There are less than 100 days until South Carolina kicks off against Eastern Illinois on September 4th. Not only will it be the first game of the Shane Beamer era, it will also be the first time the Gamecocks will have 100 percent capacity since 2019.
The stadium will definitely be packed despite the competition. Since there are less than 100 days until the electric atmosphere will be back, why don’t we look at where South Carolina football was in 1921.
The college football world was incredibly different 100 years ago. South Carolina actually had a very good season headed by coach Sol Metzger. Metzger led the Gamecocks to a 5-1-2 record. The Gamecocks were part of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
1921 was their last year in that conference before moving to the Southern Conference. Metzger coached the Gamecocks for three more years before retiring. He finished with a 26-18-2 record.
The Gamecocks finished the 1921 season 11th in the SIAA, but that was out of 28 teams. That same year, Clemson finished last in the conference with a 1-6-2 record. The top team in the SIAA that year was the Centre Praying Colonels.
College football was in a weird place back then due to the fact there were ties, and games much lower scoring. The Gamecocks also played six of their eight games at home. South Carolina also played a lot of smaller schools like Erskine, Newberry and Presbyterian.
The season was scheduled differently 100 years ago. South Carolina only played eight games, and half of them were non-conference games. The season lasted from October 1st to November 19th and there were no bye weeks.
The Gamecocks played Clemson in week five instead of the final week, and they played on a Thursday. The only game they played out of state was against Florida, who played in Tampa for bigger games.
South Carolina’s only loss was to Furman, who was coached by Billy Laval. Laval became the Gamecocks’ head coach in 1927. South Carolina’s biggest win was over Presbyterian when they won 48-0. In 1921, that’s an incredible blowout. They finished the year with a 13-7 win over The Citadel.
1921 was a weird year for college football, and it’s fun to see how the game has changed over the last 100 years. There was no postseason for the Gamecocks, and Williams-Brice Stadium didn’t even exist.
As far as media coverage went, there was no television. Radio was limited, and 1921 actually held the first ever radio broadcast for a football game.
In 100 years, South Carolina’s football program has grown a lot. They went from no stadium and barely any transportation to a nationally recognized program.