David Cloninger

Which was the worst USC football team?

The 10 worst teams in South Carolina football history:

1. 1919

Record: 1-7-1 (Independent)

Coach: Dixon Foster

Why: It won one game – over Erskine, 6-0. The Gamecocks lost five of seven by shutout, including Presbyterian, Davidson, Washington and Lee and The Citadel. They somehow tied Tennessee 6-6.

2. 1998

Record: 1-10 (0-8 SEC)

Coach: Brad Scott

Why: The one win was over Ball State and it started a run of 21 straight losses. After losing by five to Kentucky, this team gave up down the stretch, losing five games by nearly 16 points per.

3. 1966

Record: 1-9 (1-3 ACC)

Coach: Paul Dietzel

Why: These Gamecocks were more than doubled up on the season scoreboard (216-95). Yet they beat a 5-5 NC State team.

4. 2015

Record: 3-9 (1-7 SEC)

Coach: Steve Spurrier/Shawn Elliott

Why: The year where it was very apparent Steve Spurrier’s magic had run out. The Gamecocks had talent but Spurrier quit in the middle of the year, handing the reins to Shawn Elliott. As close as his kids were to some great wins (Texas A&M, Tennessee, Florida, Clemson), they lost to The Citadel. But they did beat ACC divisional champion North Carolina.

5. 1894

Record: 0-2 (Independent)

Coach: None

Why: To be fair, what would you expect from a team that lists “No Coach” as its coach? The Gamecocks scored four points all year, and that was in a 16-4 loss to the Augusta YMCA.

6. 1982

Record: 4-7 (Independent)

Coach: Richard Bell

Why: Four wins over nobody and a loss to Furman. Somehow, the Gamecocks’ top four career-leading tacklers played on this team and they only beat Pacific, Richmond, Cincinnati and Navy.

7. 1999

Record: 0-11 (0-8 SEC)

Coach: Lou Holtz

Why: Yes, a winless team is pretty down a list of “worst teams ever.” Why? The Gamecocks were 20th nationally in total defense, with a No. 13 overall NFL Draft pick (John Abraham). They just couldn’t keep a healthy offensive line or quarterback. It would probably be lower on the list except – no wins.

8. 1991

Record: 3-6-2 (Independent)

Coach: Sparky Woods

Why: The last year before joining the SEC, the Gamecocks tied Duke and Louisiana Tech but beat defending national champion Georgia Tech.

9. 1972

Record: 4-7 (Independent)

Coach: Paul Dietzel

Why: A pretty bad squad that lost to Miami (Ohio), but that was a team that finished 7-3. The Gamecocks also beat a 7-4 Florida State squad.

10. 1986

Record: 3-6-2 (Independent)

Coach: Joe Morrison

Why: They didn’t lose to anybody who wasn’t somebody, and often by close margins (five to Georgia, three to Nebraska, one to NC State). They also tied Virginia Tech and Clemson, each on the road.