There were some indications over the past few years that we could be here. It started by keeping the best South Carolina football players home. Since 2008 South Carolina has signed Mr. Football each year for four consecutive years for the first time ever. Gilmore. Lattimore. Clowney. Rolland. This is how you build a solid foundation.
Then the Old Ball Coach got a quarterback with a pedigree. Connor Shaw comes from a football family. His father Lee played wide receiver and punt returned at Western Carolina and has been the Head Coach at Flowery Branch in Georgia. Lee built the program from scratch into a state contending program every year. Connor’s brother Jaybo originally went to Georgia Tech and is now playing QB at Georgia Southern. Imagine the dinner table talk at the Shaw house. Certainly more about X’s and O’s than the average American household.
The Old Ball Coach knows how to win in the SEC. He just had to take a program that has a history of inopportune losses (i.e. 1984 Navy debacle) and turn around the mentality. He needed to get this State to believe that it can be a winner.
This latest win against Georgia was a statement game for South Carolina. Not only did the Gamecocks step up on a national stage and win. They exceeded expectations in all facets of the game. Voters have taken notice and moved South Carolina up the #3 in the polls.
Like all SEC teams we still have a scheduling gauntlet to fight through. It’s a long way from over. As one long-suffering fan said after the game on Saturday, “We may beat LSU, Florida and Tennessee. But it’s the Wofford game that worries me. “
But this season is different. This season’s Gamecocks have all of the elements of a winner. As fans we must commit. Believe. The day is here. The Old Ball Coach has put us in a position to do something special. It’s our time.