Are the South Carolina Gamecocks in the national title picture? Well actually, mathematically speaking-- Yes. The Gamecocks do control their own destiny-- if they win out (including the SEC Championship Game)-- they'll be in the national title game.
And the key word here is "if".
Currently, South Carolina (5-1) is ranked #22 in both the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll and a couple of weeks ago they had their biggest win in decades against then-No. 4 Mississippi, 16-10. The only blemish on their record is a 41-37 loss at then-No. 21 Georgia.
That's the good news. Now for the bad news--
On Saturday, SC has a date with new #2 Alabama (6-0) at Alabama. Ouch! Then on November 14, they host #1 Florida (5-0). Double ouch!
Not too many people outside of Columbia, SC expect them to win either game, but we never know. Stranger things have happened. And head coach Steve Spurrier is a big game coach, who's been there, done that.
But realistically, the road ahead pretty much looks like an Alabama-Florida showdown in the SEC Championship Game with the winner going to the BCS Championship Game. But in order for that to happen both teams have to go through South Carolina and in the case of Florida, it can be a tricky game for them.
If I'm Florida, I would not let my guard down against SC. The Gamecocks will be playing at home and after their win against Ole Miss are a more confident bunch and they have Spurrier, who knows a thing or two about the Gators. But nonetheless, Florida's defense is only allowing a miniscule, 6.4 PPG, so the Gamecocks have their work cut out for them.
But no matter the outcome, SC is having a fine year and will be one of only four schools to play against the #1 and #2 teams in the nation. And that alone is keeping them in the conversation.
Photos courtesy of GamecocksOnline.com