South Carolina Football: The Gamecocks have never played these teams

South Carolina football mascot Cocky. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina football mascot Cocky. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports /
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South Carolina Football
South Carolina football and Notre Dame football have met five times, including in last year’s Gator Bowl. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union] /

South Carolina Football vs. Other Notable Programs

While the SEC, ACC, Big 10, Big 12, and Pac-12 are the premier conferences in the country, South Carolina football does play some notable programs that are not a part of Power-5 football. Naturally, the Gamecocks play teams in-state such as The Citadel, South Carolina State, and Wofford with semi-regularity, but they have also played teams outside of South Carolina.

East Carolina (20 meetings) has been one of the most common out-of-conference opponents for the Gamecocks, but they also have played Notre Dame 5 times, Appalachian State 10 times, Navy 8 times, and Army 3 times.

Georgia Southern: Despite Georgia Southern’s close proximity to the University of South Carolina, the two programs have never played. GSU has utilized an option attack for most of its Division-I history, but when Carolina has played smaller option schools, they have typically played in-state Wofford or The Citadel. This seems like a series that should eventually begin, but when that might happen is a mystery.

Jacksonville State: The “other Gamecocks” of Jacksonville State will play the South Carolina Gamecocks for the first time in 2023. Given the relatively close distance between the two schools (less than a 5 hour drive) and the shared nickname, it seems strange that the two Gamecocks have never played, even though JSU was an FCS school until this season.

Liberty: Liberty has become a very good Group-of-5 program in recent years, and the Flames are not that far from Columbia. One might think that the Lynchburg, Virginia squad is almost too good to add to the Gamecocks’ schedule, but South Carolina football often plays teams like East Carolina and Appalachian State, so playing Liberty at some point in the future would make sense.

SMU: SMU was one of the top programs in the country in the early ’80s, a time when the Gamecocks received a lot of national attention (George Rogers’ Heisman Trophy win in 1980, a near-National Championship berth in 1984). The two teams never met, however, and a contest doesn’t seem likely any time soon.

Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers have been one of the top Group-of-5 programs in recent years, and the Gamecocks have played them numerous times in basketball, but they have not played on grass. An out-of-conference matchup between these two teams would be unsurprising in the near future, especially if the SEC moves to 9 games within the league one day.