Considering the SEC has wisely abolished divisions in basketball (all the better to showcase the charms of a one-team hoops conference), as of last night in Omaha, the University of South Carolina is currently the class of anything named "SEC EAST" in a revenue-generating sport.
Until they can erase the doubts a dubious second half run created last fall, USC football can't be considered anything other than the division's interim head while Georgia, Florida and Tennessee convalesce - don't look your signature brand of Music City Bowl worthy hapless against Arkansas and Florida State, and/or disappear completely from the conference title game and tell us a new day is dawning.
You can draw doubt from a shaky division title in football, but the national titles bookending this current run are legit: The Gamecocks are now back-to-back CWS Champions by virtue of 16 straight NCAA Tournament wins and 11 consecutive in Omaha, the latter a new NCAA record. And they play baseball in a manner that earns them the nickname "Cardiac 'Cocks," the first and last joke we'll make in that vein, but COME ON.
They were the tip of an unstoppable SEC spear aimed at TD Ameritrade Park since game one: making a 10-0 run and defeating Florida twice, who went undefeated save for the final round, and who beat otherwise unblemished Vanderbilt twice. In other words, these Cocks embodied the superlative SEC fans hold highest: They were the best team in the best conference in the country.