South Carolina Football: Analyst covering SEC rival says Shane Beamer belongs on hot seat

Ole Hotty Toddy's Jordan Merritt argues that South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer belongs on the hot seat heading into the 2024 season.

South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer
South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer / David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

What a difference a year makes. After being considered among the best stories in college football after the 2022 season, South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer and his program were viewed to be on the rise and close to establishing themselves as real players in the SEC.

The hype was warranted as the Gamecocks had finished strong that year with wins that knocked rivals Clemson and Tennessee out of the College Football Playoff picture. Even with an abject disaster at offensive coordinator in Marcus Satterfield, USC finished 8-4 that year and returned the best pitch-and-catch duo in the SEC in Spencer Rattler and Juice Wells.

Everything went off the rails in 2023, though, and inconsistent play on both offense and defense caused the Gamecocks to barely make their way to 5-7 after starting an abysmal 2-6.

The bad season had virtually everyone jump off of the Shane Beamer hype train, and some college football analysts even started arguing that Beamer could be on the hot seat heading into 2024.

Recently, an analyst covering a rival SEC program threw his hat into the mix and argued that the South Carolina football job could come open next offseason if Beamer doesn't right the ship. Jordan Merritt of Ole Hotty Toddy (covering the Ole Miss Rebels) included Beamer on his list of SEC coaches who are coaching for their jobs in 2024. Beamer joins Arkansas' Sam Pittman, Florida's Billy Napier, and Oklahoma's Brent Venables on the dubious list.

Merritt argues that Beamer could save his job with a return to a bowl game this fall, but a difficult schedule (one that includes games @Kentucky, @Alabama, @Oklahoma, and @Clemson and at home against LSU, Ole Miss, Missouri, and Texas A&M) could make that goal unattainable.

If Merritt is right and the Gamecocks fall below .500 for the second straight season, feelings around the program will be far from rosy. Would things be dire enough that the University decides to make a change just two years after giving Beamer an extension? Possibly.

It would be far from an ideal situation for Athletic Director Ray Tanner to have to fire Beamer and hire yet another football coach. His track record of hiring coaches to this point has been beyond bad (he hired Will Muschamp and Shane Beamer, and he hired Chad Holbrook and Mark Kingston). Only the Lamont Paris hire salvages Tanner's hiring history, and the Gamecocks were the biggest player for Paris when he was hired.

South Carolina football fans hope that a bounce-back season puts this discussion to bed, but only time will tell.

Spring practice begins on Tuesday for the Gamecocks.

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