Believe it or not, less than a decade ago, Carolina held some pretty impressive streaks.
A perfect home streak under the leadership of Connor Shaw, a five year win streak against Clemson, a three year 11-win streak, and several others that made Gamecock football look like a true powerhouse.
And then, as you all know, all of those good things came to an end.
It started with the 2014 embarrassing home loss to Texas A&M, a game where the collective hopes of another 11-win season or more were dashed immediately.
Once the home streak fell, the others quickly followed.
At the Clemson game that same year, Deshaun Watson gutted Carolina, and walked away with the 35-17 win, ending the best success that the Gamecocks have ever had against their rival.
The 11-win streak disappeared as well, as Carolina barely held on to a humbling 7-6 record.
Since then, some five years later, not much has changed.
The closest that the Will Muschamp Era has come to a resurgence was a 9-4 campaign that was unfortunately saw a disappointing 7-6 season right behind it.
To make matters worse, the only streaks that are present now days are losing streaks—some of which are truly embarrassing.
If the Gamecocks have any hopes of ever getting things back on the right track, those streaks have to be broken and then replaced with something more positive.
Here’s a look at several active streaks that must be taken care, for the Gamecocks to come back to relevance.
Five straight losses to Kentucky
Kentucky used to be considered an automatic win on the schedule.
However, that all changed in the 2014 season, as they started a humiliating win streak against Carolina.
Kentucky has not only dominated the matchup the last five seasons, but the past two meetings, they have beaten the Gamecocks by two scores (24-10 in 2018, and 23-13 in 2017).
A streak like this cannot continue.
Not only does it automatically put the Gamecocks behind the eight ball in the race to win the east, but during seasons that wins are hard to come by, losing to a team that you have historically dominated becomes a fatal blow.
This Saturday, Muschamp will have a chance to break this streak.
If he does, some fans will be jovial, while some will remain realistic, knowing that beating Kentucky is no great feat, but instead, something that should happen every year.
If he were to lose though, that could prove to be the fatal blow mentioned earlier for him.
Five straight losses to Texas A&M
In the 2014 season, Carolina came in ranked ninth in the country.
They were favored at home against a ranked Aggies team, and nearly everyone believed that they would make a statement against an opponent that they had never faced.
Well, as you know, the Gamecocks performed about as poorly as you can on defense, and the Aggies whipped their tails soundly.
This first meeting not only put things into perspective for Gamecock nation, but it launched another losing streak that has yet to come to an end.
To be fair, Texas A&M has been a great team most of the years during this five game losing streak.
Having them picked out as our perennially cross-division rival is not something that makes fans very excited, but no matter how good they are, or have been, the Gamecocks still have to find a way to win.
This year A&M looks vulnerable, mainly due to a brutal schedule that very well may be more difficult than the one that Carolina is facing.
If there’s a chance to sneak a win in this series, it could be this year.
The only issue is that the Gamecocks have not looked their best as of yet, so who knows if they can even hang close in this one.
If Muschamp were to catch a win here, and break the Aggie’s streak, it could possibly be seen has his biggest win yet.
2-17 record against ranked teams
The Gamecocks under Will Muschamp have not fared well against nationally ranked opponents, and in fairness to Muschamp, those woes started before he arrived, but he certainly has not helped the cause, and instead has added more losses than wins.
The statistics are startling.
In the last 19 games against ranked opponents, the Gamecocks have only won twice. One of those wins came against #22 ranked Tennessee, and is the only ranked win in the Will Muschamp Era.
Since that win, his team has lost 10 straight.
For Carolina to take a step out of mediocrity, they need to take down a ranked opponent, and if they are to ever be seen as a legitimate threat again, they need to win more than 1 in every 10 or so tries.
Six game losing streak against Power 5 teams
Possibly more troubling than the losing streak to ranked teams is the current six game losing streak to Power 5 schools.
In the last nine games that Carolina has played, the only 3 wins they have secured has been against, Chattanooga, Akron, and Charleston Southern.
The six losses (three of which came at the hands of ACC teams), saw the Gamecocks lose by margins of 31-35 (Florida), 35-56 (Clemson), 0-28 (Virginia), 24-20 (UNC), 47-23 (Alabama), and 14-34 (Mizzou), showing that the Gamecocks have really only looked competitive twice in those games.
Until the Gamecocks can pull off a win against someone who is not at the FCS level, fan frustration will only increase, and that is something that Muschamp cannot afford this year.
Five game losing streak against Clemson
This is the streak that no one wants to talk about.
After our own 5-game win streak, Clemson responded with one of its own, and a couple National Championships for good measure.
I won’t go over the pain of each loss.
If you are reading this, then you know full well how much they sting, but I will say this, for Carolina to make it into the upper echelon of college football, they have to end this streak.
Will it happen this season?
I doubt it, but it realistically could happen while Hilinski is in the program.
The kid has unreal levels of talent, and if anyone is going to grow into being the giant killer, my best guess is that it’s him.
But for that to happen, even eventually, there will have to be some real changes made around him.
The defense must become more consistent, the offensive game plan must become more reliable, and the weapons on the field must be fully utilized.
Of all the streaks, this may be the one that we have to wait the longest to see end, but if we can just see progress in the meantime, it may help us to stomach it a little better.
It’s really troubling to consider how far down we’ve gone.
The streaks mentioned above should be sobering to fans that think that things will “just fix themselves”.
Emotional responses run high in college football, and opinions passionately vary, but statistics and numbers don’t lie.
These current streaks are a clear sign of trouble, and that trouble is more likely to persist than to suddenly disappear.
It will take real action and big changes to move forward.
This weekend though, the Gamecocks will have another chance to end two of these streaks. They can snap the five game skid against Kentucky, as well as the six game skid against Power 5 opponents.
If they do so, it will be a step in the right direction.
If they don’t… the heat will really be turned up in Columbia.