South Carolina had hoped for the best this past weekend with a little help from Ole Miss(who lost to Georgia) and Missouri, but in the end, it just wasn't meant to be.
The good news is there are plenty of things left to play for and Steve Spurrier said as much during his Sunday teleconference.
"We had hoped Florida and Georgia would lose last week, but that didn't happen," Spurrier said Sunday afternoon. "We didn't have a lot of hopes that would happen, to tell you the truth. After we lost at Florida, we sort of re-adjusted our goals to trying to win eight, nine, 10 games like we did last year. We are still having an excellent season here. We're going to try to finish strong. The team finished real strong last year. That's the goal"
The obvious thing here is South Carolina won't be satisfied with eight wins. The main thing is the Gamecocks approach from here on out will be to win the next game and readjust those goals as necessary.
South Carolina's next opponent will be the Arkansas Razorbacks, who are 4-5 currently coming off a 19-15 win over Tulsa this past Saturday. South Carolina's defense will tested with the passing attack led by quarterback Tyler Wilson but you can bet the Gamecocks will be ready as Arkansas will stand in the way of one of their team goals this year – win all the home games.
South Carolina is currently 5-0 at home and looking to remain undefeated at Williams-Brice Stadium for the first time since 1987.
Another one of the remaining goals for South Carolina this season will be to finish the year with double-digit victories. If the Gamecocks are able to do so by winning three of the next four games (including the bowl game), it will be the first time the Gamecocks have had back-to-back years of double-digit victories.
Last year's win total of 11 wins for the Gamecocks was a season-best for South Carolina. The Gamecocks can match that total this year if they are able to win the remaining games on their schedule, including a bowl game.
Where that bowl game may be, it's still to be determined but there is an outside chance that it could be in the Sugar Bowl, which is a BCS bowl game, and will be the first time South Carolina has appeared in the BCS bowl games since its inception for the 1998 season.
Here's what CNNSI's Andy Staples has to say about how the Sugar Bowl would feel if the Gamecocks are able to find their way to the BCS:
The Sugar Bowl guys would crawl across broken glass to have South Carolina in their game. Guaranteed sellout.— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) November 5, 2012
As you can see, there are plenty of things left to play for if you're South Carolina. A double-digit win season, undefeated home record, first-time BCS participant and more litter the team goals for the Gamecocks.
If South Carolina wants to establish themselves a perennial SEC championship, and top 10 contender, they will need to focus on these goals and finish strong.
They did it last year.
Why not this year?