After a loss to Kentucky that had some South Carolina football fans feeling anxious about the Gamecocks’ postseason hopes, the national media’s bowl projections came through with a fairly clear consensus — USC is still on track to make a bowl, and that bowl, most think, will be the Belk Bowl in Charlotte.
Five of nine predictions had the Gamecocks ending up in the Belk Bowl, which would be the first time the program has played in that game. Carolina has, however, played a neutral site game at Bank of America Stadium before to open the 2017 season, and it will do so again in 2019 vs. North Carolina.
Who exactly the Gamecocks would face in the Belk Bowl is far less clear — 247Sports and SB Nation currently have Duke slotted in as USC’s opponent, but there are three other ACC teams in three other projections.
Outside the Carolinas, some of the biggest bowl projections have Will Muschamp’s team headed all over the place — ESPN’s two experts are split between the Texas Bowl in Houston and the Birmingham Bowl in Alabama, while CBS Sports has the Gamecocks playing Kansas State in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis. Sports Illustrated, meanwhile, is holding steady in keeping South Carolina in the Music City Bowl.
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While the Belk, Music City and Texas Bowls would be firsts in program history, Carolina has played in the Liberty Bowl twice and competed in the Birmingham Bowl just two years ago in 2016.
SOUTH CAROLINA BOWL PROJECTIONS
▪ USA Today — Belk Bowl (Charlotte) vs. Boston College, Dec. 29
▪ ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura — Birmingham Bowl (Birmingham) vs. South Florida, Dec. 22
▪ ESPN’s Mitch Sherman — Texas Bowl (Houston) vs. Texas Tech, Dec. 27
▪ Sports Illustrated — Music City Bowl (Nashville) vs. Virginia Tech, Dec. 29
▪ CBS Sports — Liberty Bowl (Memphis) vs. Kansas State, Dec. 31
▪ SB Nation — Belk Bowl vs. Duke, Dec. 29
▪ 247Sports — Belk Bowl vs. Duke, Dec. 29
▪ College Football News — Belk Bowl vs. Virginia Tech, Dec. 29
▪ Sporting News — Belk Bowl vs. Florida State, Dec. 29