USC Gamecocks Football

South Carolina’s 27 SEC seasons ranked. Do you agree with No. 1?

Steve Spurrier: ‘I think Will Muschamp can have the most wins here someday’

Former South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier returns to Columbia for the 2018 spring game.
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Former South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier returns to Columbia for the 2018 spring game.

South Carolina will play its 28th season of SEC football this fall. The Gamecocks have had some highs and some lows in the first 27 years, and we took a shot at ranking those seasons from best to worst here:

1 — 2010

Record: 9-5

Head coach: Steve Spurrier

The Details: This team might not have beaten the 2013 South Carolina squad, but it did win a title, at least of sorts. The Gamecocks were the SEC East champion and participated in the school’s only SEC championship game. If Marcus Lattimore doesn’t get knocked out of the Peach Bowl, this is a 10-win team.

2 — 2013

Record: 11-2

Head coach: Steve Spurrier

The Details: The last of the 11-win teams was also the highest ranked, finishing the year at No. 4, the highest final ranking in school history. A 23-21 loss to unranked Tennessee kept this team out of the SEC title game, but it won six straight to end the year.

3 — 2012

Record: 11-2

Head coach: Steve Spurrier

The Details: The Gamecocks lost by two points at No. 9 LSU and went to Florida the next week to play the No. 3 Gators. That game got away from them early and ended in a 44-11 loss, but South Carolina didn’t lose again.

4 — 2011

Record: 11-2

Head coach: Steve Spurrier

The Details: Beat Georgia 45-42 in Athens in one of the most raucous games in recent memory. A costly 16-13 loss to unranked Auburn kept this team out of the SEC title game and kept this season from being ranked third-best of the SEC era.

5 — 2000

Record: 8-4

Head coach: Lou Holtz

The Details: Holtz second season resulted in the biggest one-season turnaround in NCAA history as the Gamecocks went from 0-11 to 8-4. South Carolina capped season with 24-7 win over Ohio State in Outback Bowl.

6 — 2005

Record: 7-5

Head coach: Steve Spurrier

The Details: The first glimpse of where Spurrier might take the program came this season, which included the first win in Knoxville, Tenn., ever and the first win over Florida since 1939.

7 — 2001

Record: 9-3

Head coach: Lou Holtz

The Details: This season ended with a second straight Outback Bowl win over the Buckeyes and also featured wins over Georgia and Clemson.

8 — 2017

Record: 9-4

Head coach: Will Muschamp

The Details: Muschamp’s second season exceeded expectations with nine victories, including a come-from-behind 26-19 win over Michigan in the Outback Bowl that boosted Bryan McClendon to the full-time offensive coordinator position.

9 — 2006

Record: 8-5

Head coach: Steve Spurrier

The Details: The Gamecocks beat Clemson for the first time in Spurrier’s tenure and barely lost 17-16 to eventual national champion Florida in Gainesville. A Liberty Bowl win over Houston capped the season.

10 — 2016

Record: 6-7

Head coach: Will Muschamp

The Details: In his first season as head coach, Muschamp doubled the win total from the previous season. Turning the quarterback job over to true freshman Jake Bentley at the midpoint of the season sparked a three-game win streak and upset of No. 18 Tennessee.

South Carolina was victorious in Will Muschamp's first game as head coach, a 13-10 win over Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. But Muschamp is excited about more than just the one game.

11 — 2018

Record: 7-6

Head coach: Will Muschamp

The Details: The season was marred by blowing a big lead in a 35-31 loss to Florida and a 28-0 blowout loss to Virginia in the Belk Bowl.

12 — 2004

Record: 6-5

Head coach: Lou Holtz

The Details: Holtz’ last season included South Carolina’s last win at Alabama but it also included The Brawl game against Clemson, which was the last game in Holtz’ Hall of Fame career.

13 — 2009

Record: 7-6

Head coach: Steve Spurrier

The Details: The Gamecocks lost four of five to end the season but the one win was a 34-17 victory over Clemson that started USC’s five-game win streak against its most hated rival.

14 — 2014

Record: 7-6

Head coach: Steve Spurrier

The Details: The cracks in the foundation were beginning to show, but the Gamecocks still beat Georgia, Florida and Miami.

15 — 1994

Record: 7-5

Head coach: Brad Scott

The Details: Scott’s first season was highlighted by wins at LSU and at Clemson. He also took South Carolina to its first bowl game since 1988.

16 — 1996

Record: 6-5

Head coach: Brad Scott

The Details: Scott’s second-best season included wins over Georgia and Clemson.

17 — 2008

Record: 7-6

Head coach: Steve Spurrier

The Details: The Gamecocks gave No. 2 Georgia a run in the second game of the season before lost 14-7 but lost three straight to end season, including 56-6 to Florida.

18 — 2007

Record: 6-6

Head coach: Steve Spurrier

The Details: South Carolina was 6-1 and No. 6 in the country before falling 17-6 to Vanderbilt and finishing the season with five straight losses.

19 — 2003

Record: 5-7

Head coach: Lou Holtz

The Details: The Gamecocks upset No. 15 Virginia in the second game but lost four straight to end the season.

20 — 2002

Record: 5-7

Head coach: Lou Holtz

The Details: A four-game winning streak against Temple, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, and Kentucky was the highlight of a season that finished with five straight losses.

21 — 1997

Record: 5-6

Head coach: Brad Scott

The Details: Scott’s last season ended with three straight losses in the old Orange Crush portion of the schedule – Tennessee, Florida and Clemson.

22 — 1992

Record: 5-6

Head coach: Sparky Woods

The Details: Woods led the Gamecocks to a 24-23 upset of No. 16 Tennessee in the school’s first year in the SEC.

23 — 1993

Record: 4-7

Head coach: Sparky Woods

The Details: The highlight was a 23-21 win over Georgia in the season-opener. Bulldogs announcer Larry Munson tried to coach up Georgia at the end, but Brandon Bennett had the last word.

24 — 1995

Record: 4-6-1

Head coach: Brad Scott

The Details: South Carolina beat Mississippi State and Vanderbilt in the league but had the second-fewest wins of the Scott era.

25 — 2015

Record: 3-9

Head coach: Steve Spurrier

The Details: The season in which Spurrier resigned midway through from a program he acknowledges had run aground. After the heydays of the 11-win seasons, it was a hard landing for Spurrier and the South Carolina faithful.

26 — 1998

Record: 1-10

Head coach: Brad Scott

The Details: The Gamecocks beat Ball State 38-20 in the season-opener and then lost 10 straight in what was to be a 21-game losing streak.

27 — 1999

Record: 0-11

Head coach: Lou Holtz

The Details: An 11-10 loss to Vanderbilt was as close as the Gamecocks got to a victory with an offense that averaged 7.9 points per game.

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