It has a few different titles: “Also sprach Zarathustra” and “2001: A Space Oddysey” are just a few.
However, we know it simply as “the best entrance in all of college football”.
“2001” has been a part of South Carolina football since 1983, when then head coach Joe Morrison rolled it out in his first game since 1983.
Since then, there have been memorable moments abound and “2001” has solidified itself as one of Carolina’s best gameday traditions and one of the best traditions in all of college football.
Just like anything else, not all “2001’s” are built equal. Over the years, there have been a few that truly stand alone as some of the most memorable Gamecocks entrances.
Ones that truly shook Williams-Brice Stadium and set the stage for what was to come between its hallowed walls.
So, which was the best? Which “2001’s” truly stand out from the rest? Let’s embrace debate.
5. 2005, UCF
The 2005 season was arguably one of the most highly anticipated season’s in South Carolina’s long football history.
Why? One man. Stephen Orr Spurrier.
The Steve Spurrier era started in style with College Gameday in town and a primetime Thursday night showdown against the Central Florida Knights.
I was actually fortunate enough to attend this game, going with my late grandfather, the man who is solely responsible for turning me into a diehard, lunatic Gamecock fan.
The excitement of the offseason boiled over when the Gamecocks took the field, as the fanbase exploded in joyous cries that maybe, just maybe, Steve Spurrier would be the guy to take us to the promised land.
Also, big shoutout to the TV guys on the call. “A Spurrier Odyssey”
4. 2008, LSU
Stephen Garcia always had a flare for the dramatics, didn’t he?
As we all know, QB is the most important position on the field. If you have a QB, you have a chance.
A 2008 match-up against LSU signified the changing of the guard and the beginning of a new era, as the young Garcia got his first start in front of a frenzy crowd at Williams-Brice.
This felt like one of those opportunities to really turn the corner in the Steve Spurrier era, as you could see Carolina scratching the surface of what was soon to come in the following seasons.
The crowd was as electric as any I recall and the ESPN crew did a fantastic job of capturing the power in the stadium that night.
3. 2012, UGA
The passion. The energy. The emotion. The pandemonium. The beauty. The majesty.
All of the great things about “2001”, the University of South Carolina and Gamecocks football were on full display on a warm fall night in 2012 against the Georgia Bulldogs.
Many fans look back and still recall this night as the greatest night of South Carolina football in the program’s long history.
The buzz began earlier that week, led to an electric College Gameday at the Horseshoe, followed by Williams-Brice Stadium EXPLODING as the team took the field.
That energy carried over, as Carolina would go on to kick the everloving shit out of UGA in one of the greatest nights in program history.
2. 2001, Florida
I really feel like this one goes under the radar way too much and isn’t quite as well known by the newer generation of Gamecock fans.
Before Spurrier, Lou Holtz was the Hall Of Fame coach trying to do the unthinkable and turn South Carolina into a legitimate SEC contender.
The Gamecocks completed arguably the greatest turnaround in the history of CFB in the 2000 season, when they went from a 21 game losing streak all the way to an eight win season and an Outback Bowl win over the Ohio State Buckeyes.
2001 saw more of the same, as Phil Petty led a gutsy Gamecocks group into a huge home match-up against Steve Spurrier’s Florida Gators team.
While the game was forgettable, the “2001” from that night stands out as arguably the greatest in school history.
South Carolina actually set the attendance record that night, which stood until it was broken in 2012 when USC took on Georgia.
1. 1987, Clemson
The one that started it all and really put “2001” on the map as truly one of the elite entrances in all of college football.
Everything about this entrance is awesome: the uniforms, rivalry game, BLACK DEATH, the crowd going nuts, etc.
It also helps the Gamecocks would go on to beat their rival that night, as chants of “ROOODDNEEEYYY” echoed through the walls of Williams-Brice.
When it comes to rankings, you’ve got to pay your respects to the OG’s. The 1987 entrance against Clemson is truly the OG one that started it all.