South Carolina football is less than a week away from the date athletic director Ray Tanner threw out for when he’d like to see USC’s hurricane-rescheduled game fully in place. Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp has mostly deflected questions about that situation to Tanner.
Muschamp on Tuesday was asked again. He provided what he hoped for as a timeline, maybe two weeks on the optimistic side, but also delivered a strong note of support for his boss.
“I know coach is working harder than you would imagine to get it done as soon as possible,” Muschamp said. “But it wasn’t like the (entirety of) college football shut down on that weekend. It was really a certain region, and only a handful of teams. He’s working though that right now and spending a lot more time than he probably wants to on it. But we’re going to play a game on Dec. 1.”
At the moment, it appears there are two mid-major teams who could be available by the end of this weekend. If Southern Mississippi loses to Marshall and UAB wins, the Eagles, whose game with Appalachian State was canceled, will be out of the Conference USA title race. Akron could also be available with a loss and a Buffalo win.
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Muschamp mentioning games canceled by hurricane and the regional impact might point to Southern Miss being a more likely target, but that could just be his phrasing. His two-week window would potentially push things past the Eagles’ meeting with UAB, where the Blazers would be a big favorite and would knock Southern Miss out of the conference race with a win.
Beyond those two teams, other mid-majors in Marshall, Appalachian State and UCF are also available, but all three appear to be in the thick of conference title races deep in November.
“Who that will be, I don’t know,” Muschamp said. “I’m hoping within the timeframe of two weeks, maybe, but I don’t want to say anything and it becomes 2 ½ weeks and all of a sudden we’re panicking. He’s going to handle it and get it done.”