What South Carolina's 2020 Football Schedule Could Look Like
While the SEC as a whole is in agreement on the model to be used this football season in terms of scheduling, there are still some major details to be ironed out.
The conference announced its teams are moving to a 10-game, conference only schedule this year, which means the annual Clemson-Carolina game is will not be played for the first time in over a century.
So who will the Gamecocks play this year?
Well first a look at how the schedule breaks down. The SEC is divided into two divisions, east and west with South Carolina being in the east. Ordinarily, SEC teams play each team in their division and two teams from the opposite division in addition to their non-conference opponents.
This year the divisional schedule and two cross-division opponents remain the same. So for South Carolina that means they'll face division opponents Missouri, Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Georgia and Texas A&M and LSU as their west division opponents. That's eight games and means each SEC team has to add two more conference games to their schedule.
According to Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger, the most obvious reasoning behind this model is "the SEC put the value of completing a conference season over the value of non-conference, rivalry games."
In terms of who the final teams will be, Dellenger said the league want's to do everything to ensure that the 2021 and 2022 schedules aren't messed up.
"The league is expected to craft a scheduling model that potentially is weighted on strength of schedule. Basically, they’ll attempt to be as fair as possible," he said.
Which goes back to the original question; who will the Gamecocks play this year?
While that's hasn't been decided yet, here's a look at who they could face.
The writers at Sports Illustrated's All Gators site ranked the SEC teams based on strength of schedule and came up with a model for who the teams could play. Worth noting, they did not take into consideration home or away schedules or the future matchups.
Demetrius Harvey of SI's All Gators noted that the Gamecocks have the toughest SOS and predicted easier opponents for the final two games.