Since relocating to Japan permanently in May 2008, I've been forced to wake up in the wee hours each Sunday morning during the Fall to watch the Gamecocks play with the aid of my trusty Slingbox. After rarely missing a home game in the preceding 20 or so years, I've now missed nearly 10 complete full seasons of South Carolina Football. During that time I've only had the chance to see 5 games live:
#18 South Carolina 17 - #2 Auburn 56: Georgia Dome, December 4, 2010
The Gamecocks' first and only appearance in the SEC Championship game. I flew back specifically to see this game. After keeping it close at Auburn in Week 4 that season, I was optimistic that the Gamecocks could pull out a win in a rematch, especially after they dominated at both Florida and Clemson in the preceding three weeks. I was unfortunately mistaken. The Gamecocks hung with Auburn in the first half, right up until the Tigers' score on a Hail Mary at the end of the half. I'd never experienced a football game in a dome before, and I found it very strange. The air didn't move and it didn't sound right in there.
#12 South Carolina 70 - Coastal Carolina 10: W-B, November 23, 2013
Nothing much to say about this one, other than it was the first win I personally witnessed since the Gamecocks held on to win 21-15 at Chapel Hill on October 13, 2007. One of the greatest South Carolina teams ever teed-off on an overmatched FCS squad. This was the appetizer to the main Thanksgiving course that year.
#10 South Carolina 31 - #6 Clemson 17: W-B, November 30, 2013
My all-time favorite game. Cold weather, one of Clemson's best ever teams (up to that point), the first ever match-up of Top10 teams in the history of the series, the final game at Williams-Brice for several Gamecock legends, the list goes on and on. Oh, and this was the 5th consecutive double-digit beatdown of the Tigers. Unfortunately this is the last Gamecocks win I have witnessed personally.
South Carolina 22 - The Citadel 23: W-B, November 21, 2015
South Carolina 32 - #1 Clemson 37: W-B, November 28, 2015
After laying a total egg against the Citadel, the Gamecocks gave the #1 ranked Tigers all they wanted a week later. It looked like they actually had a chance to pull off the upset deep into the 4th, but ended up letting Clemson extend their lead. The Gamecocks kept the score closer than it really was with a score from Shon Carson in the final seconds of the game.
So, in the 5 games I have attended since the end of the 2007 season, The Gamecocks are 2-3. I'm heading back to SC tomorrow and will end up increasing my 10-year game attendance by 60%. I'll be bringing the lady of the house with me for her first live football experience, and I think she is ready. Hopefully by the time I get back to Tokyo my record will be 5-3. Go Cocks.