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Old 09-30-2018, 08:37 AM   #1
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Default Classifying Typical Gamecock Football Seasons (long)

For the younger Gamecock fans/the rare Gamecock “front-runner” fan who latched on during the Spurrier years/or transplants to our fine state who’ve adopted our team, I thought it might be helpful to create some generalizations about the classifications of Typical Gamecock Football Seasons. This primer is certainly not scientific, and is only meant to be used as a rule-of-thumb guide to help you hope in the years to come. Off we go:


1. The Sh-t-Show Season That’s No Big Surprise
Despite our mediocre history, thankfully these seasons don’t occur too often (anymore.) When they do, they’re akin to a rough car crash with minor injuries. You see it coming. You brace. You take the hit. You move on with your life. These seasons are excellent for major personal plans, such as building a deck or planning a wedding during a home game Saturday. Take advantage of the nice weather while its available.

Example: 1998, 1-10 – Anyone with two eyes could see what was coming. Literally, every opposing running back vaulted himself into the Heisman race. (Others to Consider: 1999)

Life Metaphor: Sitting in the center seat on a long, international flight. It sucks, but you knew it was coming and loaded your iPad with movies ahead of time. (Don’t ever trust the seat charger, no matter what SeatGuru says.) This too shall pass.

* * *

2. The Surprise Shit-Show Season
These absolutely leave a mark. Thankfully, again, they don’t happen as often as the used to with Gamecock Football, but they’re not unicorns, either. In this type of season, fans head in with some sort of early optimism. Perhaps the head coach made a coordinator hire that brings promise. Or, a good recruiting class was signed. Regardless, fans and the media are expecting good but they receive bad. Not fun, like going to jail for a crime you didn’t commit. Heat from opposing fans is cruel and painful in these types of seasons.

Example: 2015, 3-9 – We’d come off a bowl win over Miami. While things seemed to be trending downward in 2014, we were bolstered by the Jon Hoke hire and a belief in Coach Spurrier using his personal evil genius to turn things around. Instead, we got ineptitude and a coach who saw the writing on the wall and bailed. A gut punch for sure. (Others to Consider: 1985, 2002, 2014)

Life Metaphor: As an early teen, you’re pretty athletic and popular. A new kid moves in, who doesn’t look like much. Soon thereafter, he publicly beats your ass and steals your girlfriend. You catch major sh-t from your friends, who begin following him around. Life can be cruel sometimes.

* * *

3. The So-So Season With No Great Surprises
Before Clemson began their recent national run, seasons like this could be salvaged with a win over the Tigers. Occasionally, Gamecock teams of this ilk might knock off a ranked team, who usually later proved to not be all that good. But in the era of a gazillion bowls, these seasons usually end with a trip to Shreveport or Birmingham, building on the promise of beating bad teams with the hopes that recruits will follow. These seasons are extremely common in Gamecock fandom. They can be equally enjoyable and frustrating, but Gamecock fans should learn to accept them, to live with them, and (dare I say?) embrace them.

Example: 1996, 6-5 – Featuring a fantastic rushing duo, the Gamecocks churned out some nice wins while remaining rather respectable in their losing efforts. The season was punctuated by a thrilling win at Clemson, yet no bowl invite. Regardless, most fans headed into the offseason blindly optimistic about what lay ahead. 2017, even with 9 wins, could fit this seasonal bill, when viewed with a critical eye. (Others to Consider: 2004, Early Spurrier Seasons)

Life Metaphor: Eating at Olive Garden. It can be enjoyed if you approach it with the right attitude.

* * *

4. The “Damn, We’re Pretty Good” Surprise Season
Cherish these, Gamecock fans. They don’t happen often, but when they do, they’re among the sweetest you’ll ever receive. Most fans enter these seasons expecting the aforementioned “So-So Season With No Great Surprises” only to receive the gift of an early win over Georgia. While certain heartache occurs during the coming season, an overall solidity is enjoyed, almost always featuring a win over hated rival Clemson. Warning: bowl wins do not always occur with these types of teams. Our Gamecocks are not to be trusted in bowls in a “Damn, We’re Pretty Good” season. I cannot overemphasize this.

Example: 2009, 7-5 – Perhaps not the greatest example, but most entered this season rather disenchanted with Coach Spurrier’s results to date. While we didn’t beat UGA, we ended the regular season with a thumping of Clemson. If watching carefully, fans could discern young and talented Gamecock players scattered across both sides of the ball. Good days were ahead. Unfortunately, this season ended with an ugly loss in Birmingham (not England) to a scrappy UConn team. Our players spent most of their time huddled around sideline heaters while the bare-armed UConn players spent their sideline time chest-bumping. (Others to consider: 1984, 2000)

Life Metaphor: A $16 bottle of wine that tastes like it cost $100. Or, for the single folk, drawing the eye of someone out of your league, that quickly ends in bed and, yes, it’s better than you expected. I could go on…

* * *

5. The “We’re Good and We Know We’re Good” Season
If you get one of these, savor it Gamecock fans. They’re rare, akin to being truly wealthy for a day, because that’s how quickly they seem to pass. These seasons almost always begin with a UGA win, sometimes by a wide margin. But take heed, they DO CONTAIN HEARTACHE. Usually, the heartache in these seasons is the knife-through-the-heart variety (we are Gamecocks, after all.) You know what I mean. Not a standard game that we lose to a better team. No, we either do something truly boneheaded (Auburn or 3 idiotic timeouts in a row at UT,) or a player gets horrifically injured (Lattimore,) or we defy logic (Anchors Aweigh) and gut the Gamecock nation in the process. However, we somehow recover and smack Clemson. Then, the season is usually punctuated by a bowl win. Definitely to be savored and almost never occurs back-to-back. These seasons feature national recognition, confident sh-t talking, and promises that it’s going to stay this way, from now on. <Sigh> I hope to enjoy another in my lifetime.

Example: 2011, 11-2 – This team could beat any other team on a given day. They weren’t without faults, as demonstrated in an inexplicable loss to Auburn and on a bad night in Arkansas. Ruggedly built, they ended the season with beat-downs of Clemson and Nebraska. Spurrier was talking crap. People were clowning Dabo. More good times were ahead, too. The pinnacle of Gamecock fandom. Anyone have a time machine? (Others to Consider: 1984, 2001, 2012-2013)

Life Metaphor: Hitting the gym for a year and then calling out that same new kid, who’s now popular, in front of everyone and violently kicking his ass. The denouement is you in full mount, giving him verbal lessons as you slowly pound his face.

* * *

While I wrote this tongue-in-cheek, I do believe it to be mostly accurate. Hopefully someday we can add the mythical #6 to this list. Hopefully.

I’m praying this season is #3, but after last night it’s feeling like #2 (in more ways than one.)
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Old 09-30-2018, 09:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Classifying Typical Gamecock Football Seasons (long)

Wow, you put a lot of thought into this one.
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Old 09-30-2018, 10:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: Classifying Typical Gamecock Football Seasons (long)

Borderline sticky thread. The analogies were spot on could be felt.
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Old 09-30-2018, 12:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Classifying Typical Gamecock Football Seasons (long)

Great summary!
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Old 09-30-2018, 01:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: Classifying Typical Gamecock Football Seasons (long)

Tried to rep you Legal, but I must spread it first.
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Old 09-30-2018, 04:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: Classifying Typical Gamecock Football Seasons (long)

Really, this is the type of stuff that gets pinned? Going down hill fast.
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Old 10-01-2018, 03:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Classifying Typical Gamecock Football Seasons (long)

We're headed for 2 or 3, I think this weekend vs. Mizzou will give us a clear answer on which one it is. I guess that's better than 1
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Old 10-06-2018, 04:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: Classifying Typical Gamecock Football Seasons (long)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SC Gamecock View Post
Borderline sticky thread. The analogies were spot on could be felt.
Yes! It got stickied.
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Old Today, 07:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: Classifying Typical Gamecock Football Seasons (long)

Right now looking at a 2.
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