Opposing coaches give their views of South Carolina football.
The 2021 season opener will soon be upon us, but as of right now, we’re still in ‘talking season.’ With that come season previews, projections, predictions, and rankings. While the Gamecocks haven’t been in the national spotlight over the last few years, the ’21 campaign does produce some intrigue for a program that’s in transition.
South Carolina fired Will Muschamp in the middle of the ’20 season, ending his second failed stint as an SEC head coach. Shane Beamer was called upon to clean up the mess and turn around a team that’s just 6-16 in its last 22 contests.
With Muschamp’s departure came transfers and opt outs on the Gamecocks’ roster, leaving a cupboard bare for the incoming coaching staff. Beamer and Co. did a nice job of filling those voids with proven playmakers in the transfer portal, but expectations for his inaugural season are still very low. If he can lead the program to a bowl appearance in 2021, it will be considered a massive success.
Vegas has set South Carolina’s win total at just 3.5, media is predicting that the Gamecocks will wind up in the cellar of the SEC East, and most don’t see the team being able to reach the postseason. The national perception of the Gamecock hasn’t been very positive.
The media is always eager to give their opinion on the state of a college football program, but what do the coaches think? Lindy’s magazine released its season preview for the 2021 SEC season, and it included a segment that showed opposing coaches giving their (anonymous) views of the South Carolina football team ahead of Shane Beamer’s first campaign. Here’s what they had to say.
- “South Carolina is a complete train wreck. If you fire Will Muschamp to hire Shane Beamer, just keep Muschamp. Ray Tanner gave Muschamp an extension and it cost the school a lot of money. Looking back, if a coach at Florida gets fired for taking down Florida, what in your mind thinks he can make South Carolina better?”
- “I think South Carolina is in a period of 40 years wandering in the desert. They need new athletic administration. They’ve got great facilities. Their boosters are some of the best in the world… They deserve better.”
- “South Carolina had the worst defense in the SEC other than Ole Miss. Look at all the players they’ve had drafted on defense – Javon Kinlaw, DJ Wonnum, Jaycee Horn, Ernest Jones, Israel Mukuamu – it’s inexcusable how bad their defense has been.”
It doesn’t appear that opponents are too impressed with either the Shane Beamer hire, or the South Carolina athletic administration as a whole. Time will tell on Beamer’s tenure here in Columbia, but is was blatantly obvious that Will Muschamp had the program going in the wrong direction. Both the first and last comments touch on this.
We do realize that Beamer wasn’t the ‘sexy’ hire, particularly with bigger names like Hugh Freeze and Billy Napier on the board, but it’s a little early to consider the first-time head coach a failure, which can certainly be said of Muschamp from his stints at both South Carolina and Florida.
Even with the talent that Muschamp had on the field, the so-called defensive guru was never able to field an elite unit, which is what one coach alludes to. Another notes that the Gamecock faithful deserves better, and that falls on the athletic administration for making hires like Will Muschamp in the first place.
The comments seem harsh, especially since the program finally feels a bit of positivity under its new coaching staff. Hopefully, Beamer and the Gamecocks will be able to prove some of the naysayers wrong in the upcoming 2021 campaign.