It's nearly Spring, and with Spring comes a feeling of hopeful anticipation for new beginnings, warmer temperatures, and
especially bad remakes fresh ideas. So, we at GABA thought it would be just the right time to reboot rekindle the flame of a once-beloved tradition around these here parts: the weekly Friday mailbag known as 'The GABAbag'.
This is a place where you, the reader, can have your voice heard on topics ranging from building your own Gamecock Dream Team to Clemson's obsession with being classy in an environment that is both lighthearted and completely
biased judgment-free. This website is about you, the fans, and we want to honor that with a weekly forum.
(Please note that questions may be edited for grammar or brevity.)
Jacob asks, "Will this Spring give us any idea on a QB who is the leader for the [starting job] or will we enter fall camp with a depth chart that reads Nunez OR Mitch OR McIlwain OR Orth OR Scarnecchia OR Rhinoceros?"
- dammit, I really thought we were going to be able to ease into this, and I also didn't want such an easy segue into a conversation about the Republican Presidential race.
Okay, here's the thing: Spring workouts and drills are a time when simultaneously everyone and no one can make their predictions regarding the likelihood of a player to succeed or otherwise. Remember when Connor Mitch was going to potentially be one of the SEC's best players?
In actuality, we're likely to see and hear a LOT of conflicting reports moving through the Spring game, which is where we could have a clear front-runner establish himself, OR we could have a scenario that involves EVERYONE taking a fair amount of snaps which would leave us just as clueless as we are now.
Obviously, being in the position where one (or two) players have clearly made their case as the most viable option is ideal, and we aren't going to be living in the world of Steve Spurrier quarterback-merry-go-round, so signs should point to making a clear case to narrow down our options sooner rather than later. Where are we likely going to be? Hopefully down to three options. I shall not make a prediction herein, but, we could do worse than Rhinoceros...
Scott asks, "Since we can pretty well figure out our Gamecock Football Team is a ways away from competing at the upper-echelon, what's the next men's championship we can hope for? Our BBall team is good (and FUN!), but, unless we have an unbelievable run, it's unlikely that we'll ever compete at a national level given the dearth of talent. Should we accept that we're a baseball school and nothing else. Also: what is our timeline for possible men's championships per sport?
-This is a great question because it's simultaneously an accurate assessment of our ceiling in some major sports and our predilection as Gamecock fans to never believe that we're entitled to nice things.
That being said, I will attempt to show you how it's possible for each of our programs to win a championship while tempering your expectations so you don't start acting
like a Texas fan all crazy if none of these predictions come true.
- Baseball: We've seen, seemingly, the bottom of the barrel in the Chad Holbrook era. We got this, right? TIMELINE: 2016.
- Basketball: Despite your thoughts that depth and talent are an issue, this team is on the rise. I'm not saying that we should expect national success, but, I mean, Butler played in two consecutive championship games, so why not us? TIMELINE: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- Football: I would, literally, sell my soul for the College Football National Championship, and with Muschamp at the helm? You people have no idea how amazing it would be to watch the collective football universe try to mentally deal with that. TIMELINE: [record skips]
- Golf: Coach McDonald's squad has been knocking at the door of greatness for a few seasons now, and with the matchplay element to the NCAA Tournament, there's a chance here but you have to get hot at the right time, and we've done exactly the opposite lately. TIMELINE: realistically, next year might be our year.
- Soccer: While I LOVE Coach Mark Berson and Gamecock Soccer (and if you haven't been to a match at The Graveyard then shame on you), we have been unable to advance inside the top-10 since the powerhouse teams we fielded in the 90s. Say what you will about the lure of domestic and foreign pro contracts, but, there's still a lot of crazy talented players in NCAA Soccer...we just need to get some of it. TIMELINE: I mean, let's be honest here, I'll be happy beating Clemson every year.
- Swimming: The only thing I know about competitive swimming and/or diving is that it is HARD AS HELL and that Stanford, Michigan, and Ohio State are really really good every single year. I have to punt on this one.
- Tennis: If investments in the facilities pay-off we're on the right path, but, NCAA tennis contends with the same professional temptations that soccer deals with. If we can get some great players to come to Columbia, then we have a shot at changing the status quo, but we're a middle-of-the-road program at best. (BUT WE'RE STILL BETTER THAN CLEMSON) TIMELINE: I dunno, maybe an individual title?
- Track/Field: We used to be a T&F powerhouse and we still have some great individual performers in both sprint and distance competitions (like David Winters and Markus Leemet) but the likelihood of a team championship is slim, mainly because we haven't had much success with non-running outdoor events. The Decathlon and the 4 x 100/400m relay represent our best chances. TIMELINE: maybe?
-Want to ask your questions about South Carolina Gamecocks sports, topical endeavors, hypothetical creature fights, or other nonsense topics? Tweet to us @GABAttack, find us on the Facebooks, or you can email us at GABAMailbag@gmail.com.