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South Carolina Looks to Set Some Records Against Familiar Foes | SEC 2013

The Gamecocks are facing the possibility of record-breaking winning streaks against the likes of Georgia and Clemson. But the long road stretch in the middle of the season could be tricky

Streeter Lecka

This is an overview. Predictions come later.

9.7.13 | at GEORGIA
9.14.13 | VANDERBILT
9.28.13 | at UCF

Like Georgia, the Gamecocks face a daunting first month on an otherwise lackluster schedule, though the August-September stretch for South Carolina has fewer highs in exchange for no North Texas-level lows. The UNC game is part of Spurrier's quest to have a game with some FBS program from that state nearly every year. Spurrier has talked about getting a South Carolina-North Carolina game going, drawing on his Georgia-Florida experience to illustrate how good it could be, but at last check, UNC wasn't willing to take him up on that offer. The trip to Athens is one of the more intriguing games of the year for South Carolina. The Gamecocks have won three straight in the series for the first time in program history -- but can they make it four? Meanwhile, Vanderbilt has given South Carolina fits in recent years, and UCF has proven to be a tough team to defeat at home. Math tells you the Gamecocks have to at least split these games to have another 10-win season; losing to anyone other than Georgia in this stretch, though, probably puts the ceiling for this team at eight or nine wins.

10.5.13 | KENTUCKY
10.12.13 | at ARKANSAS
10.19.13 | at TENNESSEE
10.26.13 | at MISSOURI

This part of the schedule is most intimidating when it comes to travel. South Carolina has only beaten Arkansas twice at the Razorbacks' stadiums in 10 tries, with the last Gamecocks' victory coming in 2005. At any rate, three straight road games, with only one of them a relatively short trip, could begin to wear on any team. Despite being a difficult opponent sometimes, Kentucky has beaten South Carolina just once since the Gamecocks' 0-11 season in 1999, and South Carolina beat Missouri by three touchdowns last year. Tennessee, though, has been a harder out -- and only lost by three points in Columbia last year.

11.16.13 | FLORIDA
11.30.13 | CLEMSON

The flip side of that stretch of road games is that the Gamecocks get to spend the entire month of November at home. South Carolina won six straight against Mississippi State and was on a winning streak against Florida before getting clobbered last year. The Gamecocks have, somewhat surprisingly, never faced Coastal Carolina before the 2013 season. The grudge match with Clemson has begun to take on national importance as both programs have improved over the last several seasons. Almost as rarely as both teams being good at the same time has been South Carolina's dominance in the series, with the Gamecocks having won four straight, all by double-digit margins. Winning a fifth straight game against the Tigers this year would be a record in a series that had historically been all Clemson.