South Carolina Football: Initial BCS Ranking Finds Gamecocks at No. 14

Adam Garrett@lifeofagamecockAnalyst IOctober 17, 2011

The South Carolina Gamecocks come in at No. 14 in the first Bowl Championship Series rankings for the 2011 season.

It's been an interesting season so far for South Carolina with the dismissal of quarterback Stephen Garcia, the season-ending injury to Marcus Lattimore, and the up-and-down way the Gamecocks have played at times this season.

However, here they are in the No. 14 spot in the BCS rankings with a 6-1 record, including a 4-1 record in the SEC. The Gamecocks find themselves with a BCS average of .4914 which puts them .1276 points behind the No. 10 ranked Oregon Ducks who have a .6190 BCS average.

Getting into the Top 10 has to be the goal for the Gamecocks right now but they've got a few options on the table of securing a BCS bid. 

South Carolina controls their own destiny in the SEC East if they win their remaining three SEC conference games and can play their way into their first BCS bowl game with a win in the SEC Championship game.

If South Carolina can win out and finish the season at 11-1 but end up with a loss in the SEC Championship, there is a good chance they could still receive an at-large bid because this scenario would most likely place the Gamecocks in the Top 10 of the BCS and give South Carolina a bid to their first BCS bowl game.

This all becomes that much tougher now due to the loss of Marcus Lattimore. The offense has been up-and-down all year long but Lattimore was key in the Gamecocks final three SEC games last year that propelled the Gamecocks to their first SEC East title.

There is still talent in Columbia and the Gamecocks have a chance if they get healthy in a hurry at running back with Kenny Miles and Eric Baker and the development of Connor Shaw at quarterback as well.

South Carolina may need to rely on it's young gun-slinger the rest of the way, so he becomes that much more important down the stretch if South Carolina hopes for a chance at a BCS bowl game.

The good thing is the Gamecocks still have a chance.

It's all you can ask for at this point in the season. We'll see where things go from here.

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