A few weeks ago, when the Gamecocks got their fifth win, there was cautious optimism that they would do what they needed to do against Western Carolina to get that sixth win and guarantee themselves a bowl bid. They did just that, and while it wasn’t a perfect game, it was a win nonetheless.
So, yes, now we can officially talk about a bowl game for the Gamecocks. The big question, of course, is where that bowl game will take place. Here’s a list of the latest projections after Week 12:
SBNation: Belk Bowl vs. Miami (Fla.) (ACC)
Will Muschamp is 1-3 all time versus Mark Richt. Maybe he turns the tables on his old buddy and former SEC counterpart in the Belk Bowl? We shall see. Of course, the last time these two teams met was at the 2014 Independence Bowl in Shreveport, a 24-21 Gamecocks win.
SEC Country: Liberty Bowl vs. Kansas State (Big 12)
The Gamecocks and Wildcats haven’t met each other on the gridiron since 1984, a 49-17 win for the Gamecocks. And no, although it seems like Bill Snyder has been at K-State forever, he was not at K-State back then. South Carolina did hire one of K-State’s former employees a few years back for a position in the athletics department (it’s worked out pretty well thus far), and as it so happens, he’s scheduled to be in Memphis the same day as the Liberty Bowl.
CBS Sports: Texas Bowl vs. K-State
Jerry Palm thinks it’s K-State as well, but in the Texas Bowl.
ESPN: Independence Bowl vs. Duke (Mark Schlabach) or Boston College (Brett McMurphy) (ACC)
I think that a matchup against BC (who the Gamecocks have never played) or Duke (whose former head coach and former offensive coordinator have been employed by USC at different points in time) would favor Carolina. However, that trip to Shreveport from Columbia is one that fans aren’t really eager to take.
College Football Talk (NBC Sports): Independence Bowl vs. Boston College (ACC)
Campus Insiders: Birmingham Bowl vs. Houston (The American)
Tom Herman will have probably handed the Cougars off to an interim coach and begun settling in as the new head coach at Texas by December 29th, to be honest.
College Football News: Birmingham Bowl vs. Memphis (The American)
Same projection as CI, but with a different team. A year ago, when former #FUTUREGAMECOCKSHEADCOACH candidate Justin Fuente was leading them, this would have probably been a blowout, but this looks to be a better matchup this time around.