South Carolina 2024 Schedule Gets Tough Break in New SEC Model

The South Carolina Gamecocks 2024 football schedule came out on the wrong side of luck with the new SEC schedule model.
Nov 25, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Shane Beamer on the field prior to a game against the Clemson Tigers at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 25, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Shane Beamer on the field prior to a game against the Clemson Tigers at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports / David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

Conference realignment has become a major talking point in college football as of late as a good number of teams are on the move this offseason. As a result, conferences are starting to shift their scheduling format to accommodate the changes. As for the SEC, they elected to dismiss divisions starting this season. For some programs, this was a win, at least for the next two seasons. But for teams like South Carolina, they did not come out on the fortunate side. 

In the prior format of the SEC, South Carolina was charged with the difficult task of playing teams like Georgia and Tennessee every season and neither of them is on this year’s schedule which might lead some to think their schedule would be at least a little easier to manage, but that thought would be wrong. 

For the 2024 season, the Gamecocks’s conference opponents consist of Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and Missouri. Not having to face the national title-contending Bulldogs might be a plus, but trading them for Alabama, Ole Miss, LSU and Oklahoma this season is not an ideal trade-off. Not to mention, both Oklahoma and Alabama are road games. 

It might seem like a cop-out for South Carolina to be sour about how their schedule got laid out, but when you look around some of the other schedules in the SEC, it’s warranted. Missouri for example will play Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, Auburn, Alabama, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Arkansas and Mississippi State. So the Tigers managed to escape Georgia and Tennessee in the new model along with other contending SEC teams. 

This is a concerning topic for South Carolina as the upcoming season could be labeled as a “make or break” year for head coach Shane Beamer. Over the last three seasons, the Gamecocks are 20-18 under Beamer and are coming off of a 5-7 season. Year four would be a time in which improved results should be expected from a head coach, but with the schedule South Carolina pulled, that could end up being a tumultuous task for Beamer and his team

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Jonathan Williams

JONATHAN WILLIAMS