Finally, Clemson and South Carolina are rivals
By: Cory Fravel
For many years Clemson has dominated the Gamecocks with little to no resistance. The fall of 2009 you could see the tide turning even though CJ Spiller was still scoring at will on nearly every team. 2009 South Carolina didn’t get a call from the refs, no good bounces they just beat Clemson and soundly.
Fast forward to the fall of 2010 and the Gamecocks frankly embarassed the Tigers in Death Valley. Here we are Tiger fans ready for 2011 but for once South Carolina until
proven otherwise is in firm
Like it or not Clemson fans South Carolina has done the Tigers a favor. The last two years of football combined with South Carolina’s baseball success has has raised the bar and refocused Clemson. I think what Gamecock fans will find out is the sleeping giant has awoke and things are about to change.
It’s been 20 years of ups and downs and mediocrity for Clemson football post-Danny Ford. South Carolina forcing the issue with improved play will and has improved competition. This has made the Tigers take a look in the mirror.
Make no mistake about this- pumper or dumper this Clemson fanbase at best was divided if changes to the offense hadn’t been made this offseason. I think the changes made were good and will show big returns in the future. Dabo Swinney’s career is relying on it.
Coach Swinney to be fair will have this year and next to right the ship. Ten wins should be the standard for the 2012 football season or it should be considered a failure. The staff assembled at Clemson now is high powered and combined with the athletes in place it should produce better results.
Standards at Clemson should be high for football. In my mind with the athletes and coaching Clemson has in football should produce a 7-9 win season for 2011 followed by 2012 season where 10 wins are a must, period.
Clemson now with a legit OC in Chad Morris and with staff additions of Robbie Caldwell, Marion Hobby and Tony Elliott the Tigers are poised for change.
South Carolina fans would have you believe that they just won the the national championship. Gamecock fans you just went 9-5. Just like Clemson did in 2009.
South Carolina won a down SEC East and had the feathers beat out of them not once but twice by Auburn. The SEC championship game was a romp and it was clear the Gamecocks had no business playing Auburn for the SEC championship. What is that noise? Wait I think Auburn scored again on South Carolina.
The Gamecocks were dismantled after Lattimore was hit in the mouth by Florida State. FSU physically dominated South Carolina.
Who are you South Carolina? You beat Bama last year who struggled all year on offense. Anyone else? Every team you beat was down or reloading. Let’s keep the cart behind the horse Gamecock fans.
South Carolina will have a good team this year and probably compete for the sec east (still down) but UGA, Tenn, Florida will all be better in 2011 too. It’s too early to assume South Carolina rules the SEC East.
South Carolina is very thin at RB and TE. The Gamecocks also played inconsistent on defense for stretches. The secondary under performed all year.
Stephen Garcia is one interception away from Sprurrier’s childish hat throw, wrinkled smirk and a sarchastic comment to put him on the bench.
If Lattimore stays healthy he will give the Gamecocks another chance for a 10 win season. If Lattimore goes down like agaimst FSU South Carolina loses, period.
Like Clemson the Gamecocks lost the last 2 games and were manhandled on both occassions by AU an FSU. We won’t find out again until November 2012 if Clemson is back but you can rest assured the Tigers are working toward at it more vigorously than ever.
Are the Gamecocks favored over Clemson in Columbia this year? Probably. Should they be? Frankly yes. Does that mean South Carolina wins? No. By that point Clemson and the new offense will be peaking and revenge will be on the mind of the Tigers.
Mark this down- Robbie Caldwell NOT Chad Morris and not the defense will win Clemson more games next year. Clemson’s improved OL play from Caldwell’s presence will result in better more consistent protection for Boyd and better technical run blocking for Ellington and Bellamy. Games are won in the trenches and there is no one better than Robbie Caldwell.
One thing is for sure Tiger players and fans are hungry again and they want to win. This South Carolina winning streak will ultimately start a losing streak that is far longer. Over time and history no matter how hard the the Gamecocks recruit and play when Clemson is focused like now and re-energized the folks in Columbia will not be able to hold off the Tigers for long. The clock is ticking. November will be here soon…