Friday, November 25, 2011

Clemson and Carolina have MUCH to be thankful for

There will be a very happy winner and a very sad loser on Saturday night after the rivalry football game. Whichever team wins will make too much of it in a good way and the losing team will overreact in a negative way. That is just part of the game and part of a rivalry. But honestly, as we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, both Universities have so much to be thankful for and we very well may be in the middle of a golden era for sports in our state.

To start with football, both programs are up and consistently ranked. USC and the Orangies have rosters loaded with young stars and their futures look bright. Both teams return at least 15 starters next in 2012 coming off a 2011 campaign that landed at least 9 wins. Both programs regardless of Saturday could finish the season with double-digit wins. That would absolutely be the first time that has happened. Over the last six years, the head to head record has been 3-3. It all points to a pretty good situation on the gridiron in the Palmetto State. I doubt it will be another 24 years before the two teams are both ranked this high when they meet.

On the baseball diamond, you have had two of the nation’s elite programs in Sandlapper Country for a while. It may not “feel” that way for the Tigers due to Ray Tanner’s success in Columbia but truthfully they have been successful and will field another solid team in the spring. Carolina has won two straight national championships, has one of the best baseball stadiums in the country and has one of the finest pitching staffs in the nation ready to go for a three-peat. The rivalry matchups here have almost become, dare I say, enjoyable for both schools in recent years because it’s fun to watch two really good teams playing well and competing.

Then there is old basketball, the odd duck of men’s major sports in South Carolina. There is no question that nationally hoops is bigger and produces bookoodles more revenue for schools but it is the forgotten sport in Palmetto Land. Yes, yes, when one of the teams is in the big dance or making a run at a conference title, the temporary bandwagon fills up but basically this is football and baseball country. Neither team has actually done anything in the NCAA tournament in a while and the Gamecocks may not even win 10 games this season.

What this means is that in the two sports that matter the most, both schools have things pretty good. What a great time to be a Gamecock or a Tiger!

No comments:

Post a Comment


We will review all comments before they appear on the blog. Cock-A-Booster has final say in what appears on the blog and what is withheld. Please keep your comments PG-rated.