The South Carolina Gamecocks won’t being bowling in the BCS, but they’ll certainly be playing in a New Year’s bowl.
From everything I’ve read, it looks like Carolina will be playing in Florida either in the Outback Bowl in Tampa Bay, or the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville.
Neither seem as intriguing as the Capital One Bowl was last year, but playing a bowl on New Year’s is about as good as it can get for a team not playing in a BCS bowl.
There is, I suppose, still a slight chance Carolina could end up in Atlanta, but that would take Georgia Tech to upset Florida State and the Chic Fil A folks to be willing to stage a rematch of the game they had two years ago. Don’t get your hopes up, though.
Tampa seems like SC’s most likely destination, and it looks like their opponent will be Northwestern. The Wildcats are 9-3 with (impressive?) wins over Vanderbilt and Syracuse and a close loss to Nebraska.
They’re 14th in the nation in rushing, but 113th in passing.
If they were to go to the Gator Bowl, the Gamecocks would likely play Wisconsin.
The likely losers of the Big 10 Championship, Wisconsin would head into Jacksonville with a 7-6 record.
They still have Monte Ball, though, and he’s rushed for 1528 yards and 18 touchdowns this year.
So basically if you’re a Gamecock fan, the question is: Would you rather play and potentially say you beat a 9-3 team with a not-so-prestigious history like Northwestern, or a historic, but presently weak Wisconsin team?