Past, Present and Future

Looking back on this year would you consider it a great year? Sure we won 11 games, kept a winning home record, and beat that team from the North for the 5th straight year.  But something is missing.  That wonderfully crafted wooden shrine that is given out on the first Saturday in December in Atlanta still hasn’t made its way to Columbia, SC.  It eludes us each 11 win year.  What are we missing? I believe it’s the “game you can’t lose”.  That “game you can’t lose” has been our thorn for the past few years.  Whether it be Auburn, Florida, or Tennessee; it comes and bites us each year.  

However, I see the tide turning.  I see us getting stronger and I see our schedule opening up this year for 2014.  Of course I’m optimistic.  As a Carolina fan, you’re born into optimism.  We’re going to have some chinks in our armor at the beginning of next season though.  We’re losing the best quarterback that Carolina has ever had. We’re losing two shut down corners and we’re losing one of the greatest, all around, nationally acclaimed players in Carolina sports history.  

However, we have a solid #2 quarterback that is ready and willing to step up and lead us into battle.  Also, our linebacker core will arguably be one of the best in the SEC this year (heard it on BCB first). We have a stable of horses in the back field and Shaq Roland began to play very “Alshon-esque” at the end of the year. Our schedule lines up well for us this coming year also.  What is the one difference between this coming year and years past?....PLAYOFFS. How many years has Carolina fans been saying, “Can we just GET to the game to show the nation what we can do?”  

I believe that with the new playoff system, Carolina will finally be able to show the nation what “OUR” top 10 team looks like seeing how practically EVERY other top 10 team has played in some sort of conference championship or BCS bowl game. I believe with this new playoff format and our continued success on the field, we will finally be able to break out the shadows and display our way of playing football. I truly believe that’s where our “disrespect” comes from with the national pundits on the 4 letter network.  They haven’t seen us in their definitive “big game”.  

Not anymore however, we will be there next year. It’s always depressing watching great talent walk out the door to pursue bigger things i.e. Ingram, Gilmore, Lattimore, Jeffery, Lattimore, Clowney, Hampton, Quarles, Shaw etc.  That is the nature of the beast.  We as Carolina fans need to stay strong and focused on the bright future ahead.  There is a reason we say “Forever to Thee”

By Robbie McLain
January 2014