From Outside the Box: A Commentary

Lee Corso once said on national television that Steve Spurrier could not win an SEC title even if he'd coached there for 400 years. At the time, Gamecock Nation had no defense. Maybe things are changing though. A 16-12 victory over the #11 ranked Georgia Bulldogs between the hedges Saturday must have Corso pacing a little.

"Now, let's show Corso we can build facilities. Let's show my pal Corso that we can win an SEC championship. The game is on!" -Steve Spurrier

Wow! How many times have you sat back on the couch with a seemingly insurmountable lead knowing the Gamecocks would lose? Perhaps the same feeling rushed through your loins on the 3rd and 23 completion. A Gamecock tradition no one wants any further association with, yet the Cocks did it again: third and long = defensive lapse.

Though the Gamecocks led us down that same path Saturday afternoon, they took a last second route never traveled before. They pulled out the proverbial "W" when they should have lost – like Columbia has become accustomed to.

There are so many defensive gems to list, to dissect, to analyze – but why? Why not just enjoy the Steve Spurrier era for what it's worth? What is it worth? After all, Coach Holtz, an icon like the Ol' Ball Coach, had two phenomenal seasons before sliding back into mediocrity. Though it is widely believed that history repeats itself, something seems different.

Columbia thought it had a golden nugget during the Outback days – as it turns out, it was simply a nugget painted gold. Sooner or later the paint would chip off with an inevitable rust looming. This time though, that nugget looks like the real thing.

The Bulldogs of Georgia were the lone thorn in Steve Spurrier's side. He'd beaten Tennessee and Florida, he'd won a bowl game, but there was Georgia – looming, bothering, and instigating angst. No more.

With Georgia's game-winning drive surely about to take place after the Gamecock offense sputtered, Mike Davis and Cory Boyd went "smash-mouth." Ten yards here, eleven there, resulted in crucial first downs. Eventually the Gamecocks left Georgia with just over a minute to drive eighty yards – something sophomore Matt Stafford could not orchestrate.

Experts say the most improvement takes place between the first and second game. You do the math. The same defense that was trampled by the Rajun Cajuns' running game gave up only four field goals to an offense that was traumatized by timely hits, perhaps the best of which came on the goal line by Emanuel Cook. The same Cook who underwent an arrest and an appendectomy in the same week, pummeled freshman Tony Wilson on the goal line, forcing the ball out of his hands on impact.

With the lead intact, the 2007 Gamecocks showed that things in Columbia are changing quickly. Maybe this team can win the SEC East. Right now though, they are no longer in "win the SEC East" mode. From this moment forward, with a Georgia victory secure, it's "one game at a time" mode.

So this might be the real thing – a real golden nugget that projects to get even more valuable next season. Steve Spurrier once quoted Curt Schilling saying, "Why not us?"

It seems like the players and the fans have finally adopted his belief. They've bought into his winning ways.

Each day brings a heightened excitement for the return of Lee Corso so Columbia can scream back, "Why not us?"

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories