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Gamecocks prepare to put finishing touches on another mediocre season

It's the middle of November.  It's cold outside and everything is turning brown.  Pretty soon, Thanksgiving will be here.  Overzealous decorators will have lights on their houses and animated reindeer in their yards.  And just as inevitably, the South Carolina Gamecocks football program will be winding down another mediocre season.

It's like a function of nature.  Every Summer, Carolina fans blossom into a hopeful group of cheery optimists.  They convince themselves, in the face of piles of evidence to the contrary, that the program will take a turn for the better.  Just as you predicted, the first few games go well.  There are signs of life.  The 'Cocks play a close game with Georgia, and we're still alive in the SEC race.  Then, it gets a little cooler outside, and we play a tight one with Vandy and fail to cover the spread against a D-II school.

Maybe you're reading an article about three of our defensive starters suffering season ending injuries when you look outside and think about how it's time to start raking the yard.  We lost to Tennessee.  Then, by the time you put on your heavy winter coat for the first time, every glimmer of hope is ousted.  The Gators roll around and beat your team in a game that maybe wasn't as close as you'd like to think it was.  At this point you can barely remember the high hopes you had at the end of the Spring game when a young running back showed 'great burst'.  You can't recall how a backup defensive tackle who never really panned out seemed to have 'really figured out the system' against 3rd string offensive linemen on a warm night at the Proving Grounds in August.  

All you can think about is how cold it's going to be at the Clemson game, and how you might really rather stay at home and watch it on TV.