This was last year's championship. Improbably, they did it again.
Is this what a dynasty looks like?
Forgive a South Carolina fan if he's not familiar with the concept, if it still hasn't sunk in what two national championships in a row means. This kind of thing isn't supposed to happen for the Gamecocks, a program that played organized sports for more than a century before it brought home any kind of hardware in any major team sport.
Now, South Carolina baseball has completely slain that particular ghost. The Gamecocks now own not just one baseball championship, and not just two, but back-to-back championships as part of a College World Series 11 straight wins. The Gamecocks never lost a postseason game this year. SEC dominance was a storyline of this College World Series, sure, but South Carolina dominance was the theme.
The final game was in many ways unlike the victories that got the Gamecocks to the cusp of history. There were no elimination-defying stunts, no bases-loaded, no-out jams escaped from by the thinnest of margins to preserve a tie game. South Carolina took the lead early with a three-run third inning and never looked back.
Could South Carolina repeat again? Who knows? No one saw the first national championship coming, and almost no one figured that they would win the second in a row this year. Even an impartial observer would have to be hesitant to rule them out.
It's been a year of improbabilities for South Carolina fans, from the national championship last year to the SEC East win in football to a repeat run through the baseball postseason this year. Dynasties always live on borrowed time, and South Carolina's run will end eventually.
But those concerns are for tomorrow. Tonight, the Gamecocks are on the top of the world again. The feeling still might not be that familiar to South Carolina fans, but we could get used to it.
The only regret would be that Bayler Teal -- who started the whole run by inspiring last year's championship -- is not here to enjoy it. Something tells me that he's smiling in Heaven right now. A lot of Gamecock fans here on earth are smiling along with him.