South Carolina has accepted an invitation to play Wisconsin in the 2014 Capital One Bowl, with kickoff set for 1 p.m. on New Year's Day. This marks the third straight season that a Big Ten bowl opponent stands between South Carolina and its 11th win of the year. The matchup will mark the first-ever meeting between the Gamecocks and Badgers.
Though South Carolina was able to handle Big Ten opponents Nebraska and Michigan the last two seasons (the former with ease in the 2012 Capital One Bowl), Gamecock fans would be ill-advised to sleep on the No. 19 Badgers. In its first year under head coach Gary Andersen, Wisconsin's rushing attack ranks second in the country in yards per carry (6.61), while the Gamecocks' run defense (4.05 ypc) has been pretty mediocre, ranking 51st nationally. The Badgers' defense will also present an incredible challenge, as they are giving up just 4.53 yards per play, the fifth-best mark in the country.
In the week following South Carolina's 31-17 win over Clemson, there seemed to be a lot of momentum behind the Gamecocks eventually landing in Dallas for the Cotton Bowl, but Auburn's win over Missouri (and Michigan State's upset of No.2 Ohio State) means that the Gus Malzahn's Tigers will be playing in the BCS National Championship Game, with the Sugar Bowl opting to take Alabama. That left the Capital One Bowl, which selects ahead of the Cotton Bowl, a choice between South Carolina and MIssouri. Between the Gamecocks' overtime win over the Tigers, the 600 fewer miles of travel to Orlando, and USC's strong showing in 2012, there were a lot of reasons for the Capital One Bowl to favor South Carolina to Missouri.
Steve Spurrier will hold a press conference at 8:45 p.m. on Sunday night to officially announce the selection.
Television: ABC's broadcast will begin at 1 p.m. ET on Jan. 1.
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