No. 4 – South Carolina
I have a confession to make. No longer living in the state of South Carolina has taken some sting out of losing to the Gamecocks.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of hatred. I’ve lived and breathed this rivalry for too many years and for the first time in 9 years my Neanderthal brother-in-law figured out how to dial a cell phone as the clock ticked to zero last November just to make sure I didn’t forget, but I don’t have to use sign language every time I see my neighbor at the mailbox if you get my drift.
For me, it’s a chance to chuckle at the Gamecocks, who thought their short-lived Spurrier-era dominance over Clemson would never end, and see a fluky one-point win as some sort of sign that things are changing long-term.
You want to talk long-term? I got you.
Turns out Dabo undersold the Tigers when he forecasted that Clemson would still be dominating the series when his grandkids show up on campus: South Carolina would have to win every game between now and 2052 to take the series lead.
Not realistic to win 30 in a row, you say? OK, if South Carolina won 2 of every 3 they’d take the lead sometime around 2108 or so.
Yes, that year starts with a two and a one.
Can you say great-great-great grandkids?
Who knows if South Carolina will have 5 or 6 wins by game time, but as we saw last season, when you have no hope of winning your division, conference, or making the playoff, beating Clemson makes your season.
Though I hesitate to call this onesided series a rivalry, the instate battle still means something, especially for those who live within the borders of South Carolina.