South Carolina football: Phil Steele updates college football strength of schedules

The South Carolina football schedule is ranked 4th hardest in the nation.

Phil Steele recently re-ranked the strength of schedules of all FBS programs planning to compete on the gridiron this fall. South Carolina came in at No. 4 on the list.

The Gamecocks will face ten SEC foes in 2020, as the conference has moved to a league-only slate amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Of those ten matchups, six opponents were ranked in the Associated Press’s preseason top 25, with five of those teams being positioned in the top 15.

Here’s a look at the Carolina schedule for the upcoming year.

9.26 – v. No. 25 Tennessee

10.3 – @ No. 8 Florida

10.10 – @ Vanderbilt

10.17 – v. No. 11 Auburn

10.24 – @ No. 6 LSU

10.31 – BYE

11.7 – v. No. 13 Texas A&M

11.14 – @ Ole Miss

11.21 – v. Missouri

11.28 – v. No. 4 Georgia

12.5 – @ Kentucky

Some things of note with Steele’s updated strength of schedules. First, the top 11 teams in the rankings all hail from the SEC, solidifying the fact that the conference is the strongest in the country. Arkansas leads the way, having to play Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee on top of an already treacherous SEC West slate. LSU has the conference’s “easiest” slate, coming in at No. 25.

The ACC’s toughest schedule belongs to Georgia Tech, who comes in at No. 12. Conference favorite Clemson ranks 42nd. Kansas has the Big XII’s toughest slate, ranking 13th.

South Carolina has grown accustomed to playing tough opponents over the years. They held the top spot on this list last season, having to face the nation’s top three teams in Alabama, Clemson, and Georgia. The Gamecocks will hope to fair better in 2020 following a disappointing 2019 season.