What Would a Bowl Win Mean For USC?

GamecockAnthem.com football writer Ryan Clary takes a look at what a victory in the 2006 Liberty Bowl would mean for the South Carolina football program in both the immediate future and the long term.

Many football fans love to discuss what a bowl win can do for a program and how much momentum it can carry into the off-season. Personally, I believe that varies from team to team, but I'm here to tell you that a bowl win on Friday would be huge for the Gamecocks.

Why? It's very simple. I believe South Carolina has the talent next year to realistically compete for a conference championship, and this team has the key pieces in place to make it happen. A win would only help the Gamecocks believe it can be done.

What are those pieces you might ask? It starts with a fifth year senior quarterback in Blake Mitchell being pushed by solid talent behind him. The Gamecocks have an offensive line that will have questions, but not at the tackle spot, and will for once have solid depth. Multiple weapons at skill positions along with a possible Heisman candidate make the offense extremely scary next year. Did I mention that this very talented group will be running Spurrier-called plays?

The defense will be experienced, led by a beast at middle linebacker in Jasper Brinkley. Plus, the Gamecocks will finally have a D-Line that SEC offenses have to prepare for.

So you agree now that this group will be ready next year, but ask how exactly would this bowl win help? A win over Houston would first of all keep the momentum going into next year. Strong recruiting, a win over Clemson, and a bowl win are the perfect ingredients for the Gamecocks to believe they belong. Steve Spurrier has talked about changing the culture, and this would be the first big step.

No, it's not devastating if the Gamecocks come up short, but fans will only wonder what could have been. I'm not saying if USC loses to Houston, their chances next year are shot down, but that momentum would be nice for a change. Carolina's young talent came so close to a special season this year, but too many times came up short. A win in their last game would be big mentally, and these boys need to know what winning at this level feels like.

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