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Reviewing South Carolina at Florida: Summing Up What It Means for the Program

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Two days after taking it to the Florida Gators, Gamecock Nation is still ecstatically celebrating. The glow has yet to fade, the good vibes yet to fizzle out. And perhaps that's just as well, because while the victory itself was memorable, its implications for the future are just as positive. The win, first of all, ensures or makes possible a number of firsts for the program. These include:

  • Its first SEC East Title, and a shot at its first SEC Title.
  • A shot at its ever first BCS Bowl berth.
  • Its first-ever win in The Swamp.
  • Barring disaster against Troy, its first eight-win regular season of the Spurrier era. Carolina has won eight regular-season games only six times in its history, with the last being 2001.
  • Granting wins against Troy and Clemson, a shot at its first ten-win season since 1984 and only its second ever.

These are / would be great accomplishments for a program with our history, and they should make possible even greater accomplishments to come. This win, along with the previous ones against Georgia and Alabama, is making us a national name, and that should pay major dividends on the recruiting trail. In a year when many of the programs we're competing with to sign our last few targets--Alabama, Clemson, etc.--are struggling to meet expectations, the 'Cocks have taken a major step forward. Recruits will see this and, hopefully, will want to catch a ride on this train now that they know that Steve Spurrier's claims about winning SEC Titles at Carolina were not idle boasting. Javedeon Clonwney, Phillip Dukes, and Lateek Townshend all undoubtedly saw us slaughter the vaunted Gators, and the win should put us that much closer to signing these guys. These are the kinds of players that can help us sustain and supersede the success we've had this year.

Make no mistake, this all means that this was a huge win, one of the biggest ever for us. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Some rival fans are going to say that we only won the East because the traditional powers were down. Anyone who says that can shove it you-know-where. We stepped up and took the trophy by winning in one of the most hostile environments in college football, and we had to weather a crowd that was rowdy after the opening kickoff return to do it. That's a major accomplishment, and its a testament to our coaches and team that they were able to save such a special performance for the biggest stage they'd ever been on. No one can take that away from us, and we'll always have the banner to prove that we did it. Despite the bumps, this has been a special year, and I think there's a good chance it could get much better.