First off, I know many of you reading this are going to say “Chris, you said there’s no OFFSEASON in college football!”
And you are correct. I did say that and for TSUS and CONTENT, there truly is no off-season when it comes to the Gamecocks and college football as a whole.
But I think we’d all agree, we are truly entering the days of “peak off-season” where we’re all left enjoying the summer heat and counting down the days until kickoff.
What better way is there to pass the time during that long, grueling stretch than to cut on an old Carolina game and relive the glory days of old?
Today, I list my personal top five favorite games to sit down and relive that get me fired up for another Gamecocks kickoff.
P.S. Feel free to argue/submit your favorites in the comments below.
5. 2012 vs. Georgia
I’m sure many of you are shocked to see this game so low on my list.
While this is one of the most amazing nights in South Carolina football history and features arguably the greatest quarter of football ever played by a team rocking the garnet and black, this game can also be summed up in one word: BORING.
Now, before you punch your phone/laptop, hear me out. This is still a great watch and it still feels amazing to relive that entire weekend in Columbia, SC.
I’m not sure the electricity has ever been greater inside Williams-Brice and you can truly FEEL that re-watching this game.
Plus, who doesn’t love seeing us kick the Dawgs ass? Still, it sits low on my personal list because outside of the first quarter, it’s a snooze fest due to the lopsided score.
Man, I wish we could get back to those types of problems with our games today.
4. 2006 at Clemson
If you can get over the terrible video quality, this is still a fantastic watch to this day.
What you’ll notice is, all of these games hit in a different way for me personally. For example, this game.
I grew up around a ton of Clemson fans. Most of my friends in middle school and high school were Clemson fans.
As many of you know, I became a truly DIE HARD fan of South Carolina due to my grandfather around the age of 12 (end of 2002, beginning of 2003).
I was very rudely introduced to the Carolina-Clemson rivalry. The first rivalry game I was truly invested in was 2003. End of discussion.
2006 was the first time I experience a win in the rivalry and man, was it sweet. I’ll never forget watching the game in the garage with my grandfather as Blake Mitchell and the boys staged a comeback on the road to break the hearts of the Clemson faithful.
A great back and forth affair capped off by Jad Dean’s missed field goal, this is one of those games that I cut on that always brings a smile to my face and memories of better days.
3. 2010 vs. Alabama
This game feels like one of those days/events that’s in a movie.
The stage was set. The script was written. Everything that could’ve went South Carolina’s way did.
From Stephen Garcia’s best game of his career to Marcus Lattimore introducing himself on the national stage to a suffocating Carolina defense, it was simply meant to be for the Gamecocks on a warm October afternoon in the fall of 2010.
For those who haven’t heard me tell this story, I actually was unable to attend and didn’t even get to watch this game live.
We had a scrimmage that Saturday at Newberry and I was stuck in the bullpen along with my teammates keeping up with the score of the game on our phones (mind you, this was 2010, before any of us had an iPhone).
I’ll never forget getting the score updates. 7-3. 14-3. 21-3. An umpire walked over and asked us what the score was. We told him. His response? “Bullshit, what’s the score.” None of us could believe it.
I got back to my dorm just in time to catch the last five minutes of the game live and proceeded to celebrate accordingly that night in Newberry.
Since then, I’ve re-watched this game as many times if not more than any other South Carolina football game ever. One of the greatest days and greatest wins in school history.
2. 2013 vs. Clemson
These last two games I’m about to mention have something in common: I was in the building for both.
I feel like re-watching a game you were actually in attendance for just hits different. When you see the moments, you remember your reaction/emotion at that time. The crowd noise, The pure pandemonium that ensued.
That was certainly the case in 2013 when the Gamecocks secured their fifth straight win over the Clemson Tigers.
I truly left Williams-Brice Stadium that night thinking to myself we were never losing to Clemson again. We were so far in their heads and we completely OWNED them as a program.
Little did I know, it would be the last time we’d see Carolina have success in the rivalry to this day, as we await/pray Shane Beamer can be the man to turn this thing back in our favor.
This one deserves a re-watch simply due to the fact it is the last success we’ve had over those deranged inbreds from the Upstate.
Let’s change that soon. Please.
1. 2014 vs. UGA
This one may surprise some people. 2014 UGA? The BEST to re-watch? Why?
Again, I was in the building for this one and I would argue this was one of the best if not the best atmosphere I’ve ever experienced at a South Carolina football game inside Willy B.
UGA came in riding high with some guys named Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel in the backfield. Meanwhile, the Gamecocks, while still being ranked in the Top 25, were still licking their wounds from a week one ass kicking to Texas A&M.
This is truly one of the most entertaining games I’ve ever seen the Gamecocks play. Back and forth scoring all night long, big play after big play and all the dramatics you could ask for.
The game being delayed an hour and a half due to lightning and basically turning this 3:30 CBS scheduled game into a night game certainly helped the cause.
As we all know, Carolina held on late thanks to Marshall Morgan’s miss, Brandon Wild’s heroics and a controversial 4th and 1 conversion at midfield.
While it may not be the most notable game on the list, I’d argue the entertainment value is second to none when it comes to re-watching old Gamecocks football games.