Just another championship preseason in Columbia

In the minds of Gamecock fans, it’s the best time of the year – the period between regular seasons.  The sun shines a little brighter, some kid gets converted from safety to quarterback and is immediately anointed a Heisman candidate, the ‘Cocks have the best coaching staff in the country, USC will be playing in Atlanta… you know the drill.

Oh, and the South Carolina recruiting classes are as good as anyone’s in the SEC.  If you’re looking for ratification of that claim, feel free to check out the latest in The State.

Well, maybe there’s some room to grow:

Though six SEC schools — not to mention Clemson — currently are ranked higher than the Gamecocks, Rivals’ Crabtree does not view that as a reason for USC fans to mope.

“You can finish seventh in the SEC and still have a top-30 recruiting class,” Crabtree said. “If you’re in that range that means you’re signing a good group of kids, and I have no doubts that they’re going to have a good class come signing day.”

Coach Spurrier is pumped… about taking other schools’ leftovers.

In the meantime, Spurrier hopes the Gamecocks will have a strong finishing kick.

“It seems like most schools are almost filled up. But there are still a lot of players that haven’t done anything,” Spurrier said recently. “There are still a whole bunch of good players out there that want to go through the visits in January.”

Jamie Newberg thinks the Gamecocks have a new recruiting weapon, which will come as a bit of a surprise to Dawg fans.

But Newberg said the Gamecocks’ biggest commitment could prove to be new defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder. Newberg lived in Atlanta when VanGorder ran Georgia’s defense from 2001 to 2004 and believes players will be excited about playing in VanGorder’s 4-3 scheme.

“I think you’re really going to see that boost their recruiting in the future,” Newberg said. “Now, these kids might not remember what he did at Georgia, but after one year they’ll know.”

There is one good bit of recruiting news for South Carolina, though.  It looks like the Gamecocks have landed a roommate for Stephen Garcia.

Georgia Military defensive end Jarriel King, part of Spurrier’s first USC class in 2005, was dismissed from his junior-college team in August after stealing $5 from a teammate. Georgia Military coach Bert Williams said King is on track to finish his two-year degree in March and remains committed to the Gamecocks.


Filed under Recruiting, The Evil Genius

8 responses to “Just another championship preseason in Columbia

  1. SonuvaDawg

    The blind optimism of Cocks fans never ceases yo amaze me. I’ve ghosted their boards, and sure enough they’re talking about a trip to atlanta next november.

    6-6, lost the last 5 in a row, and expecting a trip to the SECCG. wow.


  2. I’m too lazy to do this, but I’d love for someone to put together a post putting the pre-Sugar-Bowl Hawaii message boards alongside the current we’re-so-gonna-win-the-’08-SECCG-y’all SC message boards and noting the similarities.

    Don’t stop believin’, kids.


  3. Ben

    To be fair, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t too long ago that we were saying the same things after losses to UF and UT. Remember the hype Donnan put around one of his teams?

    All I’m saying is that now that we’re in the driver’s seat we shouldn’t forget how long ago we were just in the middle of the pack.


  4. “I’ve been waiting 55 years to be the head coach of a football team that has this much potential.”

    Donnan had the potential part spot on. Go check how many of the kids from the 2000 team wound up playing on Sundays – especially on defense.

    It’s a shame that the coaching part never showed up like it should have.

    And at least we had a 10 win season in ’97 to get hyped up about. If South Carolina won 10 games in a season… well, I can’t even get my brain around how the ‘Cock fan base would react to that.


  5. Hobnail_Boot

    So Senator, you’re saying your thought process would become ‘Cock-blocked?


  6. NM

    “All I’m saying is that now that we’re in the driver’s seat we shouldn’t forget how long ago we were just in the middle of the pack.”

    Fair point. But then again… SC has hired two national championship-winning coaches in a row and they’re STILL 6-6. (And, had they played us in November instead of September, maybe would’ve been 5-7.) And at least in the 1990s, Georgia could still say, “We used to be good.” Something about Columbia just sucks the talent out of coaches and players…


  7. Yeah, it’s called “Columbia.”


  8. dean

    You should try living in this state with these frickin’ fans. They beat us this year for the first time in 6 years and all of a sudden they own our asses. All I heard during that 6 game losing streak is “at least we CAN beat Georgia”. I make no excuses about the game, they won we lost but the all-time record is something like 43-13. So please. Anyway didn’t mean to get off topic.
    A couple of years ago when they upgraded some facilities I heard they had to add a trophy room for all those preseason NC trophies. Make room for one more. For a program that has never won anything (1969 ACC championship withstanding) they sure do talk a lot of crap. That’s why they’re tied for 2nd with tech fans in my top 5 of most disliked fans.
    Hey SonuvaDawg,
    They’ve been talking about a trip to ATL (or Birmingham) NEXT year since they joined the league. So it’s nothing new.