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Bowl update: South Carolina looking like a lock for Florida

The Gamecocks, no strangers to bowling in the Sunshine State, appear headed that way again.

Nov 25, 2017; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley (19) passes against the Clemson Tigers in the first half at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

With the regular season complete, the college football bowl picture has become more clear, though we won’t know for sure until the conference championship games have been played and the playoff rankings are set.

The South Carolina Gamecocks, who have been frequent visitors to bowl locales in Florida, look to be heading in that direction again. Most prognosticators — ranging from SB Nation, ESPN, and Sports Illustrated — have South Carolina in either the Outback Bowl (Tampa) or the TaxSlayer Bowl (Jacksonville). The Outback features an SEC vs. Big Ten matchup, while TaxSlayer (formerly known as the Gator Bowl) pairs the SEC with either the Big Ten or the ACC.

Even CBS, whose projections break from the Outback/TaxSlayer pack, still has the Gamecocks in Florida — Orlando’s Citrus Bowl, which is another SEC vs. Big Ten/ACC contest.

The TaxSlayer committee has been thirsty for the Gamecocks all season, according to Josh Kendall of The State, but the Citrus and Outback will likely pick first. With that in mind, a bid to the Outback Bowl is being viewed as all but imminent by some South Carolina observers.

The projected opponent? Some say 9-3 Michigan State; others say 8-4 Michigan. That last one rings a bell...