A year ago, the South Carolina football program finished with 11 wins for the second consecutive season. An epic, last-second Outback Bowl victory over Michigan capped the most successful two-year run in program history.
The Gamecocks’ cross-border rival, North Carolina, however, was forced to watch from home. Despite finishing at 8-4 overall and tied for first in the ACC Coastal division, NCAA sanctions forced the Heels out of a bowl game in coach Larry Fedora’s first year in Chapel Hill.
Absolutely zero of that matters anymore, however. In just a few days’ time, the 2013 versions of each of these programs will face off in a nationally-televised, Thursday night showdown that fans of both teams have been frothing at the mouth to see for months now.
All that will matter is how North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner, a senior, fares with national icon Jadeveon Clowney bearing down on him as the nation’s premiere pass rusher. All that will matter is whether Fedora has prepared his team well enough to take on one of the very best in the history of the game, The Head Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier.
It has been a long offseason, but the time for talk is nearly over. We have no idea who is going to win this game, but perhaps you do.