“This program is a sleeping giant and Spurrier…”

Believe it or not, Phil Steele is writing that about Spurrier’s current program.

And he is really high on the Gamecocks.

… SC is a legit SEC contender and even made my list of Surprise Teams (Darkhorse National Title contender, pg 20).

You can hear the chest beating from the Carolina fan base already, can’t you?

Here’s my favorite tidbit:

… SC had only allowed one off TD to UGA in ‘07 and ‘08 before allowing 4 in LY’s 41-37 shootout loss. SC is 5-13 vs UGA since joining the SEC (‘92) incl 1-7 since 2002.

I loves me some trend.

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34 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

34 responses to ““This program is a sleeping giant and Spurrier…”

  1. Charles D.

    I am heading to an Scu message board right now to see how many posters have changed their sigs to “(Darkhorse National Title contender, pg 20).”

  2. dudetheplayer

    Yeah, but that “1” sure was a bummer in retrospect.

  3. Macallanlover

    I can see having SC as a contender for the East title, but that would be with a minimum of 2 SEC losses and the tie-breaker falling their way. With their offensive line problems, I don’t see how anyone can envision more than that. Sure miracles can, and do, happen. I originally thought SC would be pretty equal to UGA and UF, but after reading more about their problems in the Spring and looking at their schedule, I am thinking they will fight Kentucky for third best in the East. The early game at home against UGA is winnable for them as their depth problems will not surface that early, but even that is no better than 50/50 at best.

    • Macallanlover

      Meant to say a “dark horse” contender for the East title.

    • I think this is fairly accurate. We could win the East, but it would only happen if UGA and UF have multiple losses and we manage to spring a key tie-breaking upset. That kind of thing happens sometimes, and we’re probably good enough to make it happen if we get the right bounces. The “dark-horse title contender” line is way out there, though. I can’t see us winning more than 10 games even in the best-base scenario, and even that is a major stretch. Our Western slate is Auburn, Alabama, and Arkansas. Yikes!

  4. Steele has been saying the “sleeping giant” line about us every year for about a decade. He’s been saying it so long that I think his desire to see us actually prove him right has overturned his need for evidence against the last few seasons. Even a fairly optimistic Gamecocks fan like myself has to raise an eyebrow at “darkhorse national title contender.”

    (And yes, there are probably overeager Gamecocks fans on message boards agreeing with Phil, just like there are probably quite a few saying he’s crazy. Same thing with some UGA fans predicting 11-12 wins and a victory over the Gators, with others more cautious. That is, the same thing you see with every fanbase. Still not really sure what the point of this discussion is.)

    To his credit, though, Steele did predict the 2000-01 turnaround (against the evidence of the 0-11 1999 season) and predicted a good season for us in 2007 (6-1 followed by late-season losing streak), which probably would have happened if not for several key injuries. So he might be onto something there.

    • Charles D.

      (And yes, there are probably overeager Gamecocks fans on message boards agreeing with Phil, just like there are probably quite a few saying he’s crazy. Same thing with some UGA fans predicting 11-12 wins and a victory over the Gators, with others more cautious. That is, the same thing you see with every fanbase. Still not really sure what the point of this discussion is.)

      Man, it never ceases to amaze. No need to kill an opponent on the blog message page, but I have about 120 years of history that we need to go over.

      • Do tell. The point is just that every fanbase has both over-optimistic and realist fans. It wasn’t a comparison of the two programs’ histories. I know what the series record is, how many championships the two teams have won, etc. I don’t need a history lesson. And that 120 years of history isn’t going to make a lot of difference here. This is clearly–and sadly, when you consider all the holes we still have–one of the most talented teams we’ve had in Columbia. I doubt you can say the same thing. The gap between these two programs is still wide, but it’s not what it was 40 years ago. Please humor me and admit it’s not 1980.

        • Charles D.

          UGA fans are not being overly optimistic by thinking that they are going to win 10 games a season. It has happened 8 times in the last 20 years.

          Scu fans ARE being overly optimistic by thinking they will win 9 games. It has happened TWICE IN 120 years.

          I would argue that the gap may be even wider now than it was in 1980. As you said, UGA did not have a vintage team last year, sees its coach on the hotseat and fired the entire defensive staff after an 8 win letdown. How many games did Scu win with the most talented bunch in history?

          I obviously will never win this argument with an Scu fan because when every year is “the year,” you have to be right eventually, right?

        • You guys had a pretty good team in 1980. ;)

          • True; nice memory. I probably should have gone with another year, but that one jumped into my head because of your national title. We had plenty of crappy teams in the late 70s-early 80s, though, so I think the point holds. You guys blanked us 24-0 in ’81.

            As to the other points, the idea that the gap between UGA and USC is wider than in 1980 is absurd. UGA is still a very strong program and I expect a sharp turnaround from last year’s season with at least 9 wins for the Dawgs. However, it’s also pretty clear that USC has assembled quite a bit of talent over the last few years. Like I said, we haven’t closed the gap, but it’s not as wide as it used to be. That’s why the games have been close each year over the past decade other than 2003, but I digress.

            I should also note that I didn’t call predictions of a 10-win season overly optimistic for UGA. I said 11-12 and national title contention, and I would say there’s a good bit of distance between the two. Honestly, tell me: do you think UGA will contend for the national title this year?

            As far as the idea that our fans think every year is “the year,” I’m just not really sure where this is coming from.
            No one I knew was predicting a big season over the past two years, other than the few sunshine pumpers that are present in every fanbase. We knew what we were dealing with last year. And it’s obviously not just USC fans that think this year will be better; take it from Phil Steele.

            Another question: why are UGA fans the only ones that believe USC fans think every year will be “the year?”

            • AthensHomerDawg

              I’ve listened to the same reasoning from Arkansas fans. I don’t believe that either.

            • augusta dawg

              Believe me when I say it’s not just Georgia fans that say it about the Carolina fanbase; this same conversation happens multiple times a year on Tennessee, Florida, SEC, and Auburn message boards just to name a few that I’ve seen recently. Hell, I have this same conversation with my friends that are Gamecock fans.

              • Although I’ll grant that they may talk about it occassionally, I’ve heard this a lot less from Florida, Tennessee, etc., than I do from UGA. “Scu” also seems to be an UGA thing.

            • You probably need to check out my latest post before you go much further here. ;)

            • Another question: why are UGA fans the only ones that believe USC fans think every year will be “the year?”

              I was born and raised in Augusta so I’d live to believe that I’ve dealt with Carolina fans a lot more than the average UGA alum. Trust me when I say that Carolina definitely think every year will be “the year”.

              • Reply fail. “live” to believe should be “like” to believe.

                • With all due respect, I went to Carolina and would like to believe that I know Carolina fans better than any UGA alum, even one that grew up in Augusta. Those that I know are, on average, no more overly optimistic than those of other fan bases.

                  I know plenty of Carolina fans that are saying we *might* have a chance to contend for an SEC title this season, but I don’t know any that feel like it’s very likely. In that sense, it’s like UGA fans predicting a national title run. Possible, but not likely. And that’s basically the point I’ve been making all along, that speculation and optimism are part of any passionate fanbase’s off-season routine.

                  • Reptillicide

                    You can think you know whatever you want, but reality is different. Every cock fan thinks every year is “the year,” and none of them deny it either. I was boinking a girl from SCU for awhile and every football season it was the same grandiose dilusions.

                  • No arguing here, but you discount the “idiot factor” which I was most privied to in Augusta. Unfortunately, it’s the “idiots” of the fanbase that tend to be the most vocal. Otherwise, there’d be no “Mark Richt is on the hot seat” or “this year is the year” type arguments for us to discuss in the offseason. I truly believe you when you discuss you interactions but I think you’re discounting the more vocal section of your fanbase which like I said happens to usually be the idiots.

                    • LMAO, Senator.

                      Audit, you have a point there. I guess part of what I’ve been saying is not to take the idiots for the average–i. e., like your friend that says that “every cock fan thinks every year is ‘the year'”–but you’re right that a lot of times the idiots are the ones that do the best job of making themselves heard. That’s fair enough.

  5. Mayor of Dawgtown

    South Carolina’s problem has always been depth. That is why the Cocks are good in the early games but suck late in the season when injuries inevitably happen while playing an SEC schedule. We could speculate on the cause (small state, not great HS football in-state, etc.) but that serves no real purpose. The place is no “Sleeping Giant.” They are dangerous early when we play them and they always play us tough even when we win. But win the SEC or even the SEC East? No way.

    • Another classic UGA-ism. Depth is certainly a problem for us in comparison to the national powers in the conference, but the more fundamental reason for the late-season collapses is that our schedule is backloaded.

      If you want to know why the USC-UGA series is so much closer than the USC-UF series (and yes, I know that this is something that all Georgia fans want to know the answer to), look no further than the results of your yearly trip to Jacksonville.

      I’ll be the first to agree, though, that our chances of winning the East are remote and that calling us a “sleeping giant” is a little far-fetched.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Sorry Gamecockman but the “backloaded schedule” explanation doesn’t fly. S. Carolina’s last 7 games are: UK, Vandy, UT (which this year isn’t as good as the previous 2), Arkansas, FLA, Troy and Clemmons. The only tough game in that crowd is FLA (Arky potentially). Clemmons is in the weak-assed ACC and S. Carolina can’t even get past them most seasons. It ain’t the “backloaded” schedule that causes the annual swan-dive for the Cocks.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          P.S. Since Richt arrived in Athens South Carolina is 2-7 against the Dawgs. That is not dramatically different from the Gamecocks’ record against the Gators and not “so much closer” than the Dawgs’ record against the Gators during the same period. Which goes to my point made in previous posts about how UGA has parity (or superiority) with/over all of its SEC rivals (including LSU and Bama) except for FLA. I wonder why? Could it be that we give a homefield advantage to FLA every year? Just sayin’.

  6. Also re: the “sleeping giant” idea, I think SC has enough high-school talent to support a powerhouse program. The problem for USC is that (1) we lose many of the best players to out-of-state programs (A. J. Green, Carlos Dunlap, John Fulton, Eric Mack, etc.) and (2) there’s probably not enough talent for both USC and Clemson to have really great programs. Since there’s no reason to believe we’re about to start consistently beating the Floridas, UGAs, and ‘Bamas of the world in recruiting or, even if we become more competitive in the series, start dominating Clemson, I don’t think this is going to change all that much in the immediate future, although I do think we’re making slow strides.

    • Macallanlover

      You are going to ruin the image many here have of SC fans. I find all of your responses to be very reasonable and grounded. I feel the two significant losses on defense, the ongoing OL issues, and how the SOS/Garcia relationship plays out the three issues that need to go your way for the Cocks to contend. The schedule is tough, but sometimes a magical season comes along for everyone.

      Just don’t bully our newest “pup” on Septemeber 11 as he makes his first QB road start, UGA needs to win that game to jumpstart our road to the Dome. If we don’t get there, I would like to see SC fans rewarded. The 9/11 game will play a huge role in who makes it. I believe we can lose and still make it, I don’t think it works the same for you though. Outside our game, good luck to you.

      • Thanks; same to you.

        I’m not so worried about the defensive losses. The pass rush will suffer without Norwood, but the interior line and secondary should be much better, so we should find a way to play effective defense. The issues with Spurrier / Garcia and the o-line, on the other hand, are big question marks. Basically, I think this team is more talented in lots of ways than Spurrier’s other teams, but because of the importance of QB and line play to having any success on offense, it may not matter.

        I also think you’re right about the implications of the UGA-USC matchup. It’s def. a must-win for us if we’re to make a run at anything more than the usual seven wins. I can also, like you say, see us winning that game but going on to win eight or so to your nine or ten, kindof like in 2007. I expect UGA is a team that will get much better as the year goes on and Murray matures and the defense acquaints itself to Grantham’s scheme.