I bumped into a bowl representative on the next-to-last day of my great Texas adventure, and he brought up a good point.
The bowl folks already are beginning to talk about taking 5-7 teams despite the NCAA requires six wins for bowl eligibility. Due to the fact that so many leagues this season are top heavy and beating up on the bottom half of their leagues, it seems unlikely at the moment that enough teams will win six games to fill the 78 bowl spots the old-fashioned way. That means a waiver would have be issued to allow 5-7 team to be picked.
That may or may not mean much for South Carolina, which sits at 3-5 after a weekend loss to Texas A&M. The Gamecocks were made 15-point underdogs to Tennessee on Sunday, and they will likely be disfavored by at least that much against Florida and Clemson. South Carolina will have to win one of those games just to get to five (assuming a win over The Citadel as the fourth win).
Whether or not any South Carolina fans want this team to watch this team play another game and how an extension of the season might affect the coaching search are separate discussions, but it’s at least worth keeping in mind that South Carolina might not have to get to six to have a chance.