Since 2000, South Carolina has been better than Vols in SEC play

South Carolina’s football program is no longer a sleeping giant. (AP photo)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — When Tennessee won the national championship in 1998, the South Carolina Gamecocks were 1-11 overall and 0-8 in the SEC.

Since then, the Vols and Gamecocks have shared winning seasons only twice — in 2000 and 2001.

We delved deeper into that in a subscriber-only story on GoVolsXtra today. The underlying question is this: Are there are enough wins to go around in the increasingly competitive SEC East for both South Carolina and Tennessee to sustain success? Or will UT’s “rise to the top” have to coincide with South Carolina’s fall?

That might not be easy. South Carolina has been a competitive SEC program for more than a decade, since before the arrival of Steve Spurrier.

Since 2000, Tennessee has 56 SEC wins. South Carolina has 57.