Now that the initial uproar over Stephen Garcia' s latest run-in with bad press and team discipline has worn off a little bit, it's time go ahead and recognize what we all know is the truth: unless Garcia really goes overboard sometime between now and August, he will be this team's starting QB against East Carolina and will likely start every game. What Garcia did was immature and childish, but it's only arguably an offense that one should be severely disciplined for. Moreover, until proven otherwise, Garcia is this team's best QB. Those two things mean that Captain Brahsome will again be leading the way when Carolina takes the field in August.
Unfortunately, that's not great news for Carolina, and I don't just mean in the sense that Spurrier's handling of this situation doesn't say a lot about his disciplinary standards, as we've been discussing. What this entire incident really points up to me is that Garcia's commitment to being the absolute best player he can be remains equivocal. Garcia has improved over the past few years, and we've been hearing some positive news about Garcia's commitment to his winter workouts. We can always hope that that's the new Garcia and that that attitude will carry over throughout the rest of his final year. Unfortunately, however, considering that we've been down this road with him before, we know that he could fall apart again at any time, perhaps shortly before the Gamecocks' next postseason berth. That's what we have with Garcia, and while I'm a big believer in giving people the chances and support they need to succeed and in hoping for the best each and every time, I also have to take a "believe it when I see it" attitude with Garcia. Maybe the light will finally come on for him. It usually does at some point for good kids, and I believe Garcia is a good kid. However, there's nothing to make me believe that it's about to happen.
For this reason, I hope that Connor Shaw gives Garcia a strong push this off-season, and I'd love to see young Shaw take the reins. It's actually not that I'm committed to having a well-groomed, well-behaved QB starting for USC, although that would be nice in some regards. It's that if Shaw doesn't beat out Garcia, that means Garcia is the best we have, and that's a scary thought going into what has the potential to be a milestone year for USC football. That's probably where we are, though, so all we can do is hope for the best.