An Open Letter to the South Carolina Gamecocks

Dear South Carolina Gamecocks,

Another season is just a couple weeks away, and once again you have been predicted by many to have an important role to play in the SEC East title race. You have been such an easy pick the last three seasons, and for good reason.

In 2011, Marcus Lattimore and Alshon Jefferey graced the roster. the defense appeared to have the potential to continue a fierce pass rush. Anything less than a division title was going to be a huge disappointment. Losses to a mediocre Auburn Tigers squad and an offensive juggernaut in the Arkansas Razorbacks derailed hopes of Gamecock fans.

Then, 2012 came along. Fans and writers/commentators were dazzled with the possibility of a national title run. It seemed logical. Lattimore and Jadeveon Clowney returned to a roster that also featured Shaq Wilson and Devin Taylor. Steve Spurrier had accumulated plenty of aggressive speed to compete in the SEC, but the team wasn”t able to climb over the mountain in a come back effort against the LSU Tigers. The defense fell just short of holding off three Tiger field goals in the fourth quarter in a two point loss.

Last season, coming off back-to-back 11 win seasons, I even picked you to play in the final BCS Championship, but somehow an average Tennessee Volunteers team took the hopes and stomped them out. How could you let the Volunteers take away your dreams of an SEC championship? Sure, you lost to the Georgia Bulldogs earlier in the season, but they were no threat on your road to a national championship. You even beat Mizzou to kick off a six game winning streak to online casino end the season.

2014 had better be the year you take advantage of all the athletes, all the speed, all the talent and get to the College Football Playoff. Is there any reason outside of an injury that Dylan Thompson can”t become one of the best quarterbacks in the conference? We have seen flashes of what he could do for you against the Clemson Tigers in 2012 and the Michigan Wolverines in the 2013 Outback Bowl.

Will a loss to Texas A&M on Aug.28 kill your chances? No, but it would certainly not be a very good start. Let”s be honest, your chances of winning the SEC East could already be done as early as October. So, on second thought, you better beat the Aggies. The Dawgs and Missouri both come to your house, so use the home crowd and get it done.

Mike Davis should have a fun time with one of the best offensive lines you”ve ever had. Utilize him often, and see your offensive rewards grow. I hate to give you an ultimatum, however the tricks and false promises have left me mentally exhausted. This season is yours for the taking. Bring an SEC title home to your fans, take yourselves to the next level and destroy the skepticism from myself and others.

Sincerely,

A guy who keeps picking you to win

Zach Pugh is a College Football Writer and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @RadioZachCFB, Google and Facebook.