You don't become a program's all-time winningest coach without a few stumbles along the way. So with as much joy Spurrier's 84 wins have brought Gamecock Nation, the 45 losses have with them an equal amount of angst, agony, tears and smartphone chucks at the television. Bear with me for a moment as I count down Spurrier's ten worst losses as a Gamecock. (And trust me when I say it's not my intention to spoil your day.) Don't agree with the list? Let us know.
10. SEC Championship, 2010
As much as a milestone this game was, the embarrassment of a 39 point loss swallowed any prestige being atop the East brought. After a tough battle with Auburn earlier in the season that we surely could've won, many, like myself, came to Atlanta with high hopes of revenge. Unfortunately, the Tigers just had more to play for and weren't going to let us spoil their national championship dreams. The game was over at halftime after Cam Newton did this to us:
It's just a shame it got as out of control as it did. (Silver lining: Fans got their first glimpse of what Connor Shaw was capable of with a 36 yard 2nd half scramble.)
9. Clemson, 2014
While the game wasn't anything that different from other losses to Clemson in the past, this one makes the list on the sheer fact it ended one of the more enjoyable win streaks ever. I'm still having jet sweep nightmares. High 5.
8. Kentucky, 2010
A week after the most historic victory in the program's history, the Gamecocks were poised to avoid a let down after a dominate first half led by Marcus Lattimore's 3 touchdowns on 214 total yards. But after leaving the game with a sprained ankle, the offense was lost and Kentucky stormed back to take a 31-28 win. In the words of the HBC, "They kicked our tails in the second half."
7. Outback Bowl, 2008
The up and down career of Stephen Garcia started with a down. Getting the nod from Spurrier to start over Chris Smelley, Garcia, a redshirt freshman at the time, turned the ball over four times in the first half, going 9-18 with three interceptions. Somehow, it was only the beginning of the headache that was Garcia. South Carolina ended up losing the game 31-10 to Iowa to end the season on a three-game losing streak.
6. Florida, 2006
This game was so hard to swallow because it was one we definitely were in position to win had our special teams provided any kind of blocking. In Spurrier's first trip back to The Swamp as the opponent, our defense limited the Meyer-led Gators to only 17 points. But two blocked kicks, the first on an extra point after our last touchdown, and the other on a game winning field goal attempt, helped the Gators avoid an upset and continue their run onto becoming eventual national champs.
5. Tennessee, 2014
Every step forward South Carolina's defense took in 2014 came with three steps back. And nothing signifies that more than this game. After coming out of halftime with some effective adjustments, shutting out the Vols in the third quarter, South Carolina's defense gave up 21 fourth quarter points on its way to an overtime defeat. How Lorenzo Ward kept his job after this loss remains a mystery.
A much lesser foe than the team that won a national championship the year before, Auburn dictated the play for much of this game, raking up 37 minutes of possession while holding Lattimore to only 66 rushing yards. The game ended in controversy after the clock expired on a first down completion to Bruce Ellington that put the Gamecocks in potential range for a game-tying field. This was one we definitely should've and could've won. But looking back on that 2011 season, there were certainly other games that we could've lost had things not gone our way.
3. PapaJohns.com Bowl, 2009
By far the worst bowl performance I've ever witnessed from the Gamecocks. The team was uninspired and it was on full display. No amount of game planning could've overcome a sheer lack of effort from a team that didn't want to be there. Who can blame them though, right? The only thing at stake in this one was free pizza.
2. Tennessee, 2013
There's no excuse for this loss. After thrashing Arkansas on the road the week before, South Carolina came in passive, probably expecting to be handed a win. Of any of the 11-2 seasons, this one should've included a trip to the SEC Championship. A very avoidable, yet costly loss.
1. Kentucky, 2014
In the words of our managing editor Kaci, this one was one of the most frustratingly stupid losses ever. All we had to do was stop one player running one play repeated over and over throughout the second half. Kentucky's JoJo Kemp exploded for 131 yards and three touchdowns. The man only had 323 rushing yards all season!