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Everyone: Calm Down

Let me deliver a message from the Land of Rationality, which I visited only briefly since last night's disaster -- a message that I need to hear almost as much as anyone else: Calm down.

Let's not lose perspective. This was one game. Yes, it was a horrible, awful, putrid game, more worthy of a Sun Belt team than an SEC squad. But it was just one game.

Don't forget that Vanderbilt beat Georgia in 2006. That would be the same year the spelling-challenged Dawgs won nine games, including the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl against a solid Virginia Tech team.

And look at last year. Michigan fans had every right to believe that they were headed for a 4- or 5-win season after losing to Appalachian State and get blasted by Oregon at home. Instead, they went 9-4 and ended the year with a rousing win over Florida in the Capital One Bowl.

Or Auburn, 1-2 after squeaking by Kansas State, losing to a South Florida team that didn't end up being quite as good as their early-season success suggested, and dropping a game to Mississippi State, no nearly as good as its record would lead you to believe. The Tigers also went 9-4, edging Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

An upset, even after a disappointing first game, is not the end of the world. Is a 2-10 season a possibility? Sure. Is a 10-2 season a possibility?

Okay, let's not get ridiculous. But a 7- or 8-win season isn't exactly the Impossible Dream, either. Yes, LSU and Ole Miss now look harder than they might have before the season began. But Clemson and Tennessee now look more beatable (independent of the Gamecocks' ability to defeat them).

What was your biggest concern coming into this game? Come on, it was quarterback. Sure, Smelley was erratic, particularly in the first half, and he threw two picks. But he wasn't Beecher-rific either.

vs Vanderbilt / 9.4.08 Passing Rushing
Comp Att Pct Yds TD Rush Yds Avg TD
Chris Smelley 23 39 59.0 233 2 6 3 0.5 0

This season isn't over, and the game against Vanderbilt won't determine how it ends. How the Gamecocks respond to Thursday night will.