TigerNet Talk #82: Let’s Talk Turkey

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It’s Clemson – Carolina week once again and football fans across South Carolina focus their eyes on the Tigers and the Gamecocks. For the first time ever, Clemson comes into this match-up with the ACC Championship game the following week against Georgia Tech. You will hear people say that Clemson might look past South Carolina with the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship looming, but I beg to differ. While winning the ACC would be a great accomplishment, Dabo Swinney will have his team focused on winning ‘Bragging Rights’.

After looking over the years of statistics, I am convinced you can boil this rivalry down to expectations and hope. After years of suffering loss after loss to the Tigers, it was bound to happen that the Gamecock faithful would eventually expect to lose and hope to win this yearly battle.

It’s my belief that this is what has happened to the South Carolina fan base and their teams over the years. Just looking at the numbers is astounding.

I’m sure there are many similar situations out there, but for the sake of this piece, I will use my own life as an example. I consider myself a young Clemson fan, 32 years old, and in my lifetime we have won this contest twenty-three times. In order for a Gamecock fan say the same, they need to be almost twice my age, or 62 years old.

Yep, you have to go all the way back to 1947 to find a Gamecock who has won twenty-three times against our Clemson Tigers. That stat almost makes me feel bad for some of their older fans…ALMOST.

In 1947 Harry Truman was president, a new house cost roughly $6,600, bread was $0.13, the Frisbee was invented. I could go on and on, but you get the point.

I think about the joy I have experienced during those twenty-three wins. To have those wins occur in such a short period of time as a Tiger fan I can’t help but think about the long years of misery that a 62 year old Gamecock fan has sat through. Season after season, year after year, loss after loss.

Expectations and hope. We expect to win and hope not to lose, they expect to lose and hope to win. Given those two rules of thumb it’s no wonder Clemson wins more often than not. South Carolina hasn’t beaten Clemson in back to back games since 1969 & 1970. Need I say more?

Football is a tough sport, but as tough as it is, in the end it’s also a mental game and we have had South Carolina’s number for years. Let’s be honest the mentality of the fan base leaks down to the program and soon enough the players start to believe. Not even a “New Carolina” can reverse this old trend.


Season Predictions: El Swann: 10-1 , Xbox 360: 9-2

Follow the Tigers throughout the season on TigerNet Talk and Clemson Hotline. Each week, Lawton Swann will review the previous weekend's game and preview and predicts Clemson's next game. You can listen to both shows at http://www.clemsonpodcasts.com.

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