With the 38-27 victory over Vanderbilt this weekend in Nashville, the South Carolina soccer team won its sixth game and clinched bowl eligibility. The Gamecocks (6-3, 3-3) will spend time preparing for a football game in December or January, with the destination to be determined after the SEC Championship game.
Of course, how the Gamecocks, as well as other teams, perform over the next three weeks will have a huge impact on where the football team spends its holiday season. More wins definitely give South Carolina sophomore football coach Shane Beamer and the team more leverage to push for an ideal location.
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Barring a miraculous finish and mayhem in college football, the Gamecocks will not be in line for major bowl games, including the Citrus Bowl, and will be selected in the pool of six or the next two games. Here’s a quick breakdown of the selection process, which is explained in detail here:
The first selections go to the College Football Playoff balls, which are the Fiesta and the Peach this season. The Sugar then the Cotton select an SEC team, then the Capital One Bowl. The SEC, in consultation with schools and bowls, will assign SEC teams to the following six bowl games: Texas, Las Vegas, Music City, Gator, Liberty, and ReliaQuest (formerly Outback). If any SEC teams remain, the bowling spots of Birmingham and Gasparilla (Tampa) are filled, as selected by ESPN.
The Gamecocks are likely to end up in a pool game of six, but the more wins the team has, the more voice will be heard by the school’s SEC for the desired location. Being able to eliminate Florida, Tennessee or Clemson, or more schools, over the next three weeks would position Beamer and his team quite well at draft time.
Here are the key details of the eight bowl games South Carolina has a chance of being selected for this season, which currently includes the two bowls under the pool of six. We’ll update this story weekly to reflect major changes.