The Georgia Bulldogs have been a long-standing rival, even before the Gamecocks joined the SEC. In 2013, it was UGA that gave South Carolina football one of their two losses (along with Tennessee…more on them later). Without that loss, USC would have gotten a crack at Auburn in the SEC Championship Game with a National Championship berth on the line.
North Carolina was once a bigger rival for the Gamecocks, but fans (especially older fans) still hold a lot of contempt for their border rival to the North. The old basketball rivalry was one of the most hostile ones in the entire country.
South Carolina-Tennessee has always been somewhat of a rivalry, but in recent years, things have ratcheted up to a new level. The matchup is tied 8-8 in the last 16 meetings, and a helmet-catch from UT’s Marquez North cost the Gamecocks an SEC East Championship and a shot at playing for the national title. The current head coaches (Shane Beamer and Josh Heupel) do not like each other, and that rivalry has only increased the fan bases’ disdain for each other.
The Gamecocks never had a rivalry with Kentucky until Mark Stoops came around. Not only has Stoops beaten USC more often than he’s lost, he does not care much for the last two Gamecock head coaches (Will Muschamp and Shane Beamer), and the South Carolina football fanbase has rallied behind their coaches and learned to hate the Wildcats.
Even other schools like Florida, Texas A&M, and Missouri are pseudo-rivals for the Gamecocks. Florida always has been a minor rivalry, and A&M and Missouri are now “trophy games” as USC plays the Aggies for the Bonham Trophy and the Tigers from “the other Columbia” for the Mayor’s Cup.
But the biggest rival, though, is unquestioned. The Clemson Tigers are the rival for the South Carolina Gamecocks. “That team from the Upstate” is headed to Columbia this weekend for the annual rivalry game, and that means it is officially Clemson Hate Week for South Carolina football fans.
Let’s take a look at the top-5 moments from the rivalry since the year 2000.