With the final week of the regular season upon us and rivalry week upon us, teams across the country are making their final pushes for conference titles and BCS bids. In the SEC, the South Carolina Gamecocks have to sit and wait to see if they will make it to the SEC title game this season with a loss by the Missouri Tigers or if they will be left out as the No. 3 team in the SEC this season. But they don’t necessarily need to make it to the conference title game to make it to a BCS bowl game and may in fact have a better shot at an at-large bid if they don’t play for the SEC title.
With a win this week against the Clemson Tigers, South Carolina would finish the regular season at 10-2 and would be in line to move up from their current ranking at No. 10 in the BCS standings. If Missouri wins their game this week against the Texas A&M Aggies, they will clinch the SEC East and punch their ticket to the conference championship game against either the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide or No. 4 Auburn Tigers depending on who wins the Iron Bowl. If the Tide stay undefeated, South Carolina could make a case to jump ahead of Auburn as two-loss contenders for the BCS.
In the even that the SEC title game is Alabama against Missouri, South Carolina would be pulling hard for the Tide to win to give Missouri their second loss of the season. With Alabama secure in the BCS National Championship Game, it opens the door a little bit wider for an SEC at-large bid for the BCS and the Gamecocks would arguably be the hottest two-loss team in the conference with Auburn and Missouri both suffering losses in their final game.
That positive momentum, starting with a win against Clemson, would push South Carolina up the rankings as the teams ahead of them stumble against Alabama. Would it be enough to get the Gamecocks to the BCS?