|Wednesday, November 21, 2012, 11:22 AM- -|
Before Clemson opened its doors, we had a rivalry with the University of South Carolina. Many at South Carolina never wanted Clemson to happen and the rivalry began.
One thing has not changed. We don't like each other. We don't like each other's campuses. We don't like each other's mascots. We don't like each other's colors, coaches, players, cheerleaders, fight songs, bands, play-by-play and color guys, sideline reporters, pre-game entrances, tailgating atmospheres, stadiums and just about anything else that we can associate our schools with.
But many things have changed throughout the rivalry. We haven't played each other every year because safety was a concern a few times.
We started out playing in November on Saturdays but moved it to Thursdays in October during the State Fair and called it "Big Thursday." Now we are back to playing on Saturdays in November again.
We used to play only in Columbia but now we rotate between the two schools.
We used to play in the same conference but South Carolina dropped out and it was a game between a team in a conference and an independent. Now the game is played between two teams in separate conferences.
We have played night games and day games. We have played on hot days and cold nights. Our Rivalry
This rivalry has seen trick plays, bad calls, upsets and fraternity pranks. I think it has seen every combination of uniforms each team could ever even think of.
Every year the game is for bragging rights but every once in a while it means something more. We have played each other for the right to go to the Independence Bowl and lately it has been higher stakes.
Every year our rivalry game is the most important game in our state but for the most part our game has taken a backseat in terms of what it means across the nation. That is different this season. For one of the few times in the game's history, this one has national implications including perhaps a bid to a BCS game.
This year's game is not the biggest in terms to what it means to Clemson. The 1981 game saw the Tigers enter the game ranked second in the country. The 29-13 win over the Gamecocks helped push Clemson to the national title.
This is not the biggest game in the series for South Carolina either. I would say the 1984 game where they came in ranked ninth despite being ranked second the week before until Navy upset the Gamecocks was the biggest. South Carolina beat Clemson 22-21 that season.
But in terms to what it means to both teams, this year might be the biggest in the rivalry. South Carolina is trying to get to 11 wins (after a bowl game) for the second year in a row. They are trying to improve their bowl status and there is still a chance the Gamecocks can make it to the BCS.
Clemson is trying to win 11 regular season games for only the second time in school history. The Tigers are trying to finish in the top ten and possible top five and Clemson is still in decent shape to get to a BCS bowl as well.
For one of the few times in our rivalry our game is more significant than Auburn-Alabama. It means more than Ohio State-Michigan or USC-UCLA.
Years ago Army-Navy was bigger but that is not the case anymore. Some other big ones like Texas-Texas A&M and Oklahoma-Nebraska don't even happen anymore.
Yes, the 2012 Clemson-Carolina game has as much riding on the line for both teams as it ever has. We didn't like each other in 1998 when Clemson entered the game at 2-8 and South Carolina was 1-9. Imagine what it is going to feel like this year with Clemson and Carolina combining for 19 wins coming into the game.
Part of me says this game will be like every other one I have been to. I started going to this rivalry game in 1974 and I can't ever remember liking the Gamecocks any less or disliking them any more each year.
As fans we act like this game is the last game that each school will ever play. When we win, we become message board monsters and act like this is the win that will doom our rival. When we lose, we act like the death penalty would be easier to swallow.
The truth is that winning is never the end of our rival and losing is not the end of our program. Clemson won the national title in 1981 but South Carolina's best teams, until recently, came in 1984 and 1987. The Gamecocks have had their two best teams in school history the last two seasons, yet Clemson has signed great classes and is currently ranked in the top ten in the country.
I have theories about the two schools' immediate future. I think Clemson is trending higher than USC right now. I think Dabo is climbing and building. I think Spurrier has had some great teams the last two seasons but I don't see them replacing Alshon Jefferies, Stephon Gilmore, Melvin Ingram and Marcus Lattimore with All-Americans the last two classes.
Don't get me wrong, I still think South Carolina will be a very good football team in the next few seasons but not a top ten team. They have been ultra-talented the last two seasons. I can see them winning eight or nine games but my hunch is that with Florida and Georgia back, the Gamecocks won't have a lot of chances at 11 wins. How much longer will Spurrier be there? Who will replace the five stars?
I do feel Clemson is still improving and even better things are still to come. I think this is a double digit win team next season and some think this is a pre-season top ten team.
Again, I could be wrong because the one thing that is constant in this rivalry, besides the hatred, is change.
The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency
We have started a prayer list on the blog. Here are the guidelines:
If you are offended by prayer or prayer lists then I apologize in advance. The blog is free and the prayer list will be on the bottom of the page so you don’t have to read it.
If you would like to add someone to the list please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Please let me know when it is appropriate to take the person off of the prayer list.
Those who need our prayers include:Finn Brookover, Jo Ann Bachman, Kenneth Bryant, Pruitt Martin, Got igers and his family, David Rowland, Leonard, Gillespie and his family, Jim S, Daniel Rosborough, The Huffman family, Nancy Winkler, John Reeve, Ethel Southard, Vinnie Brock, Kaitlyn L, Susan Miller, Joyce Harley, Steve Proveaux, Jeffrey Greene, the Hutto family, Sherl Drawdy, Caleb Kennedy, Teresa O'Connor, Matt Jacobs,Perrin Seigler, Candee Massee, Lindsey Jordan, Sam Catoe, Tyler Felch, the Nicolopulos family, "the Jacksonville, FL guys", Kim Sims, the Coyle family, Ryleigh Tedder, Steve Lee, Kelly Trakas, Jimmy Moore, the Thomas. V Family, Emary Claire Young, Kitty Bowers,Julie Locke, the Scheider family, Lauren Kittles' family, Frank Gentry, Joyce Bussey, Stacey McKeown, Dale Childs, Larry Lentz, Jr, Carl Sharperson, Scott Hannon, William Perry, Tyler Swaney, Lillian, Mark Feit, David Frame, Chad Berry, the family of Matthew M. Watson, the Dowis family, Shervin Messer, Alan Putnam, the Olivers, Lee Tate, Ronnie Abrams, Eddie Greene, the Jackson family, Bill Vader, Jim Taylor, Tina DeWitt, Rock Horne, Christopher Tuten, Bobby Wayne Thomas, Emma and Danielle Carothers, Robert Ditty, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Smith, Dot Cartee, Ayden Mills, Millie Heatley, Lynn Martin and family, Michael Pinson, Jake David family, Angie Crowley, Ira, Mike Tolson, Poly Wells, Dr. Muriel Bishop, Jack Cunningham, Emily Jefford Meister, Zachary Stoller, Aaron Clackum, Pat James, Cortney Moore, William Moore, Angelia and Savannah Anderson, William Ross, Meredith Legg, Scott Johns, Frank Carroll,
Brandon ThompsonBrandon Thompson
#98 6-2, 310
View Full Profile , Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Clay Childers, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Billy McLeroy, Gary G., William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders, Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Travis Patterson, Jennifer Chancy, Amanda Peake, Danny Hammond, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, The Sturkey Family, James Caylor, Ron Johnson, John Ellis Haddad, the Lance family, Marcus Lattimore, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, Jennifer McManus, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Patrick Heher, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day plus their families.