With the five loses in a row to USCjr, we find ourselves on the wrong end of history, and therefore as fans begin to wonder what kind of implications this can have on our program. Mainly recruiting. I'm sure in Columbia the OBC is selling the dominance of Clemson over the past half decade to SC recruits.I'm sure that tactic has put a few more talented prospects in garnet and black than we would like to see, but it is certainly not the reason they have won 5 in a row now.
But the question that always comes to my mind is this: Does Spurrier truly believe his program has become the measuring stick program to Clemson? Or is it still the other way around?
The prospect of Spurrier still recognizing Clemson as the program to measure up to is an interesting one, and perhaps it could be true. If you follow the local media you've seen the jabs that Spurrier takes at our program. He's been famous for doing this over the course of his career. He dogged Tennessee endlessly at Florida. However, I sense a different tone when he speaks about Clemson.
After their Citrus Bowl win over Wisconsin, Spurrier proclaimed that this win was nice but "that state title ain't bad either." This sent the garnet-clad faithful into a frenzy, as it usually does. But is this by design? Spurrier seems to talk about Clemson at all the wrong times. One almost gets the sense that he is feeding a fan base who still views Clemson as the measuring stick program. The majority of Clemson fans I know are not so quick to hand USCjr the crown of best program in the state. However, the SCar fans seem to think that beating Clemson holds tremendous weight in their success. How many National Championships has their 5-in-a-row streak won? SEC titles? Division titles? What we're beginning to see is a fan base of Gamecock fans who, even though their team has been dominating, cannot stop comparing themselves to Clemson. It takes a special circumstance for this to occur, but they just don't seem happy to beat us. They want to proclaim to the world that they can beat Clemson now. Even Spurrier and Clowney couldn't keep from talking about it in their interviews today. In my mind, that tells us all we need to know about who the superior program in the state is and who is looking up to whom. While Clemson is focused on overall improvement, SCar and it's fans are content with beating us.
In my estimation, Clemson is still the measuring stick program in the state of South Carolina. The Ol' Ball Coach will even tell you himself. That should at least dull the unacceptable sting of 5 straight loses.