South Carolina football: projected spreads versus Texas, Oklahoma in 2021

Jabari Ellis #99 of the South Carolina Gamecocks. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Jabari Ellis #99 of the South Carolina Gamecocks. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

It was announced earlier in the week that the University of Texas and Oklahoma University were in talks with the SEC regarding a move from the Big XII to college football’s premiere league. Now, it appears as though the two programs are on the fast track to come to an agreement with the conference, possibly by as soon as next week.

This news has taken the football world by storm in the past few days, with media outlets providing hypotheticals in regards to future matchups, scheduling changes, and predicted outcomes. The sports betting world is no different.

Some projections have been released for what the point spreads would be set at for each SEC member when squaring off against the Sooners and Longhorns. The results did not favor the Gamecocks.

First was Texas, whom would be 26-point favorites in a hypothetical matchup with South Carolina this season. That number is the largest of any SEC team that the Longhorns would face off against, including a full touchdown more than the projected Texas-Vanderbilt spread (-18 pts).

The Longhorns and Gamecocks haven’t met on the gridiron since 1957, a 27-21 South Carolina victory. That’s the only recorded matchup between the two programs, so it’s impossible to look back at recent history and gauge how close a potential meeting would be. We can look back to last year’s performance, though, and see that the Gamecocks lost just two games by more than 26 points. One was a 45-point shellacking at the hands of Texas A&M, while the other was a 29-point loss to Georgia after half the defense opted out of the season’s final three games.

Texas, on the other hand, won two games by more than 26 points during the regular season, with one of those coming out of-conference against UTEP. Personally, I think the spread is a bit high, though the Longhorns do return a ton of offensive talent in 2021. With the Gamecocks’ potent rushing attack and inexperience on defense, Shane Beamer would likely try to pound the rock and shorten the game. Of course, if Texas got on top quickly, that would change the game plan, but I’d go out on a limb and predict something like 34-17 in favor of the Longhorns.

As for Oklahoma, The Action Network projects a 34-point spread for the Sooners. While it seems very high, I’m not sure I’d take the Gamecocks to cover. The Sooners exceeded the 40-point mark five times last year, winning their final eight games of the season. That last matchup was a 35-point blowout of Florida in the Cotton Bowl.

Oklahoma returns a Heisman frontrunner at quarterback next year and has one of the nation’s most talented offensive minds in head coach Lincoln Riley calling the shots. The Sooners are a likely playoff contender for the 2021 season, and a matchup against the thin South Carolina secondary would not end well for the Gamecocks. One could hop on South Carolina in hopes of Riley keeping the game close for former staff-mate Shane Beamer, but the Gamecocks are better off that this is just a hypothetical matchup at the moment rather than one that’s already on the schedule.

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