Reaching the SEC Championship Game this season won’t be easy for the preseason Eastern Division favorites.

South Carolina takes on three nationally-ranked opponents over the first five weeks of the season, tied with Clemson for the most for any team in college football over that stretch. A fourth opponent, East Carolina, is considered a tougher non-conference game than “playing one of those bottom Big Ten teams” according to coach Steve Spurrier.

The Head Ball Coach likes his team’s chances despite the SEC’s most challenging early-season slate and for good reason.

South Carolina owns the nation’s longest home winning streak at 18 games and all three contests against ranked opponents — Texas A&M, Georgia and Mizzou — come inside Williams-Brice Stadium.

“(Deputy athletic director) Charles Waddell deserves a big hand. He’s our schedule maker,” Spurrier told The State during the first week of fall practice. “We have a beautiful schedule.”

By Oct. 5, the Gamecocks will know if they have staying power after finishing up their five SEC contest in a six-week span to open the season. No other SEC team has more than three games against league opponents during that period.


  • Aug. 28 — No. 21 Texas A&M
  • Sept. 6 — East Carolina
  • Sept. 13 — No. 12 Georgia
  • Sept. 20 — at Vanderbilt
  • Sept. 27 — No. 24 Mizzou
  • Oct. 4 — at Kentucky
  • Oct. 11 — OFF
  • Oct. 18 — Furman
  • Oct. 25 — at No. 6 Auburn
  • Nov. 1 — Tennessee
  • Nov. 8 — OFF
  • Nov. 15 — at Florida
  • Nov. 22 — South Alabama
  • Nov. 29 — at No. 16 Clemson