Lou did it. He exorcised that sucker right out of town.
He stayed. It went.
The "Chicken Curse" - that mythic streak of bad luck that plagued the Gamecocks for decades, as The State described it in an editorial - even had Lou baffled for a while.
Before his first season at South Carolina, Holtz said jokingly: "I feel pressure that if we're not successful, there 's going to be a tremendous amount of people who start putting credence in the 'Chicken Curse.' "
Instead of hiring a witch doctor years ago to exorcise the curse, Holtz said "they'd be better off if they'd had a running back."
In the middle of his first season at South Carolina, in which the Gamecocks finished 0-11, Holtz said: "It's more serious now because some people expected an immediate change (when he was hired), and they haven't seen that. I'm sure some of them figure the 'Chicken Curse' is for real. and I'm starting to wonder."
Well, wonder no more, Lou and Gamecock fans.
Lou knew he was the "last hope" to break the "Chicken Curse" and he delivered.
On to the SEC Championship next season.
TOP 10 SIGNS OF THE CHICKEN CURSE
It hit at the team and individual level.
1. The 1984 Gamecocks were undefeated and headed toward the No. 1 ranking before being upset by lowly Navy. USC lost to Oklahoma State in the Gator Bowl to finish 10-2 and wind up ranked No. 11 in the nation in the final AP poll.
2. Coach Frank McGuire's 1970 team finished the regular season undefeated in the ACC, only to lose in the tournament final to North Carolina State in 2 OTs and miss the NCAA Tournament.
3. The 2000 Gamecocks baseball team was ranked No. 1 in the nation, had won the SEC Championship and finished with 56 wins. Yet it lost to Louisiana-Lafayette in the Super Regional and didn't make the College World Series.
4. The 1997 USC basketball team won the SEC Championship and earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA East Regional. But the Gamecocks were upset by No.15-seed Coppin State, 78-65, in the first round. The same thing happened in 1998 when USC earned a No. 3 seed in the East Regional and were upset in the first round by Richmond.
5. Dan Reeves, former USC player, lost three Super Bowls as head coach of the Denver Broncos and one as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.
6. Bobby Bryant, former Gamecocks star, was also winless in four Super Bowls as a member of the Minnesota Vikings.
7. Kevin Joyce, USC All-American, was on the 1972 U.S. Olympic basketball team that lost.
8. Gary Hart's bid for the Democratic presidential nomination took a big hit when his liaison with Donna Rice, former USC cheerleader, was revealed.
9. USC grad Gary Hancock was called up by the Boston Red Sox in the July of 1978 when they had a 14-game lead over the Yankees. The Red Sox wound up blowing the lead and missing the playoffs.
10. USC's three-time NCAA shot put champion Brad Snyder missed making the 2000 Olympic finals by less than 2 centimeters.
TOP 10 REASONS CHICKEN CURSE IS OVER
Hey, it had to end sometimes.
1. Gamecocks didn't lose Lou Holtz to Notre Dame.
2. USC didn't blow a 28-0 lead in the Outback Bowl.
3. Gamecocks won back-to-back bowl games for the first time in school history (that's 108 years) and the third bowl win ever.
4. The nine wins was the second-most in history behind only the 10-2 record in 1984.
5. USC didn't lose Charlie Strong to another school.
6. The school DID get rid of Eddie Fogler.
7. Andrew Pinnock, Derek Watson and Ryan Brewer all return. Wishbone, anyone?
8. Freshman linebacker George Gause is a stud. He looks like a cross between Lawrence Taylor and Dick Butkus.
9. Gamecocks had a 42-yard field goal AND a 70-yard punt in the same game.
SUBJECT: RANKINGS (89%); COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY SPORTS (89%); SPORTS (89%); AMERICAN FOOTBALL (89%); TOURNAMENTS (86%); ATHLETES (73%); BASEBALL (61%); BASKETBALL (61%); HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES (60%);
COMPANY: DENVER BRONCOS FOOTBALL CLUB (50%);
ORGANIZATION: THE SEC (59%);
PERSON: LOU HOLTZ (91%);
CITY: DENVER, CO, USA (79%); ATLANTA, GA, USA (76%);
STATE: SOUTH CAROLINA, USA (94%); LOUISIANA, USA (79%); OKLAHOMA, USA (79%); NORTH CAROLINA, USA (79%); COLORADO, USA (79%); GEORGIA, USA (76%);