South Carolina Football: Best and Worst Case Bowl Scenarios

Alex RobertsCorrespondent IOctober 28, 2010

COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 9: Quarterback Stephen Garcia #5 of the South Carolina Gamecocks tosses the football out of the end zone to avoid a sack after a botched snap against the Alabama Crimson Tide October 9, 2010 at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

South Carolina has a wide range of bowls that are potential destinations for the team.  The Gamecocks could also fail to make a bowl, which seems unlikely.  However, there are two very unlikely scenarios that are still alive for Carolina.


Best (and Most Improbable) Bowl Scenario for South Carolina No. 1:

The National Championship Game

It is still entirely in the realm of possibility that South Carolina makes the National Championship game.  It would take a minor miracle, but it could happen. 

For South Carolina, they would have to win out, and win the SEC Championship Game.  This would put them at 10-2, with one loss against a top-tier foe.  The Kentucky loss is a possible eliminator. 

Auburn would need to go undefeated until the SEC Championship game, and Kentucky would need to be a seven-to-eight win team. 

There are about 19 teams in front of South Carolina in the current BCS standings.  If everyone wins out, they would probably be in the top 10 of the BCS.  So at least nine or 10 of the current top 10 BCS teams need to lose at LEAST one game in order for a two-loss SEC champion to jump into the championship game.  It has happened before, but don't expect it this year. 


Best (and Most Improbable) Bowl Scenario for South Carolina No. 2:

The Sugar Bowl

If South Carolina wins out and wins the SEC, the Sugar Bowl would be the destination of the 10-2 SEC Champs. If South Carolina wins out and loses the SEC Championship game, a 9-3 record may not do it. The selection committee for the Rose Bowl would have to pick between either South Carolina, Alabama, Auburn or LSU, depending on what happens with the championship game. 

A 10-1 Alabama (if not in the championship game) would be a good bet here, and so could a 10-1 Auburn team (if Auburn loses to Alabama). 

However, win the SEC, and the school's first BCS bowl is certain.


Best (and most likely) Bowl Scenario for South Carolina:

The Capital One Bowl

The Capital One Bowl selects the second SEC team.  If Carolina goes 9-3, this is the most likely destination for a wide variety of reasons. 

One, South Carolina would be a first-time SEC East champion, and would provide a good story against the No. 2 Big Ten team (possibly Ohio State, which would be an intriguing rematch of the two Outback Bowls in which Carolina won).

There is a lot of star power on the South Carolina squad, and the Capital One bowl is one of the highest watched non-BCS bowls.  There is Steve Spurrier, Marcus Lattimore, Alshon Jeffery and Stephen Garcia, just to name a few.

Also, few fanbases travel as well as South Carolina fans.

With a one loss or undefeated SEC Champion (Alabama, Auburn) going to the national title game and the other of those two teams going to the Sugar Bowl, this would be a great scenario for South Carolina. 


Worst Case Scenario

The Birmingham Bowl

Other then losing the rest of their games, finishing 5-7 and missing a bowl, going back to the site of the dreaded and infamous UConn vs. South Carolina "Pizza Bowl" would easily be the worst case scenario for this football program. 

If South Carolina finishes 7-5, this would be the most likely destination.  What a horrible feeling that would be.  South Carolina fans not only remember a horrible game, but a terrible bowl atmosphere.

With such a promising season, going 7-5 and ending up in the same lousy bowl against a Big East team would feel like a huge step backwards.  Hardly any Carolina fans would make this trip a second time.