As I write this, keep in mind that I bleed garnet and black. I survived the Brad Scott days. I watched as we lost to Clemson… a lot.
However, there comes a time when we, as fans, have to face facts.
In a horrible display of gameplay by the Gamecocks of South Carolina last weekend against Kentucky, a lot of Gamecock fans are beginning to question everything about the program.
Granted, we’ve had close SEC championship opportunities. But weren’t we promised a national championship by now?
I am already preparing myself mentally for a beat down by the Bulldogs. For the past couple of years I held out hope that maybe we would have a chance at a national title. After last season, I quickly realized my hopes were never to come to fruition.
We must ask ourselves: who is to blame?
I believe it is a combination of several issues but one stands out the most.
Steve Spurrier has spent the better part of his tenure at South Carolina ignoring the true talent he has on his team. He focuses on one player, plays them until they’re literally limping off the field and then has absolutely no back up plan in his pocket.
Cue to Marcus Lattimore. He was known for his speed, agility and ability to run the ball faster than most players in the NFL. Then something happened.
Lattimore tore a ligament in his knee. He had surgery and returned to the field and carried the ball for a total of 662 yards, nearly half of what he carried his first year at South Carolina.
The question remains if Spurrier played him entirely too much and didn’t concentrate on other talent within his team?
Lattimore sacrificed one of the biggest moments in his life which was the ability to play professional football for the San Francisco 49ers. He determined he was unable to play and retired in November of 2014 from the NFL.
His career was over before it even began.
Let’s take a look at Jadeveon Clowney. People may dispute the fact that between him and Lattimore, they were two of the best talents that the Gamecocks have seen in a really long time. However, the same thing happened to Clowney. Spurrier played him until he was limping off the field.
In his 2013 season, Clowney announced that he was going into the NFL draft at the end of the season. The first couple of games with him were lackluster. Rumors began to circulate that he was avoiding the possibility of getting hurt.
Clowney already suffered a bone splints in his feet and then he apparently suffered from rib cage pains and gastrointestinal issues in the first couple of games, fueling the rumors that he was avoiding playing to keep his hopes of the NFL draft alive.
The Gamecocks suffered because of it. Games were close. He looked tired. Everyone began to wonder if he would return and play at all.
But many were focusing on the Michigan game from the Outback Bowl in 2013 when Clowney nearly took the head off Vincent Smith to help lead the Gamecocks to victory.
Clowney went first round into the 2014 NFL Draft, in which the Texans took him on. His rookie year was riddled with injuries such as a torn meniscus and he was out for the rest of the season, having to undergo surgery to fix said injury.
Many of you may ask, “What does this have to do with the game against the Bulldogs of Georgia this weekend?”
However, Spurrier played his greatest till they were limping off the field. He has no back up plan and the second string players or freshmen that were in line to take over these greats, they had no idea what they were facing because they had such little field time that they are now lost.
All of them are.
I may get flack for this and I understand if people say I’m not a true Gamecock fan but when I can see issues within the program of my favorite team, I’ll call them out on it.
Is it time for Spurrier to retire? Maybe. I do know one thing though, if you put all your eggs in one basket and that basket gets broken, what’s left?
That’s something for Spurrier to think about.