Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Now that the South Carolina Gamecocks have wrapped up their regular season, the question now will be where do they go bowling.
Despite the loss Saturday night to Clemson, it appears the Gamecocks (8-4) are still in good shape to get a very nice bowl game, perhaps even a New Year's Day matchup.
Here's the latest projections from some of the top forecasting sites:
Citrus Bowl in Orlando vs. Northwestern
January 1st at 1 p.m.
Citrus Bowl vs. Notre Dame
Taxslayer Bowl in Jacksonville vs. Virginia Tech
December 30 1 p.m.
Outback Bowl in Tampa vs. Michigan State
January 1 12:00 p.m.
Outback Bowl in Tampa vs. Michigan
There remains some uncertainty, however. Some of these projections are based on the belief that the College Football Playoff Selection Committee will pick three SEC teams after next Saturday's games.
We're not so sure that will happen. Could Auburn or Georgia would make the "New Year's Six" non national semifinals (Cotton, Fiesta, Peach) after losing in the SEC Championship? The committee is almost guaranteed to pick Alabama, who's 11-1 overall. The winner of the SEC Championship, is a seeming lock for the four-team playoff. But could the committee pick a third team? Maybe. But that may happen with one or two upsets (Oklahoma losing, for example, to TCU).
If the committee doesn't, the loser of the SEC title game would go to the Citrus, locking the Gamecocks out of that game. At that point, Outback or Taxslayer is the most likely option.
Now remember: there's no longer a "pecking order" of bowl teams after the Citrus. The SEC, the schools, and the individual bowl committees select which school will go where based on a variety of factors, including closeness to the game site (in other words, likeliness to travel) and creating the best matchup.
So the parlor talk will continue on where the Gamecocks will go for one more week. Next Sunday, however, everything is officially decided as the committee makes their picks and the other bowls select their teams.