The South Carolina Gamecocks were ranked No. 19 in the country in the fifth meeting of the College Football Playoff committee on Tuesday.
The Gamecocks enter the College Football Playoff rankings for just the second time in program history following wins over then-No. 5 Tennessee and then-No. 8 Clemson in weeks 12 and 13 respectively. The last time the Gamecocks were ranked in the College Football Playoff rankings was in 2017, when the team came in at No. 24 in week 11.
“It is amazing what they did. Nobody expected to see them pull it off, but they did, and it was fun to watch,” ESPN analyst Joey Galloway said during the CFP ranking show on ESPN.
In the first of the two statement wins the Gamecocks scored nine touchdowns and totaled over 600 yards of offense against Tennessee. The game was played in front of a sold-out Williams-Brice Stadium and South Carolina fans stormed the field to cap the historic night.
ESPN analyst David Pollack said the committee's decision to drop Clemson only one spot in this week's rankings was a testament to South Carolina's quality.
“South Carolina, obviously, has a lot of respect by the committee too – they’re in the top 20 – so it shows you that (Clemson) lost to a pretty good team,” Pollack said.
Head coach Shane Beamer became the first coach in program history to earn back-to-back wins over top-10 opponents following the victory at Clemson. Beamer's Gamecocks ended a seven-year losing streak to the upstate rival and snapped the Tigers' 40-game home winning streak.
On Sunday, the Gamecocks re-entered the Associated Press poll at the No. 20 spot. This is the highest the team has been ranked on the poll since Sept. 2014.
South Carolina 8-4 (4-4 SEC) has eight or more wins in a season for the first time since 2017, when the team finished with nine, and will have an opportunity in its bowl game to match that win total.
Beamer and the Gamecocks will learn their bowl game location and opponent on Sunday, Dec. 4.