The above statement is a tad deceiving, since South Carolina and The Citadel only squared off once from 1991 to 2014; and with Saturday’s upset perhaps trumping the 1990 shocker in Columbia, S.C., who knows if the Gamecocks will be in a rush to schedule another in-state military institution over the next quarter-century.
Citing the big picture, losing to The Citadel shouldn’t have a traumatizing effect on the Gamecocks program. This woebegone season (3-8 overall, 1-7 SEC) began unraveling soon after South Carolina’s blowout loss to UGA in September, and things got really shaky after Steve Spurrier’s abrupt resignation in October. As such, one under-the-radar defeat in November has little consequence, long term.
Of course, Saturday’s defeat won’t look good on interim coach Shawn Elliot’s resume. He needed every break to fall his way to make the Gamecocks job permanent, which hasn’t been the case; and now, South Carolina’s powers-that-be have additional incentive to seek out a prominent figure after the season ends.
Houston’s Tom Herman? Memphis’ Justin Fuente? Utah’s Kyle Whittingham? Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy? Cal’s Sonny Dykes? It’s an impressive list of up-and-coming or established candidates for the South Carolina vacancy.
And just like Shawn Elliott, every coach listed above lost on Saturday.