As the season winds down, the conference title races heat up and nowhere are the races as hot as they are in the SEC. With the long-standing tradition of SEC dominance in BCS National Championship games, punching your ticket to Atlanta for the SEC title game is an opportunity to punch your ticket for the national title. The South Carolina Gamecocks remain in the thick of the SEC East race, though with two losses are a long-shot to make the national title, but will need some help to get there and they won’t get it from most of the tie-breaker scenarios.
With their double-overtime win against the Missouri Tigers a few weeks ago, South Carolina kept their division title hopes alive and now own the head-to-head tiebreaker with Mizzou. However, they’re still one game back of the Tigers in the loss column, so if Missouri can win out, they’ll punch their ticket to Atlanta. That certainly won’t be easy, however, as they finish the year with road games against the Kentucky Wildcats and Ole Miss Rebels before finishing the season at home against the Texas A&M Aggies.
But just having Missouri lose once more won’t be enough for the Gamecocks. The Georgia Bulldogs also sit one game back of Missouri and hold the head-to-head tie-breaker over South Carolina. If the Tigers lose two of their final three conference games, Georgia would win the division because of their win over the Gamecocks earlier this season. If Missouri loses just once more and all three teams finish with two conference losses, Missouri would still get the nod as they hold the tiebreaking edge.
So for the Gamecocks to win the SEC East, they must take care of business against the Florida Gators in their November 16 SEC finale and then hope for at least one loss out of both Missouri and Georgia (with games against the Auburn Tigers and Kentucky Wildcats). Expect plenty of scoreboard watching from South Carolina down the stretch as their SEC title fate is almost entirely out of their hands.