South Carolina went into the Outback Bowl as an underdog by more than eight points. The Gamecocks went down by 16 points against one of the better defenses in the country.
Yet at the end of the day, Will Muschamp’s squad had rallied for the 26-19 victory against Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines. For that, College Football News rated him and his staff has having the 12th-best performance of 78 coaches in bowl season.
“South Carolina could’ve packed it in.” CFN’s Pete Fiutak wrote. “It didn’t have the playmakers, it was down, it was out, and it was going against one of the top defenses in the country. Muschamp didn’t even dial up the pressure – his D came up with the big plays, the team never quit, and USC had one of the best bowl comebacks of the season.”
Alabama’s Nick Saban, Mississippi State’s Greg Knox and Georgia’s Kirby Smart were the only SEC coaches rated higher. Saban’s Tide beat Smart’s Bulldogs for the national title, and Knox was an interim who topped a team led by former Heisman winner Lamar Jackson.
The Gamecocks finished 9-4, only the seventh nine-win season in program history.