Earlier this season, Will Muschamp took the title (belt?) for most SEC man alive, a distinction Sports Illustrated gave for his connections to five conference schools.
But where does South Carolina football’s head man stack up against the best coaches in his conference? Sporting News took a shot at answering the question.
The magazine’s Bill Bender put Muschamp as the No. 8 coach in the conference, coming in behind Kentucky’s Mark Stoops and Auburn’s Gus Malzahn. Muschamp was ahead of Mississippi State’s Joe Moorehead and Missouri’s Barry Odom.
Nationally, Bender had Muschamp 36th, right behind Dave Doeren (North Carolina State) and Dino Babers (Syracuse).
The rankings include career accomplishments, so Muschamp’s tenure includes the 11-win year at Florida, and the rough two seasons to follow with the Gators.
Muschamp’s career 57.3 winning percentage is ahead of Stoops (48.0) and LSU’s Ed Orgeron (53.2) both ranked ahead of him. Behind him, only Moorehead has a better percentage, coming from one 8-5 season.
Muschamp had slipped a few spots (from 32nd) since last year, as the Gamecocks are coming off a disappointing 7-6 campaign. In three season in Columbia, USC has bowled three times, winning six, nine and seven games. He came to USC after a one-year stint running Auburn’s defense.
The Gamecocks are staring down the barrel of one of the hardest schedules in the county, with dates against the preseason top 3, plus Florida, Texas A&M and an Appalachian state team that won 11 games a season ago.
SOUTH CAROLINA 2019 SCHEDULE
Aug. 31 — North Carolina (2-9 last season)* 3:30 p.m., ESPN
Sept. 7 — Charleston Southern (5-6) noon, SEC Network
Sept. 14 — Alabama (14-1) 3:30 pm, CBS
Sept. 21 — at Missouri (8-5)
Sept. 28 — Kentucky (10-3)
Oct. 12 — at Georgia (11-3)
Oct. 19 — Florida (10-3)
Oct. 26 — at Tennessee (5-7)
Nov. 2 — Vanderbilt (6-7)
Nov. 9 — Appalachian State (11-2)
Nov. 16 — at Texas A&M (9-4)
Nov. 30 — Clemson (15-0)