The first Thursday night of the season there will be a rivalry game that has only been played once since 1991 and the last time they played was in 2007. This rivalry has so much bad blood it caused one University to leave their home conference and go to the Independent ranks because it hated this one University so bad. When the North Carolina Tar Heels and South Carolina Gamecocks take the field August 28th on a Thursday night the players might not now the actual importance but the “older” fans will remember quite clearly. So lets take a look into the rivalry that is South Carolina vs. North Carolina.
There was a time that the South Carolina Gamecocks were in the Atlantic Coast Conference and even won a conference championship in 1969, the only championship in their history. They would then leave the conference after the 1970 season and created bad blood with the ACC including schools such as UNC, Duke, and NCST. Around the same time period South Carolina was trying its hardest to reach national prominence in football but found the ACC was holding it back. The recruiting standards in the ACC were so strict that the Gamecocks would easily be out recruited by their SEC counterparts and get crushed on the field. Of course beating the likes of UNC, Duke, and NCST in basketball at the same time were making Tobacco Road very furious. Rumor has it that the first ACC Commissioner Jim Weaver (1954-1970) would grant favors to the Tobacco Road schools but yet shunned Clemson and South Carolina. Supposedly Clemson was supposed to leave the conference at the same time as South Carolina but “chickened” out. Leaving the ACC set back South Carolina football for two decades and the Gamecock fans will never forget and will hate the ACC and Tobacco Road forever. Luckily the addition to the SEC in 1992 is finally showing its potential as the Gamecocks are rising to the top. When the Gamecocks take the field against the Tar Heels that Thursday night it will not just be against the 2013 Tar Heel football team, but against memories of the conference that shunned them.
- Since 1988 the Gamecocks are 9-5-1 against UNC, NCST, Wake Forest, and Duke
- The Gamecocks have won their last meetings with UNC (07), NCST (09), Wake Forest (87), and tied Duke in 1989
- The Gamecocks NEVER won a bowl game while a member of the ACC, since then they have won 6