Nationwide championships? Positive, and the Palmetto State has been nicely represented.
Excessive-profile upsets? After all, with contributions from Conway to Rock Hill to Spartanburg.
However rating the 25 largest video games in South Carolina sports activities historical past additionally means factoring within the affect of glory.
The principles: Video games performed in South Carolina or involving a state group.
The panel: Eight longtime observers of Palmetto State sports activities (see listing).
The highest 25: 12 faculties or skilled groups are represented with sport dates starting from 1953 to 2019 and together with a minimum of one sport from every of the final seven a long time.
So as …
1. The 1981 spark
Clemson’s 1981 soccer nationwide championship. Danny Ford’s Tigers on the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1, 1982, capped an undefeated season with a 22-15 victory over Nebraska. That made Clemson followers assume this system was completely elite.
It took NCAA probations, frustration and 35 years till Deshaun Watson and Co. realized the dream once more. However will was instilled.
2. Hammerin’ Hank on the town
Hank Aaron’s 1953 look in a minor league baseball sport in Columbia. Aaron, earlier than changing into baseball’s residence run king, joined with Jacksonville Braves teammates Felix Mantilla and Horace Garner to interrupt the colour barrier within the South Atlantic League, which included a sequence in opposition to the Columbia Reds that began on April 21 (Jacksonville later got here to play the Charleston Rebels).
It’s not a lot that Aaron went 3-for-Four with a house run in a 7-5 Braves win; that was typical of a slugger 12 of the 16 journalists protecting the SAL that 12 months would choose as league MVP. It’s that this was built-in baseball nearly 20 years earlier than a black athlete performed for South Carolina or Clemson (Corridor of Famer Frank Robinson performed for Columbia in 1954 and 1955), and massive crowds confirmed up. It was a optimistic shock to the state’s system of Jim Crow politics, an instance of what wanted to be accomplished.
3. Dabo takes over
Clemson’s Nov. 29, 2008, victory over South Carolina at Demise Valley. An interim head coach named Dabo Swinney may not have wanted the 31-14 win to get the job full-time however, as athletic director Terry Don Phillips mentioned later, “It definitely helped, there’s no query about it.”
A loss may need made Swinney a tricky promote for Phillips, his main advocate. Or tilted the playing cards when Swinney thought of himself on the recent seat after a 6-7 end in 2010. As a substitute, the Swinney Period formally started just a few days later, laying the inspiration for probably the most dominant stretch for a serious school sports activities program in South Carolina historical past.
4. Omaha, Half I
South Carolina’s 2-1 win over UCLA in 11 innings to win the 2010 Faculty World Sequence on June 29. The Gamecocks, led by such stars as Michael Roth and Whit Merrifield, would win 22 straight postseason video games, together with a 2011 Faculty World Sequence title and 2012 runner-up standing.
Take into account the ripples. Steve Spurrier usually credited the baseball group for uplifting what grew to become the best soccer success in class historical past. That included a five-game win streak in opposition to Clemson that added a layer of resolve inside Dabo Swinney’s powerhouse building.
5. Watson to Renfrow
Clemson’s 2016 soccer nationwide championship victory over Alabama with Hunter Renfrow catching a landing move from Watson for a 35-31 win on Jan. 9, 2017.
Further credit score in Tampa for beating Nick Saban, Inc.
6. S.C. State, and past
S.C. State’s 26-10 victory over Norfolk State at Richmond, Va., within the Bi-Centennial Bowl on Dec. 11, 1976. Bulldogs soccer historical past contains Professional Soccer Corridor of Famers Marion Motley, Deacon Jones, Harry Carson and Donnie Shell. However this win capped a 10-1 season, the perfect in head coach Willie Jeffries’ two stints in Orangeburg.
It made S.C. State the “Black Nationwide Champion.” It helped Jeffries get the Wichita State job in 1979, when he grew to become the primary black head coach at a non-HBCU NCAA Division I-A (now FBS) college.
7. The McKissick legend
Summerville Excessive College head coach John McKissick cemented his iconic soccer standing with a 42-Zero win at Wando on Oct. 9, 1993. It was McKissick’s 406th teaching victory, setting a nationwide document he stored extending.
McKissick, who died in November, retired in 2015 with 621 victories over 63 seasons.
8. Sacking Saban
Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence-led 44-16 romp over Alabama for the 2018 soccer nationwide championship on Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. It’s probably the most lopsided lack of Saban’s wonderful Alabama period. It was the massive stage.
It stands as probably the most spectacular group efficiency in a single sport in South Carolina main sports activities historical past.
9. Staley’s energy base
South Carolina’s 2017 nationwide title in ladies’s basketball, a 67-55 victory over Mississippi State on April 2 in Dallas starring A’ja Wilson and mates.
It solidified head coach Daybreak Staley as a world basketball chief with social and political energy past the game.
10. Lastly, USC’s ACC title
South Carolina’s 52-51 basketball victory over North Carolina within the ACC Match Championship Sport on March 13, 1971, in Greensboro.
The spotlight of Frank McGuire’s 16-season run in Columbia, this was the primary ticket to the NCAA Match for a Palmetto State college and answered a heartbreaking 42-39 loss to N.C. State in double-overtime of the 1970 ACC Match last.
11. Cinderella Chanticleers
Coastal Carolina’s 2016 Faculty World Sequence title, capped by a 4-Three victory over Arizona in Sport Three of the finals on June 30, was maybe probably the most beautiful in Omaha historical past.
Gary Gilmore’s Chanticleers leaned exhausting on pitcher Andrew Beckwith in Omaha on their manner out of the Massive South Convention. They got here again with back-to-back, one-run wins after shedding Sport 1 of the championship sequence.
12. New York, New York
South Carolina’s 77-70 Elite Eight victory over Florida on March 26, 2017, at New York’s Madison Sq. Backyard to make the Gamecocks the primary state males’s group to make a Remaining 4.
Channeling Frank McGuire’s Massive Apple connection, and a few Gamecock followers say it’s the highest athletic accomplishment the varsity has ever had.
13. Omaha, Half II
South Carolina’s Faculty World Sequence title No. 2, sealed with a 5-2 victory over Florida on June 28, 2011, in Omaha.
This time Ray Tanner’s Gamecocks wanted a 13-inning win over Virginia and an 11-inning win over Florida to set the stage for Sport 2 of the championship sequence.
14. NFL Carolinas
The Carolina Panthers’ 31-10 loss to the St. Louis Rams on Sept. 17, 1995, at Clemson’s Demise Valley is a blip in NFL standings historical past. Solely 54,060 folks have been readily available.
However the Panthers’ first regular-season sport ushered in new curiosity within the NFL amongst youngsters and others in South Carolina, boosted by a Wofford Faculty coaching camp (now set to maneuver to Rock Hill). The Panthers performed all of their 1995 residence video games at Clemson after Mike McGee, in certainly one of his few errors as South Carolina’s most efficient athletic director, rejected group curiosity in Williams-Brice Stadium.
15. ‘Cute’ Omaha Bulldogs
The Citadel superior to the Faculty World Sequence with a 4-1 victory over host Miami within the Coral Gables regional on Could 29, 1990.
“The cutest little group within the NCAA baseball match” was Miami Herald columnist Dan Le Batard’s tag earlier than a group together with such future school coaches as Dan McDonnell, Chris Lemonis and Tony Skole gave “little man” faculties big-time hope.
16. Kresse’s masterpiece
The Faculty of Charleston’s 75-66 basketball victory over Maryland within the NCAA Match on March 13, 1997. John Kresse’s Cougars additionally received the 1983 NAIA nationwide title however this win in Memphis had extra implications, letting packages similar to Winthrop (with former Faculty of Charleston assistant coach Gregg Marshall on the helm) and Wofford in on the chances.
17. 5 bomb
South Carolina’s 31-17 win over No. 6 Clemson on Nov. 30, 2013, in Columbia was the fifth straight within the soccer sequence. It’s the sport most symbolic of Steve Spurrier’s school-best stretch of three 11-2 seasons preceded by a 2010 SEC Championship Sport look.
And it made Clemson mad.
18. Bye-bye, Massive Thursday
Clemson’s 12-2 victory over South Carolina on Nov. 12, 1960, was extra essential than a win for a group that completed 6-Four over a group that completed 3-6-1 signifies.
It was the primary Carolina-Clemson sport performed at Clemson, ending the Massive Thursday custom in Columbia with a standard home-and-home rotation.
19. Paladins in Pocatello
Furman’s 17-12 victory over Georgia Southern within the 1988 Division I-AA (now FCS) nationwide championship sport on Dec. 17 at Pocatello, Idaho. It capped a 13-2 season for Jimmy Satterfield’s group, which included a decent 23-Three loss to a Clemson bunch that went 10-2.
20. Bowl skid snapped
South Carolina’s 1994 Carquest Bowl win, 24-21 over West Virginia on Jan. 2, 1995.
Perhaps it doesn’t seem like a lot now, a minor bowl win on the finish of a 7-5 season. However the Gamecocks arrived in Miami with an 0-Eight bowl document. Quarterback Steve Taneyhill helped head coach Brad Scott take an enormous burden off this system’s aching shoulders.
21. Citadel particular
The Citadel’s 38-35 soccer upset at South Carolina on Oct. 20, 1990, a spotlight amongst upsets pulled underneath the late Charlie Taaffe, the winningest coach in Bulldogs historical past (different victims included Arkansas, Navy twice and Military twice).
Sparky Woods’ not-so-bad Gamecocks went 6-5 that season as an impartial.
22. Down goes No. 1
South Carolina’s 35-21 upset of then No. 1 Alabama on Oct. 9, 2010, in Columbia.
Quarterback Stephen Garcia performed the sport of his life, thanks partly to Alshon Jeffery and Marcus Lattimore, and the Gamecocks went on to win the SEC East.
23. Clemson’s finishes first
Clemson’s 97-93 residence victory over No. 5 Duke to clinch the 1990 ACC regular-season championship. Cliff Ellis’ Tigers, led by future NBA submit gamers Dale Davis and Elden Campbell, after the Feb. 28 win ultimately reached the NCAA Match Candy 16.
It stays Clemson’s lone ACC title of any form in males’s basketball.
24. The Gamecocks’ ACC title
South Carolina’s 24-6 victory at Wake Forest on Nov. 15, 1969. Tommy Suggs threw three landing passes to offer the Gamecocks the ACC championship, nonetheless South Carolina’s solely convention title.
The Gamecocks went on to beat Clemson, attain their first bowl sport in 24 years and end 7-4.
25. (tie) Winthrop and Wofford
Winthrop’s 74-64 NCAA Match win over Notre Dame on March 16, 2007, in Spokane, Wash., to spotlight Gregg Marshall’s tenure; Wofford’s 84-68 NCAA Match win over Seton Corridor on March 21 in Jacksonville within the last season of Mike Younger’s nice run with the Terriers.
Observe Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff