How USC is preparing freshman QB Ryan Hilinski to face Alabama
When South Carolina football lost to North Carolina, it made the Gamecocks’ bowl picture considerably cloudier.
USC came into the season with five of 12 games being seen as high-level challenges against preseason top-10 teams or squads close to that level. The rest of the slate had a lot of toss-ups, and losing to North Carolina not only cost a good chance at a win, but seemed to signal the Gamecocks might not be at the level many hoped.
But still, a few fearless bowl projections are keeping the faith, and actually have the team headed to a higher tier of bowl.
Looking across the latest bowl projections, Stadium’s Brett McMurphy, Sports Illustrated and ESPN all still have the Gamecocks in the postseason. To get there, USC will likely need to sweep Kentucky, Missouri, Appalachian State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt, and to get past .500, will likely need to upend one of Florida, Texas A&M, Clemson, Georgia or Alabama.
The Gator Bowl has not hosted a seven-win team since 2016 or a six-win team since 2014. The Music City Bowl has only hosted one six-win team since 2011.
Traditionally the Independence Bowl and Birmingham Bowl take the SEC teams at the edge of bowl contention.
South Carolina has gone bowling the past three seasons and 10 of the past 11 years. USC currently has true freshman Ryan Hilinski at the helm of a 1-1 team.
Outlets not projecting USC to bowl include: CBS Sports, The Banner Society (SBNation), USA Today, College Football News.