1. Connor Shaw replaced one of the most controversial quarterbacks in recent history
Shaw's college career got off to an earlier-than-expected start in 2011. He opened up his sophomore season behind Stephen Garcia, who was as controversial a player as you'll ever see. Once a highly-touted recruit, Garcia was arrested numerous times and was continually in trouble with the law. He keyed a professor's car and was arrested for public intoxication as a freshman, though despite all of his run-ins with police, Garcia remained the starting quarterback for USC.
That changed in October 2011. Garcia played horribly as the Gamecocks were upset at home by Auburn, and he was kicked off the team shortly after, for allegedly failing a substance test. Shaw made his first start against Kentucky on Oct. 8 and led South Carolina to a 54-3 win while taking home SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his performance. It's been his team ever since.
2. One if by air, two if by ground
What makes Shaw so difficult to contain is his ability to move the ball with his arm and his legs. He is one of just two players in school history to pass for more than 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000+ yards, joining an elite group of dual-threat quarterbacks in college football history. And as he showed Missouri last year, he has an accurate arm, connecting on 20-straight pass completions in a rout of the Tigers.
3. Shining when the lights are brightest
Shaw is 19-3 since taking over the starting quarterback's gig at South Carolina, giving him one of the best career win percentages in school history. He's 2-0 in both bowl games, knocking off Michigan last season and Nebraska the year before. He's also never lost at home, going a perfect 12-0 at Williams-Brice Stadium. If all of this isn't impressive enough, Shaw is 5-3 against teams ranked in the top-25. He will get a chance to improve to 6-3 this weekend as the Gamecocks head to Athens.