Live from the SEC title game, now a place for Gamecocks

If I knew the South Carolina fight song, I'd sing a few bars. (Photo by M. Bradley)

If I knew words to the South Carolina fight song, I'd sing it now. (Photo by M. Bradley)

Not that I have anything against Auburn fans — like I always say, Auburn fans are the best in the world! — but I begin today’s live proceedings with a special shout-out to the folks in garnet and black.

South Carolina, you are here.

I didn’t think your team could make it. Lee Corso didn’t think your team could make it. I’m sure there were times — probably in 2007 and 2008 when he was losing to Vandy — when Steve Spurrier didn’t think his team could make it. But here I sit in Ye Olde Dome, and there it is down below: “Carolina” painted in one end zone. (If you don’t believe, photographic evidence is supplied above.)

Auburn has been here before — three times, winning once. Arkansas has made it twice. Mississippi State has even graced this game, but until today the SEC East has always been represented by Florida, Tennessee or Georgia. (Most often the former, as I’m guessing you’re aware.) South Carolina taking its division isn’t quite like the Mets winning the World Series in 1969, but it’s not far off.

Fun with numbers: In its football, which dates to 1892, South Carolina has won 10 games in a season once — in 1984 under Joe Morrison, when it won at Notre Dame and Clemson but lost at Navy. It has won nine games twice — in 2001 under Lou Holtz and this season. It has won as many bowl games as a program (four) as Jim Donnan won in five seasons as Georgia’s coach. (And Donnan got fired, not long after Quincy Carter threw five interceptions and the Bulldogs  lost at, ahem, South Carolina.)

The Gamecocks have won only one league championship — the ACC in 1969 — and they’re on their third league. Even this year they cut it close, nearly squandering a strong start by losing to Kentucky, which is difficult to do in any season, and then to Arkansas at home.

But they made it. The Evil Genius and his minions went to Gainesville and whomped the Urban Crier, and the other USC now finds itself in the A-T-L. And the nicest part about that is that long-suffering Gamecock fans suffer no longer.

It was one of life’s great mysteries, right up there with the riddle of Stonehenge and the popularity of Jay Leno: Why did Gamecock fans keep coming back? Their team was the unchallenged master of the cosmic flop, and yet Williams-Brice Stadium was always full. Any neutral who suggested a given year might actually be different for the garnet and black was met with a sneering dismissal from every SEC outpost save Columbia: “Have you never heard of the Chicken Curse?”

Turns out it took an Evil Genius to override the Chicken Curse. Turns out Spurrier knew what he was doing, even if it did take him a while to do it. Turns out South Carolina is playing today to win the conference that prides itself as the nation’s finest.

The Gamecocks aren’t supposed to win this game — I think they’ll prevail, not that I’m ever right about anything — but I’m guessing they don’t much care about perception. They weren’t supposed to get here at all.

And with that, the floor is again open for questions, comments and nominations for Gene Chizik as quipster of the year. I’ll be here all day, and I’d be obliged if you’d join me. And just so my Auburn pals don’t think I’m ignoring them … here’s a photo of the other end zone. War Eagle!

"War Eagle, fly down the field, ever to conquer ... " (Photo by M. Bradley)

"War Eagle, fly down the field, ever to conquer, never to yield." (Photo by M. Bradley)

983 comments Add your comment

San Francisco Dawg

December 4th, 2010
1:57 pm

SEC Bylaw 14.01.3.2 states:

“If at any time before or after matriculation in a member institution a student-athlete or any member of his/her family receives or AGREES TO RECEIVE, directly or indirectly, any aid or assistance beyond or in addition to that permitted by the Bylaws of this Conference (except such aid or assistance as such student-athlete may receive from those persons on whom the student is naturally or legally dependent for support), such student- athlete shall be ineligible for competition in any intercollegiate sport within the Conference for the remainder of his/her college career.”

Solicitation of funds is by definition to “agree to receive” funds. He’s ineligible by the SEC’s own rules. The spin here is amazing. The ncaa and SEC are both pathetic. And you don’t know that money didn’t exchange hands. You’re taking old Cecil’s word for it which isn’t worth much. The FBI will sort it all out in due time.

DodgerDAWG

December 4th, 2010
1:59 pm

Good news on the UGA front, but bad news to NFL players…lockout expected in March. Murray to Greene on more year?

LHardingDawg

December 4th, 2010
1:59 pm

SFD – You hit the nail on the head.

mmgtfan

December 4th, 2010
2:00 pm

Mark Bradley

December 4th, 2010
2:01 pm

The Auburn players are walking around the field. No fans in the stands yet. Doors are just now opening.

DodgerDAWG

December 4th, 2010
2:02 pm

San Fran DAWG, I agree completely and have posted such many times. I am surprised no other team from the SEC has legally challenged Mike Slive’s obvious blindness to this bylaw. The NCAA may have declared Cam eligible, but the SEC, in order to follow the internal rules of the conference, should have declared Cam ineligible to compete in any SEC intercollegiate sport. It may be time for the other 11 universities to hold Slive accountable.

mmgtfan

December 4th, 2010
2:02 pm

Whoa got dominated that time around

DodgerDAWG

December 4th, 2010
2:03 pm

Mark, How does UNFairly look in orange. Something tells me it will be a color he gets very familiar with…LOL

Mark Bradley the Bulldog Homer

December 4th, 2010
2:05 pm

I guess Mark Bradley the Bulldog Homer is pulling for the Gamecocks. What a suprise!

Samford Hall

December 4th, 2010
2:07 pm

Looks like all those South Carolina fans are disguised as empty seats.

I think I see a real one near the Tar Heels’ endzone.

secfan

December 4th, 2010
2:08 pm

Nice article-lacking a good bit of research though. ” until today the SEC East has always been represented by Florida or Georgia” — did you forget the 5 times Tennessee has been to the championship game? Granted, it seems like it’s always Florida or Georgia, but do some work before you post an article.

VOLS FAN

December 4th, 2010
2:08 pm

Tennessee made it to the SEC Championship from the SEC EAST in 1997,1998,2001,2004, and 2007. So it’s not just Georgia and Florida from the SEC East.

VOLS FAN

December 4th, 2010
2:09 pm

And Tennessee won it two of those five times.

DodgerDAWG

December 4th, 2010
2:10 pm

Samford, the closest and Tar Heel or other acc team will get to that endzone is by purchasing a ticket

Steve

December 4th, 2010
2:10 pm

Mark do you think AJ will stay at UGA one more year because of the lockout? If he does decide to enter the draft, he will still get paid regardless right??? Go SC today!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AJC and Mark Bradley, RPC. RPC said: RT @MarkBradleyAJC: Live from the #SEC championship, finally a place for #Gamecocks. #Auburn #SEC http://bit.ly/fuaT3z [...]

Mark Bradley

December 4th, 2010
2:12 pm

A.J. Green isn’t coming back.

Mark Bradley

December 4th, 2010
2:12 pm

Whoops. Funny how the Vols slipped my mind, such as it is. Thanks.

Pitbull

December 4th, 2010
2:13 pm

Congrats to the Chickens! May the best team win and represent the SEC.

tom

December 4th, 2010
2:14 pm

I hope South Carolina throttles Auburn since the NCAA/SEC want to turn a blind eye to what is going on with Cam Newton.

http://musingsandvisuals.blogspot.com/2010/12/ncaa-weaves-slippery-slope.html

Steve

December 4th, 2010
2:14 pm

Well bummer. Thought so though. Has Auburn figured out their mascot yet? Plainsmen? Tigers? Birds? Eagles? Kittens? So confusing. Huge upset today! SC 31 AU 27.

cockychiro

December 4th, 2010
2:15 pm

USC Gamecocks were ACC champions in ‘69.

Shields Watkins

December 4th, 2010
2:17 pm

No worries Mark,

The last few times our football and basketball teams have played in the Dome, it has been quite forgettable.

DodgerDAWG

December 4th, 2010
2:20 pm

A little music to get all the anti-Orange fans into the game…MoonPie’s version just for $cam
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiL5UJmkfco

Mark Bradley

December 4th, 2010
2:22 pm

Duly noted, cockychiro. My apologies.

Worm

December 4th, 2010
2:22 pm

Enjoy the dome Mark…Snowing,sleeting and raining in Charlotte with game temp at around 34-35..Hope those Noles fans brought their “longjohns”…Classic Peach Bowl weather for Charlotte’s maiden voyage.

Mark Bradley

December 4th, 2010
2:23 pm

Wow, Worm. Poor ACC just cannot win.

DodgerDAWG

December 4th, 2010
2:23 pm

Mark, your comment on Green, is that because you think a new CBG will be worked out? I can’t see him leaving in there is no NFL season in 2011

Steve

December 4th, 2010
2:26 pm

DodgerDAWG I think he still gets a nice signing bonus regardless. I could be wrong though.

blazerdawg

December 4th, 2010
2:37 pm

Williams Bryce always full?

Dave

December 4th, 2010
2:44 pm

I never thought about that. If there is a lockout, do new draft picks still get paid the signing bonus/guaranteed money anyway? I guess it’s that 3.4 of 1% chance that AL will come back that keeps me going, but it is an interesting question. I’m sure AJ is well taken care of in the Athens community (hint hint), but I would love to see him next year. A guy can hope, can’t he?

Supes

December 4th, 2010
2:46 pm

South Carolina will have a 2 year window after this year to get back to the SEC championship game…they better capitalize on that.

If there is any football gods of justice…they will make sure the cheating paper tigers lose today!

NERDS!!! 42-34!!!

December 4th, 2010
2:49 pm

NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!!

Aubie's Denial

December 4th, 2010
2:51 pm

“I did not have financial relations with that quarterback, Mr. Newton. Nor with his father, the good Rev. Newton. Now I’m going back to the Barn, and back to work for the AWBARN people.”

greg@capewineventures.com

December 4th, 2010
2:52 pm

It really is one of the mysteries of the world that Gamecock fans keep packing that stadium every year to support the most pathetic program in maybe college football history. …no not really..it just shows what pathetic losers their fans are.

Mark Bradley

December 4th, 2010
2:57 pm

The NFL is too clever to shut down. It’s not baseball.

Steve

December 4th, 2010
2:58 pm

Greg, it’s called supporting their team. UGA has sold out every game since 2001 and they have done terrible lately. Your point?

red panties are.....

December 4th, 2010
3:05 pm

irrelevant today! Just like their team.

GO COCKS!

reebok

December 4th, 2010
3:16 pm

I was at the ACC Championship game in Jacksonville when Tech lost 9-6 in the Ugliest Football Game Ever Played. It was 40 degrees and drizzling rain the whole time. There were about 45,000 tix sold but only about 30,000 butts in seats. Tampa didn’t work out either, attendance-wise. Charlotte has awful weather this year. The ACC Championship has got to get itself a Dome Home somewhere, somehow. Isn’t that why the SEC moved their Championship game out of Birmingham after a couple years?

Oh yeah, War Eagle!

juice sourcer

December 4th, 2010
3:18 pm

losers support losers…that’s his point…South Carolina is one of the most inept programs in college football history…there has to be an explantion as to why they keep supporting this pathetic program…and one more thing….all this hype around them…hell they are only the 5th best team in the SEC…only reason they are here is because the SEC East was terrible this year.

Mark Bradley

December 4th, 2010
3:19 pm

I was there, too, reebok. The worst game ever.

reebok

December 4th, 2010
3:21 pm

i see auburn’s in all white today…is south carolina the designated home team?

Tyler

December 4th, 2010
3:22 pm

I know one Carolina fan who will not be visiting capewineventures .com, after those rude comments.

Go Cocks!

CBB1

December 4th, 2010
3:22 pm

Hey Vols Fan,
Mark Bradley DID say that the east has been represented by FL, TN and GA. Please read the entire article. He didn’t leave your Vols out. About the 3rd or 4th paragraph down.

Mark Bradley

December 4th, 2010
3:22 pm

Yes, reebok. It alternates with the year.

Hilton Head Island

December 4th, 2010
3:23 pm

SOUTH Carolina

reebok

December 4th, 2010
3:23 pm

watching Lattimore warm up…the guy’s a stud.

Mark Bradley

December 4th, 2010
3:23 pm

Actually, CBB1, I omitted the Big Orange in my, ahem, first draft. The error was mine, not his.

Mark Bradley

December 4th, 2010
3:23 pm

Nice to see Trooper Taylor waving his towel. (He’s Auburn’s assistant head coach.)

Mark Bradley

December 4th, 2010
3:25 pm

Both teams on the field.

More Gamecock fans here than I thought. I saw way more Auburn folks outside.