The South Carolina football team experienced a breakout season in its inaugural campaign under new head coach Shane Beamer, posting seven wins and winning its first bowl matchup in four years.
Despite having to play with four different starting quarterbacks, losing a ton of production on defense, and struggling to piece together an inexperienced offense, the Gamecocks more than doubled the preseason win projections set forth by oddsmakers.
The Gamecocks ended the season with huge wins over Florida, Auburn, and North Carolina to close out its first season over .500 since 2018. For the unexpected on-field performance, the South Carolina football program received “A” grade from a number of media outlets, while changing the tune of some notable college football personalities along the way.
Now, coach Beamer will need to build upon that success in year two, and he’s already begun to lay the foundation for the future.
South Carolina closed out the Early Signing Period with a top 25 recruiting class while also bringing a few top transfers from the portal for immediate help. The transfer class currently ranks No. 5 in the nation according to 24/7 Sports.
The most notable of those transfers is quarterback Spencer Rattler, who comes to South Carolina after a two-year career with Oklahoma. Rattler was 14-2 as a starter for the Sooners and entered last season as a potential Heisman candidate. He’ll be an immediate upgrade under center for the Gamecocks.
With things beginning to come together over the offseason, combined with the momentum built through the seven-win season, many are projecting the Gamecocks to be a surprise team in 2022. South Carolina has already begun to appear in early top 25 rankings and is being referred to as a program on the rise.
South Carolina Football Could Flash In 2022
One media outlet that expects the Gamecocks to continue building upon the success of 2021 is 24/7 Sports. College football contributor Brad Crawford recently included South Carolina as a team that he says could “flash” next season.
Here’s what Crawford had to say about the Gamecocks’ outlook heading into 2022.
South Carolina overachieved based on outside expectations during Shane Beamer’s first season with seven wins, including a Mayo Bowl triumph over border rival North Carolina. Inconsistencies at the quarterback position all season should be solved in 2022 with former Oklahoma signal caller Spencer Rattler headlining an expansive transfer class for the Gamecocks. South Carolina’s Week 2 showdown at Arkansas — the SEC opener for both teams — is one of the league’s most pivotal early-season matchups and will determine where both of these programs stand in the early going.
South Carolina should find itself back in a bowl game when all is said and done next year, but there’s a chance that it could produce even more if things fall into place. There are obviously some difficult matchups, including having to face Arkansas and Georgia over the season’s first three weeks.
Still, should the Gamecocks win some toss up games and have the ball bounce their way, getting to eight or nine wins shouldn’t be out of the question. There are growing expectations in Columbia for year two with Shane Beamer.
Hopefully the Gamecocks can flash that potential in another successful campaign.