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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:56 AM
Ron Morris writes his final column before retiring from The State newspaper, saying that South Carolina's wins in the Outback Bowl and over Clemson should be forfeited because they were won using a player poached from the basketball team (Bruce Ellington) and by poaching a player away from the Florida schools (Ace Sanders) under false pretenses, having convinced the Florida schools that Sanders was too short to play D1 ball. Morris also declares Clemson as the clear front runner to be the next season's national champions. The last Gamecock fans still subscribing to The State cancel their subscriptions. The State is then sold by McClatchy to CUTigers.com for a dollar and future consideration. Their campus near the USC football stadium on Bluff Road is sold to the The Big Spur.
Alabama blows out Notre Dame in the BCS national championship game, securing the SEC's 7th consecutive national championship. A week later, a blockbuster deal is announced between the SEC, the NCAA, and the NFL: Alabama will leave the SEC and join the NFL. The NCAA agrees to allow Alabama's 28 annual scholarships to be divided among the SEC's remaining teams and allows all current Bama underclassmen to move with the team to the NFL. In return, the SEC schools agree to remain in the NCAA and not leave to start their own competing organization. For it's part, the NFL agrees to move all NFL teams other than Bama in SEC states to rust belt states. The NFL players union gets President Obama to agree to fund the teams moves to blue pro-union states.
When the football season comes to an end, the second season begins in earnest as fans obsessively follow their team's recruiting efforts leading up to National Signing Day, the first Wednesday in February. With all of their starting linebackers graduating and their most promising underclassman linebacker out due to injury, and their highest profile linebacker commitment having switched his commitment to Florida, Gamecock fans spent much of January obsessing over linebacker recruiting.
On February 6, NSD, South Carolina uses its two new scholarships on linebackers.
Spring practice begins and the big news out of Columbia is that starting quarterback Connor Shaw is moved to linebacker. Spurrier says "Yep, Yep. We are thin there and need someone with Connor's toughness at linebacker. That's about it."
Earliest national pre-season polls predict Georgia No. 1, followed by 11 other SEC teams. Notre Dame is picked 12th. (A tip of the garnet beret to Buck Sanders for that one)
Another surprise from the February deal is announced: NFL teams will be allowed to draft Jadeveon Clowney in the 2013 draft, deferring his compensation payment until after his final college season at South Carolina is completed. Clowney is picked #1 overall by the Kansas City Chiefs.
The SEC selects a team to replace Alabama. UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham accepts an offer for the Tar Heels to become part of the SEC. The UNC Board of Governors rejects the offer. The News and Observer publishes the names of all gun owners in North Carolina. All said gun owners wearing Carolina blue assemble outside the Spangler Center and convince the Board of Governors to change their vote. The left wing faculty members in Chapel Hill scream in protest, but they are otherwise powerless. Not one of them owns a gun. Pack Pride investigates.
Another blockbuster deal is announced. Arkansas is traded to the Big 12 and Kentucky to the ACC by the SEC. The Big 12 sends Kansas and Kansas State to the ACC. The ACC sends NC State and Virginia Tech to the SEC and Florida State and Clemson to the Big 12. ACC commissioner John Swofford declares his end game of making the ACC the preeminent basketball conference in the country is realized. Then Duke and Virginia announce they are leaving to join the B1G. Swofford begins talks with the six basketball schools that left the Big East.
At SEC Football Media Days, new Arkansas coach Bret Bielema is provided a translator when SEC media members can't understand his Yankee accent. Bielema acknowledges he often has the same problem when talking to recruits, and has hired a southern girl to accompany him on the road when he goes to see recruits, so she can translate for him. Clay Travis breaks the story the next day that the young woman is Jessica Dorrell.
Fall practice begins, and Connor Shaw reinjures his foot. Gamecocks defensive coordinator Whammy Ward announces that his defense will now play a 7-0 defensive scheme, with seven down linemen and no linebackers.
Travis Haney breaks a story that in a concession to South Carolina for allowing North Carolina into the SEC, Jeff Maconaghy, the Big East ref who blew the first down measurement and enraged Jadeveon Clowney, has been hired by the SEC to work all Gamecock SEC contests.
The 2013 football season kicks off in Columbia with "the battle of the Carolinas" between South Carolina and their future SEC league mates North Carolina. South Carolina has four measurements for a first down declared short by Maconaghy. Clowney immediately blows up the UNC backfield on the next ensuing play after each measurement, causing a fumble each time that is recovered by the Gamecocks. Then on the next subsequent play after each fumble, Dylan Thompson throws a touchdown. The Gamecocks roll. PackPride does not investigate. Dabo Swinney declares that Carolina is still in Chapel Hill, but acknowledges somebody beat them.
September wins over Georgia, Vandy, and UCF and an early October victory over Kentucky are followed by three straight road games for the Gamecocks, but they manage to remain undefeated headed into key home games against Miss State and Florida for the right to go to Atlanta. Clowney only has one sack and three TFL's against Mizzou when Maconaghy misses the game due to the flu.
Spurrier creates a buzz in Gainesville prior to the Florida game when he tells the Columbia Touchdown Club that he never really liked the color orange. The Gators wear all orange uniforms as the visitors in Columbia. The home team dressed in all garnet pulls out the closest decision of the season when Connor Shaw comes in and runs for the game winning touchdown in place of a dinged up Dylan Thompson, ensuring a return trip to Atlanta and the SEC championship.
On the first play from scrimmage in the Clemson game, Clowney eats Tahj Boyd. The ACC officiating crew make him spit him out. Boyd refuses to play anymore, and Carolina rolls to its 5th straight victory over the Tigers. The USC crowd chants "Fear the Thumb! Fear the Thumb!" throughout the game.
Spurrier finally wins an SEC championship in his 9th season at South Carolina with a hard fought victory over previously undefeated A&M. For the second time in four years, the BCS schedules two SEC teams to play for the national title with a rematch between the Gamecocks and the Aggies.
Jadeveon Clowney wins the Heisman Trophy. He and Johnny Manziel announce they will form a band called the Heisman Brothers, and will begin taking guitar lessons from Keanu Reaves and Alex Winter as soon as the BCS title game is over.
"Mess with the feathers you'll get the spurs!!''
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