The number of milestones the Gamecocks have reached and the things the team has accomplished over the last decade make the Spurrier era the most successful period of South Carolina football in its history. Here are the most significant of those accomplishments:
10. Williams-Brice Winning Streak
From the beginning of October in 2011 to the season opener in 2014, a stretch of 18 home games, the Gamecocks did not lose a single game at Williams-Brice Stadium. Establishing their home field as a place to be feared was a huge accomplishment for the Gamecocks.
9. Winningest Coach in South Carolina History
With an 84-45 overall record with the Gamecocks, Spurrier has the most wins of any head coach the Gamecocks have ever had.
8. Four Consecutive Mr. Football Award Winners
Spurrier has been able to bring high-caliber players to South Carolina on a more consistent basis than the team has ever seen before. From 2008-2011 the top-ranked football player in South Carolina chose to play for the Gamecocks, including Jadeveon Clowney, who was the top overall recruit in his class.
7. Highest Final Ranking
The final poll after the last of USC's three 11 win seasons had the Gamecocks ranked at #4 in the country. It was the culmination of several years of increasing success in the polls and followed up two top ten poll finishes.
6. Beating #1 Ranked Team
The 35-21 victory over the top-ranked Alabama team in 2010 was USC's first victory over the #1 team in program history. Not only was it a fun, decisive victory, but it contributed to the Gamecocks winning their first SEC East title.
5. First 11 Win Season in School History
South Carolina's victory over Nebraska in the Capitol One Bowl to close out the 2011 season gave the Gamecocks their first ever 11 win season.
4. Three Consecutive 11 Win Seasons
Even better than leading the Gamecocks to their first 11 win season is that Spurrier followed it up by leading the Gamecocks to two more.
3. Five in a Row Over Clemson
Last week we reviewed the best moments for the Gamecocks in the rivalry with the Tigers, but one of the best things about the Spurrier era at South Carolina is what those moments added up to. The winning streak from 2009 to 2013 was the longest consecutive winning streak for the Gamecocks in the history of the rivalry.
2. Winning the SEC East in 2010
While everyone (Spurrier included) still has bigger and better goals in mind for the Gamecocks, Spurrier leading USC to their first divisional championship in the SEC was one of the most exciting moments so far of his time in Columbia.
1. Consistent Bowl Eligibility and Bowl Wins
Spurrier inherited a program that had been to just 11 bowls and had a 3-8 record in them. The Gamecocks have only missed out on playing in a bowl once since he became the coach and have a 5-4 bowl record under Spurrier. The high points of his tenure have been much more exciting than just making a lower tier bowl every year, but raising the expectations of players and fans and turning South Carolina into a place that expects to have a postseason is one of Spurrier's biggest achievements.