South Carolina joined the Southeastern Conference in 1992 and promptly lost 13 in a row to Florida, eight by 20 more points. Then Steve Spurrier came along; South Carolina has since gone 4-5, winning three of the last four in the series.
South Carolina started playing football in 1892 and promptly went 90 years before notching its first season with double-digit wins, and then embarked on a 22-year run with just seven winning seasons. Then came Spurrier; South Carolina has won 11 games in each of the last three years.
Prior to 2005, South Carolina was never ranked inside the top 10 of either preseason poll. Then Spurrier came to town; the Gamecocks have been ranked inside the top 10 in each of the past three preseason polls.
Prior to 2005, South Carolina earned just five end-of-year national rankings, peaking at No. 11 in 1984. Then came Spurrier; South Carolina has been nationally ranked to end each of the last four years, topping the charts at No. 4 last season.
South Carolina started playing football in 1892, as noted, and has never lost fewer than two games in a season during the modern era. The Gamecocks have snuck onto the radar before, famously during that 1984 season, but it's not until today, as the program heads into Spurrier's 10th season, that we can utter a sentence unheard in the history of college football:
South Carolina can win the national championship – and if it does so, few would be surprised.