Last Thursday on The Huddle with Greg McKinney I predicted a Gamecocks victory over the Tigers in next year’s Palmetto Bowl…but it was very tongue-in-cheek and though based in some legitimacy, it was also lending itself to the reality that this may be our last chance for a few years to win a game in this rivalry.
That being the case, I’m calling for all Gamecocks fans to move on from our in-state hatred for a little while.
Take a deep breath and hear me out before losing your mind…
For the last couple of decades it has been fun to poke fun at Clemson fans’ delusions of grandeur as they expected to win a national title year-after-year and finished each season just above average. Well, now those fans aren’t delusional. The reality is that over the last five seasons Clemson has elevated themselves to the world of national power and left Carolina in its wake.
As Gamecock fans, we don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to bantering with Tigers fans. So why waste our time?
I think it’s time to refocus our sports hate and rivalry furor and us it on our rivals that are not only within reach, but in the way of what our programs needs to accomplish first before they are even close to being on Clemson’s level again.
The SEC East.
We have a leg to stand on with Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. Recent success against these teams, including beating an over hyped Tennessee team during a rebuilding season this year, gives us a little bit more clout. Add in Kentucky’s unfortunate recent success over our boys and we have 4 teams to throw legitimate sports hate at.
That should fill the void for us.
Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying Carolina fans need to go out and buy Clemson gear or ignore the 100+ year rivalry…just that we should put that distaste on the back burner, for now.
As I pointed out in a blog earlier this season, nothing happens overnight in college football. Dabo Swinney didn’t get the job in Clemson and then suddenly become a legitimate contender. It took 4-years to gain recognition and 8-years to reach the pinnacle.
Will Muschamp may never bring the Gamecocks to the level that Clemson is on right now, but I have faith that he can get them back to a level in which we are able to once again enjoy the smack talk that this rivalry brings…we just don’t have any logical argument at the moment.
I also believe in fighting fan hypocrisy and as a Gamecock fan that dealt with so many Clemson fans trying to belittle our little 5-year run, I want to be the difference and be the better fan. To do that, I will allow them to enjoy their success and celebrate their team’s glory.
That being said, I will point out the ridiculousness of the rare Clemson fan making their title about USC…happily.
For the next few years, I’ll focus on the Gators, Dawgs and Vols….but you better believe Clemson Hate Week will still happen every single November and once the Gamecocks are back to being even slightly relevant, then I will consider the rivalry to be reborn.
Until then, down with the rest of the SEC East. Go Gamecocks.
Forever to thee.
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