CONGRATULATIONS … OR SOMETHING
By FITSNEWS || Was any other team in college football a bigger disappointment in 2014 than the South Carolina Gamecocks? No … in fact it’s not even close.
South Carolina began the 2014 season ranked No. 9 in the nation. They were picked to win the SEC Eastern Division and contend for a national championship.
Obviously none of that happened. Steve Spurrier‘s squad was badly exposed in its season opening loss to Texas A&M – with its defense giving up 52 points and a school-record 680 yards to an Aggie team that turned out to be not quite as good as the Gamecocks made them out to be.
Still, on September 27 – a month after the humiliating home loss to Texas A&M – the Gamecocks enjoyed a 20-7 lead over Missouri with less than seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter. A win over the Tigers and Spurrier’s squad would have been 4-1 on the season … but it was not to be.
The end result? A 6-6 record that could produce Spurrier’s first losing season as a college coach since 1987 – his first year as head coach of the Duke Blue Devils.
Oklahoma is the only other team that began the 2014 season ranked in the Top Ten … only to finish it unranked. But the Sooners posted a much better 8-4 record, and three of their losses were to top tier opponents – No. 5 Baylor, No. 6 TCU and No. 11 Kansas State.
Stanford began the season ranked No. 11 … and also finished unranked. But the Cardinal lost to multiple ranked opponents along the way including No. 2 Oregon, No. 15 Arizona State, No. 23 Utah and No. 24 USC.
South Carolina lost to three teams that finished the season unranked – and to No. 16 Missouri, No. 17 Clemson and No. 19 Auburn. Its strength of schedule was much weaker than either Oklahoma or Stanford – and the Gamecocks posted a worse record.
From 2010-13, South Carolina exceeded expectations in the national rankings (including a No. 4 finish last season after beginning the year ranked No. 6).
This year, it just wasn’t meant to be …