For Gamecock fans, this has been a longer off-season than we have grown accustomed to in the recent years past.
The three straight 11 win seasons, 5 straight over that team in the Upstate and going bowling 9 of the previous 10 seasons came to an abrupt halt last year.
And what a year it was for our boys in Garnet and Black. It started off with some optimism in the week 1 win over UNC, but grew dimmer after that. After the horrible flood that plagued our beautiful and strong state, the sudden resignation of the ol Ball Coach and the home loss to LSU in Baton Rouge, the season felt like it was straight out of the twilight zone.
The team found a renewed energy when Coach Shawn Elliot took over the reigns, but was not ultimately enough to get the job done. They would win his first game against Vanderbilt, but lose to an in-state team that just seemed to want it more.
Is that the best that we can do? We go from Spurrier to Coach Boom?
That Citadel game still just does not feel real to me. Add the embarrassing loss to Citadel and the fact that Clemson made it all the way to the title game, and the salt kept pouring into those gaping wounds for Gamecock football.
Then came the head coach search. Tom Herman is going to be the guy! He’s going to bring some real excitement to the team! Then add and remove several other names, and all of a sudden I had joked that we would end up with Will Muschamp. Will FREAKING Muschamp.
Is that the best that we can do? We go from Spurrier to Coach Boom? This will never work. And then the man starts talking. In his opening interview he said he could sell ice to an eskimo, and I will tell you that he sold me all the crow I had been rattling off almost instantly.
Then there was the fear of the recruits we would lose due to the head coaching switch and Brandon McIlwain immediately came to mind. We were really counting on him to be the next guy to take over the reigns. If he leaves, that would just be a huge blow to the recruiting class. Not only does he get McIlwain to stay onboard, the staff goes out and gets Bryan Edwards, who is going to be a STUD.
The program is going under a rebuild, or as we are familiar with in the Bible Belt, a spiritual rebirth…
When the Gamecocks were successful, we were winning our state in recruiting getting Mr. Football for SC four straight years. Two are in the NFL, Jadeveon Clowney and Stephon Gilmore. One, Marcus Lattimore, would be a star in the league if it hadn’t been for a horrific knee injury. There has been a new emphasis on taking back the state and not losing them to Georgia.
So after all of this what can Gamecock nation expect out of the first year under the Coach Boom Era? Expect discipline. Expect energy. And expect lots of these faces in the first year or so.
But that’s OK! The program is going under a rebuild, or as we are familiar with in the Bible Belt, a spiritual rebirth. They could go out and surprise everyone and win the East…not likely but possible. Muschamp has made his expectations clear: winning. Get ready for the rebirth of the Gamecocks defense that once caused fear in opposing teams. Hard hitting, sacks, interceptions and SOUND tackling.
I believe Kurt Roper will have the offense viable this year and soaring in years to come. Coach Boom has even said that if he had hired Roper sooner he’d probably be at Florida still. Guess that Charlie Weiss hire didn’t work out too well.
Do Gamecock nation…get excited! Don’t take this season too seriously and enjoy your team rise from the ashes. With new uniform combos could we get a fire ants defense version 2.0? Could we get a return of Black Magic? Only time will tell, but the time is almost here!
We will keep you updated on any breaking news, injuries or position Battles. The Rooster is about to crow and Sandstorm will have the stadium jumping. Much like the players emerge from the smoke, so will your Gamecocks this season. Carolina….Forever to Thee.