Though many South Carolina fans want to believe it, the truth is that the Gamecocks’ golden age simply doesn’t compare with that of Clemson football.
The Clemson football program is experiencing an unprecedented amount of success and it is becoming known as ‘The Golden Age.’
The Tigers have won two National Championships in the past four years, made five-straight CFB Playoff appearances, won five-straight ACC Championships and don’t look to be going anywhere anytime soon.
The Clemson football program continues to recruit at a level in an elite tier compared to the rest of the nation and the Tigers seem set to continue that success for many years to come.
One group that doesn’t want to see Clemson football continue its ‘Golden Age’ is the South Carolina Gamecock fan base.
The Gamecocks have constantly said things like ‘it’s going to come to an end’ and ‘Clemson is cycling out’ over the course of the Tigers’ run.
While it is true that one day- even if it’s more than a decade from now- the success will likely leave Clemson, I keep hearing this argument from Gamecock fans that simply doesn’t hold water.
When Clemson football fans talk about the future of the rivalry, Gamecock fans are quick to point out how their ‘Golden Age’ under Steve Spurrier came to an end so quickly. I’m sorry, but the two aren’t the same.
While South Carolina fans want to believe that the ‘crumbling of Clemson’ will happen sooner rather than later, anyone that watches football can see that the Tigers are primed to have even more success in the future.
That was not the case during the Gamecocks’ golden age.
Another thing one could see during that five-year streak under Spurrier was the incredible decline in recruiting and the strides that Clemson was making in closing the gap with the Gamecocks. That’s not being seen here currently on the flipside.
There’s also this simple fact: The two don’t compare.
During the Gamecocks’ run, they beat Clemson and finished 11-2 three-straight seasons. Not once did they win the SEC or even really come close to sniffing a National Title. That final season (in 2013), they did finish No. 4 in the AP Rankings, but lost in the SEC Championship game and wouldn’t have even made the CFB Playoff, if the postseason format had been adopted at the time.
The two simply aren’t the same. Clemson has won double the amount of National Titles in a shorter time period than South Carolina has in its history. The Tigers are recruiting and developing at a level higher than anything we ever saw with the Gamecocks.
You can believe that this is going to come to an end- and it will at some point- but don’t compare the two Golden Ages. One resulted in National Championships, the other resulted in a still-barren trophy case.