It's not a question. The South Carolina Gamecocks are as loaded on talent as they've ever been. Some oldtimers may cite teams from historical lore, but to compare the athleticism of, say, the 1969 ACC championship team to the team the Gamecocks will field in 2011 is absurd. South Carolina has made considerable strides in recruiting since the arrival of Steve Spurrier in 2005, reeling in three straight South Carolina Mr. Football honorees. Locking up the best of the state's recruits has been critical to the Gamecocks' surge on the field. WR Alshon Jeffery, DB Stephon Gilmore, DE Devin Taylor, RB Marcus Lattimore, and DE Jadeveon Clowney are all products of the Palmetto State.
QB Stephen Garcia is now in his fifth season in Columbia. Despite his off-the-field troubles, Garcia has done a solid job at the helm of the offense and has shown flashes of greatness. Having a senior QB that knows the scheme and is seasoned on the speed of the game in the SEC is crucial to a team's potential for success. Potential. It's the thing Carolina has more of than ever before. It is, however, no guarantee; especially when faced with hungry and difficult opponents almost every single Saturday. It's quite nice, though, to know those opponents will face a gauntlet of weapons wearing garnet and black. South Carolina is home to arguably the best WR and best RB in America. The Gamecocks host one of the nation's best defensive lines and have one of the top cover corners in college football. Excitement is high. Yet, the big question is whether or not the team can finish on the field. Can they put opponents away when given the chance? Will the fans be subjected to another stumble? We'll have to wait another month before the answers begin to unravel. Nonetheless, one thing is for certain: it's a whole lot easier to finish when you're physically better than the men across the line of scrimmage.