quarterback of squandered potential and opportunities.
Sure, there is a silver lining that it's only Week 4 and the team is 4-0. However, it is looking like Garcia is not, and never will be, the championship quarterback we expected him to be. It devastates me on so many levels. Connor Shaw, start your engines—we may need you soon.