With the Gamecocks needing only one more win to secure bowl eligibility for the third year in a row, bowl projections from media outlets are starting to appear.
South Carolina is currently 5-4 after a loss to Florida on Saturday. With three more games to get at least one more win, there are a number of bowl game options for the Gamecocks in a number of destinations — assuming that the Gamecocks beat at least one team out of Chattanooga, Clemson and Akron.
The most surprising and least likely projection has the Gamecocks in the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl. Sporting News has the Gamecocks playing the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Dec. 27 at NRG Stadium.
South Carolina has never played in the Texas Bowl, nor has the team ever played the Texas Tech Red Raiders in football.
While a trip to the Lone Star State to take on a team that the Gamecocks have never faced would be exciting, it is very unlikely with South Carolina being one of the easternmost teams in the SEC.
In other media projections, experts have the Gamecocks playing closer to home in locations such as Jacksonville, Florida, or Nashville, Tennessee.
Both Sports Illustrated and SB Nation project that the Gamecocks will spend New Year's Eve in Jacksonville for the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl. Sports Illustrated projects a matchup with the Michigan State Spartans, while SB Nation thinks the Gamecocks will take on the Northwestern Wildcats at TIAA Bank Field.
The Gamecocks have played in the Gator Bowl four times, but have lost all four matchups. The last time South Carolina played in the game was 1987. The Gamecocks have never played Michigan State in football, but have played Northwestern before. In 1962, the Gamecocks lost to the Wildcats by a score of 37-20.
The Orlando Sentinel projects both a different team and a different destination for the Gamecocks. It projects that the Gamecocks will play the Syracuse Orange in the Music City Bowl on Dec. 28 in Nashville.
The Gamecocks have never played in the Music City Bowl, but have already played in Nashville once this year. South Carolina plays at Vanderbilt every other year, and beat the Commodores in Nashville by a score of 37-14 earlier this year. South Carolina has never played Syracuse on the football field.
Even after a frustrating loss to the Florida Gators, the Gamecocks are still in position to play in a bowl game against a quality opponent in December. Regardless of where the Gamecocks may land in the postseason, fans can probably look forward to ending the football season with a bowl game for the third year in a row.