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South Carolina Gamecocks Bowl Projection

The season results are in, and now it's time to talk about where we're going to end up in the post-season. We're either headed to the Outback Bowl or the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Here's how the pecking order has shaped up--Auburn is headed to the National Title Game, and Arkansas will likely get an at-large bid to the Sugar Bowl. (A much deserved bid for the Hogs, BTW.) The Capital One Bowl gets the next pick, and if Arkansas gets into the BCS, the Cap One expected to take Alabama or LSU. The Cotton Bowl will take whichever of those teams the Cap One doesn't take. LSU is the team that deserves the Cap One bid, but the bowl may be leaning towards 'Bama given that LSU played in Orlando last year.

That takes us to the Outback and the Chick-fil-A. We're clearly the next-best team in the SEC after the aforementioned group (and we've arguably had a better year than 'Bama). That would suggest that we would get the Outback, which picks before the Chick-fil-A. However, Chris Low is reporting that the Outback is interested in Florida. Why? Bowls are about money. Carolina has played in the Outback quite a few times recently, and the last time we went, we didn't travel well. The economy is bad, and many folks don't have the money to travel to Tampa. The Gators, on the other hand, are the hometown team. Their fan base is hardly energized right now, but it's prominent enough in Tampa to pack the stadium. If this is what happens, that puts us in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Which is fine by me, honestly. We've been to the Outback plenty of times, and I'd prefer the change. I also like the idea of playing Florida St. instead of whatever Big 10 team gets into the Outback (Penn St.?). I'm not sure what I think about playing in the Georgia Dome again, though...