The interesting part about this isn’t the comment about Spurrier’s handling of Garcia. Garcia’s nine lives are the stuff of comedy legend. It’s the “We frankly didn’t have anybody else.”
The “anybody else” that South Carolina didn’t have is now the starting quarterback for a team with top 20 and perhaps even SEC East title hopes and expectations. Connor Shaw did well last year once Spurrier finally parted ways with Garcia. South Carolina lost only once, at Arkansas, after Shaw took over. He performed especially well in the Gamecocks’ final two games against good Clemson and Nebraska teams – 5 passing TDs, 2 rushing TDs, and zero interceptions.
Still, this is a guy who spent the first half of last seasons with as many DNPs as he had appearences. Now he enters his first season as the established starter. Of course it’s not unheard of for seldom-used reserves to become effective starters when given an opportunity. Shaw’s chances for success will be bolstered by a stout defense and one of the nation’s best tailbacks. Is the comfort level with Shaw at South Carolina more or less settled science after the way he finished 2011, or does he still have something to prove?