Found November 27, 2011 on The Sports Rocker:
PLAYERS: Tajh Boyd
TEAMS: Clemson Tigers

I try not to blog too much about the Gamecocks but after last night's big win, I'm left with a few thoughts.

  • This past spring, the Gamecocks baseball team under head coach Ray Tanner won their second straight national title. And they did it with such an ease compared to the first season that it was nearly painless. I remember pulling for the Gamecocks 10 or 15 years ago and the thought of a national title would have been laughable, even in baseball. To be a Gamecock fan was to suffer through disappointment on purpose, almost the way some NY Jets fans feel about their team. Nowadays, though, the baseball team dominates and the football team has won at least 9 games the past two seasons. Kids these days are becoming spoiled; they'll grow up thinking the Gamecocks never suffer 20-game losing streaks and they beat Clemson every year.
  • Basketball team, you guys need to step it up. (Go get 'em, Ellington.)
  • The last time the Gamecocks football team won 10 games (1984), the team and season had a nickname: Black Magic. Unless I'm mistaken, I've heard no such nickname for this team. I wonder why that is. This D is just as dominant as the Fire Ant D.
  • Three times in a row now over Clemson. The last time that happened was 40 years ago. Really drives home how much Clemson has dominated this rivalry recently. Football fans outside of the state may dismiss this rivalry but inside the state, we know. It affects you nearly every day, when you see a Clemson sticker on the car in front of you or see a guy wearing a Gamecocks ballcap: you think about the rivalry.
  • Speaking of which, Dabo Swinney is in danger of becoming the Lloyd Carr of Clemson (really expected more retweets on that one). He recruits a good team, they put together decent seasons. But at the end of the year, if you don't beat your rival at least half the time, you'll be sent packing regardless of your record. Swinney is now 1-3 against Spurrier and the Gamecocks. My guess, he loses number four in a row? Gone. 
  • Tajh Boyd's tweet before the game about the Gamecocks defensive line being average was just silly. You can get away with that when the opponent's D is ranked 20th or 25th. But when they're ranked top-5, you're just asking for trouble. And watching the game, it seemed like every time he got chased out the pocket or sacked, a Gamecock player stood around him long enough to remind him of that comment. You think they're average (and maybe you're right), show it on the field. Not on Twitter.
  • Officiating was kind of bad last night. Multiple face masks were missed, one horsecollar tackle, countless holdings and the obvious muffed fumble on the Clemson special teams. That we're not talking about this is a testament to just how lopsided the final score was.
  • Yep, the Gamecocks didn't win the SEC East. They won't play LSU next weekend in Atlanta for the SEC. (Lee Corso, you're off the hook for one more season.) But they will finish with either a tie for the best season OR the best season ever in school history. They have now beaten Clemson three in a row. They are 8-0 against Clemson, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee the past two years. Read that last line every so often and pinch yourself. Yeah, Holtz put together two really good Outback Bowl seasons a decade ago, but those seasons pale in comparison to what Spurrier has done the past two seasons in Columbia. Maybe future generations will talk about 2010 and 2011 like we talked about Black Magic and the Fire Ant Defenses of the 1980s. But hopefully not. I hope instead they talk about 2012, the year we won it all.
P.S. Shout-out to my other alum, N.C. State, who mounted the second-largest comeback in ACC history to beat Maryland and become bowl eligible. Now if they could just play like that all the time, TOB.
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