This season has not gone the way that the South Carolina Gamecocks wanted. They opened as a pre-season Top 10 team, but were blown out by Texas A&M in the Gamecocks' home debut. Since then, the Gamecocks sit at 5-5 following the overtime win against Florida this past Saturday. Now South Carolina returns home to face the South Alabama Jaguars, and with a win Carolina will be bowl eligible for the 10th-straight year. The Gamecocks will have the chance to play in the seventh straight bowl game since 2007, when the Gamecocks were not offered a bid despite being eligible at 6-6. So far there are a few possible options for the Gamecocks.
1 Belk Bowl: Dec. 30, Charlotte, NC: If the Gamecocks win out, this is one of the most likely destinations given the proximity of USC to the city of Charlotte, and that there are a huge number of alumni in North Carolina. The Belk Bowl has tie ins with the SEC (obviously) and the ACC. Currently the two options for opponents here are the University of North Carolina Tarheels or the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Notre Dame is eligible for the Belk Bowl thanks to being a partial member of the ACC.
2. Duck Commander Independence Bowl: Dec. 27, Shreveport, LA: The Independence Bowl, like the Belk Bowl, has ACC tie ins, but if the Gamecocks end up in Shreveport, they would likely face Virginia Tech. The Gamecocks would likely only need a 6-6 record to be picked for this game, and playing Virginia Tech would be interesting considering that the Hokies have not had the season their fans expected either, especially after beating Ohio State on the road early in the year.
3. AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Dec. 29, Memphis, TN: There isn't much chance of the Liberty Bowl picking up the Gamecocks if they don't win out, but if they can notch a win against Clemson, then the Gamecocks could end up with the Texas Longhorns. Texas has not been great in Charlie Strong's first year as the head coach, but if the Gamecocks could beat Texas, it would mean that they would have beaten Nebraska, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Texas in the last four years.
Personally, I would like to see USC play Notre Dame or Texas, but with two weeks left in the regular season, plus conference championships to be played, the Gamecocks just need to focus on winning out.
Which bowl would you like to see the Gamecocks in?