By Bryan Zarpentine @BZarp on August 24, 2014
Expectations have never been higher for Steve Spurrier and the South Carolina Gamecocks heading into the 2014 season. The Gamecocks have been one of the top teams in the SEC East over the past several years, yet they've failed to reach the SEC Title Game since 2010. As the Gamecocks strive to win the SEC and reach the college football playoff, here are five must-watch games on the schedule in 2014.
This is a revenge game for South Carolina after the Volunteers knocked them off last year in the game that was ultimately responsible for keeping the Gamecocks out of the SEC Title Game. South Carolina will be looking for redemption, and they certainly can't afford to lose this game at home, but the Vols will enter with great confidence that they can pull off the upset again, which will make this a game to watch.
This will be the debut game on the SEC Network, and that alone makes it worth watching. Of course, it's also the season opener and a matchup of two preseason top-25 teams. The Gamecocks have some big-time players to replace this year, and this will be our first glimpse at how they'll be able to do that. It's also a game that South Carolina can't afford to lose if they're going to win the SEC East.
As usual, the SEC does the Gamecocks no favors with the crossover scheduling by forcing them to play the defending conference champs on the road. In late October, this game should have massive implications on the standings in both divisions, as there's a chance both teams enter undefeated. This is also a matchup between two innovative and exciting offensive teams, making it a must-watch game for all SEC fans.
Even if South Carolina doesn't win the SEC East, this is a game they'll have circled on the schedule and a game they'll do everything they can to win. The Gamecocks have won five in a row against their in-state rivals, but going to Death Valley is always tough, and Dabo Swinney will have a formidable team waiting to face Steve Spurrier's squad. For football fans in South Carolina, this is always a must-watch game.
South Carolina has beaten Georgia in three of the last four years, but that hasn't always led to them winning the SEC East. That being said, this may be one of the most important games for the Gamecocks in terms of getting to the SEC Title Game. A loss will mean they'll be playing catch up all season, which is something they'd like to avoid, making this a critical and must-watch game for South Carolina.
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