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Reacting to the Gamecocks’ new 2020 opponents

As many of you have already heard, the South Carolina Gamecocks will be adding two new opponents to their SEC only schedule this year: the Auburn Tigers and the Ole Miss Rebels.

If that wasn’t a large enough hammer to drop, the university decided to break the news on social media in one of the greatest ways possible.

Before the release, I wondered how the SEC was going to decide each team’s new additions. I felt like the easy route would have been simply adding the next two teams on each team’s out of division cycle, which SEC Network’s Paul Finebaum previously reported from an SEC source but later rebuked.

Now we know the decision looked more like it was picked out of a hat, although USC was slated to have Auburn at home next year too, so let’s see how that plays out.

Despite being prepared to see Auburn and Arkansas be the chosen ones (the next two in the rotation), I wasn’t too heartbroken to see Ole Miss appearing instead of Arkansas as both are currently among the bottom of the conference.

Keeping in mind that the Tigers’ haven’t lost to the Gamecocks since 1933 and the squad’s recent success as a whole, I can pencil in an L for that game and not really think twice about it, although weirder things have happened just this past year at Georgia.

The matchup with the Rebels is a little more tricky. The last time these two teams played was only two years ago where the Cocks escaped a shoot out with a victory by the score of 48-44. As the Gamecocks later competed in the Belk Bowl that season, Ole Miss continued to hover around mediocrity.

Currently, the trajectory of South Carolina’s program seems to be trending down after a 4-8 season while Ole Miss looks to be on the rise after hiring Lane Kiffin as their head coach. With South Carolina in the midst of a three game winning streak against Ole Miss, I can cautiously write in a W for that game as long as the defense plays up to par. They won’t be an easy out either way, though.

The verdict is I can see these schedule additions either hurting the Gamecocks’ resumé or not affecting it with a split. The rest of the schedule looks difficult enough already, so splitting these two games wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world either.

Honestly, I’m just glad it looks like there will be football on my TV this fall.

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