Maestro, the soundtrack:
It’s the Friday tailgate. This is where we do what we do until the Georgia Bulldogs do what they do and Will Muschamp, well, busts a blood vessel doing that thing he does.
I’ve noticed an interesting trend over the past couple of days. South Carolina fans are really unusually confident about this one for a team that just beat Vanderbilt by a touchdown. It’s hard to explain, other than by recognizing that the majority of them have never really seen a prolonged period of good football and as a result wouldn’t recognize it if it bit them on the rear end. South Carolina fans in fact seem to be taking Georgia’s success so far this season very personally. I love it.
South Carolina fans perpetually moan that Georgia fans don’t take their team seriously. As a rule they’re 100% right. We try not to comment on it too much, because frankly it just isn’t polite. But if Gamecock fans want a full appraisal of where they stand with this particular Bulldog fan, here it is. If they’re going to send me to the chair, I might as well go ahead and commit the murder.
South Carolina is basically Georgia Tech for people who couldn’t get into Georgia Tech. Like Auburn, it’s a little brother school with multiple big brothers. Clemson, Georgia, North Carolina, there are a variety of schools that get Gamecock fans up in arms on the Internet, usually for not acknowledging what a hated rival they are.
It’s hard to hate someone you don’t even really respect. Remember, South Carolina has won one conference title in the past 50 years, the 1969 ACC title. That year they went 6-0 in the ACC while losing to actual football teams Tennessee (29-14), Florida State (34-9), and Georgia (41-16). When a Vince Dooley-coached team scores 40+ on you, it means you’ve been thoroughly and repeatedly boat-raced. Oh, the Gamecocks finished the year by losing the Peach Bowl to West Virginia 14-3. They wouldn’t return to the rarified air of the Peach Bowl until 2010, 41 years later.
South Carolina started playing football in 1892. They didn’t win their first game until 1895. They didn’t win their first bowl game until 1995.
Will Muschamp joins a long line of distinguished coaches who retired to Columbia to ride out the string until retiring with no expectation of doing anything particularly impressive. South Carolina has employed three head coaches who won national championships: Paul Dietzel, Lou Holtz, and Steve Spurrier. None of them won a national title in Columbia or after coaching there. It is truly where elite coaches go to wash the excellence off before hitting the golf course.
Greyson Lambert set an NCAA completion record and put up 50+ points against South Carolina in 2015. It was so impressive that he lost his starting job and his coach got fired at the end of the year.
Williams-Brice stadium has the ambiance of an abandoned shopping mall. And it doesn’t even have a pretzel stand.
On average, South Carolina fans are the least likely in the SEC to have even attended their school, even though statistically it’s easier to get into than almost any other SEC school. The smartest South Carolina grad I know actually is a Georgia fan.
And that, friends, is why we don’t take you that seriously.