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What Does South Carolina Football Need to Do in 2012?

Today's great debate asks a simple but important question.  What will it take for 2012 to be considered a success for South Carolina?

Bryant: 2010 saw Spurrier participate in the SEC Championship game for the first time in school history. 2011 saw the Gamecocks notch 11 wins. In 2012, will anything less than an East division title be considered a failure? Will 8 or 9 wins and beating Clemson be enough for this ultra talented squad? Considering the uncertainty in Gainesville and Knoxville, Carolina needs to get to Atlanta this year to continue to build as a program.

Billy: Expectations are sky high in Columbia.  Fairly or not, many fans think greatness is on the way.  With that framing the argument, it seems many fans will only consider this season a success with an 11-1 season and an SEC East title.  Anything else will fall short of expectations.

What should constitute a successful season?  How about beating all the teams you are supposed to beat and winning more than half of the others.  South Carolina should beat: UAB, East Carolina, Wofford, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Missouri and Tennessee.  The remaining games are legitimate toss ups: Georgia, LSU, Florida, Arkansas and Clemson.  If the Gamecocks win more than half of the toss ups, they'll finish about 10-2.  That's very good.  Good enough for an East title?  With two losses, it might be out of USC's hands.

LJ: Expectations are high in Columbia for a reason, and I think Spurrier believe this might be the team to take him to an SEC title.  The way Spurrier has been talking to the media, he is giving the fan base a lot of hope.  I personally think anything less then 10 wins and a chance to play in the SEC championship will be thought of as a failure.  I agree with Billy, if the Gamecocks can win the games they are suppose to, they will be all right.  If USC can get through October with only one lose, they should be in good shape to win the East.

Flounder: Success for 2012 has to be determined by the goals you set. For me, in relation to this team and 2012, it is:

Win the first game.

Win the first home game.

Go unbeaten at home.

Lose no more than one game on the road.

Beat Clemson.

Represent the East in Atlanta.

Win the SEC Championship.

Go to a BCS Bowl.

Having stated the goals and looking at them. Then a 10 win season is the bar. Getting to Atlanta will be tough. Starting to establish that anything less than a 10 win season in Columbia is great for the future of the program.

Read more about Flounder's reasoning......

Get more great South Carolina sports analysis over at Leftover Hot Dog.


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