Could this be the year the folks at the Chick-fil-A Bowl break down and invite USC to the Georgia Dome? Usually these guys see to it USC ends up back in Tampa for the Outback Bowl. A win Saturday would certainly increase the Gamecocks odds off the New Year’s eve bowl game.
Right now the Gamecocks are focused on making a trip to the ATL the first week in December for the SEC Championship game, but if that falls through this easily beat a fourth trip to Tampa.
Here is the official release from the good folks at the Chick-fil-A Bowl:
Chick-fil-A Bowl representative Frank Upchurch will visit Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C., on Saturday to scout the Arkansas-South Carolina game. The two teams are being scouted as potential representatives in the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31.
The ACC and SEC team selections for the 43rd edition of the Bowl will be announced on Sunday, Dec. 5. The Chick-fil-A Bowl is the oldest guaranteed ACC vs. SEC match-up in the bowl.
Currently ranked No. 18 in the BCS and No. 17 in the AP Poll, Arkansas (6-2, 3-2 SEC) has won three of its last four games, including last Saturday’s 49-14 SEC victory against Vanderbilt. The Razorbacks’ offense is among the nation’s leaders when it comes to passing, averaging 360.2 yards per game that ranks second in the nation and first in the SEC. Meanwhile, the defense is tied for tops in the conference in tackles for loss (7.88 yards per game). Quarterback Ryan Mallett leads the SEC in both passing yards per game (306.1) and total offense per game (301.4). Mallett also ranks fourth nationally in passing yards per game. Arkansas has yet to play in a Chick-fil-A Bowl.
South Carolina (6-2, 4-2 SEC) has won its last two games as the Gamecocks maintain their hold on first place in the SEC East. Including Saturday, only two more SEC opponents remain on South Carolina’s regular-season schedule. True freshman running back Marcus Lattimore helps power the Gamecock offense. Lattimore already has 13 touchdowns on the season, which ties South Carolina’s freshman touchdown record and are just three shy of the program’s single-season record. South Carolina is also tough on defense, recording a SEC-best 30 sacks. Both defensive ends Devin Taylor and Melvin Ingram are among the SEC’s top-5 sacks leaders. South Carolina’s lone Chick-fil-A Bowl appearance was in 1969.
Arkansas leads the all-time series 11-7. The Razorbacks have won three of the last four meetings, including last year’s game in Fayetteville 33-16. Saturday’s game kicks off at 7 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN.
The Chick-fil-A Bowl is the ninth-oldest bowl game in the country and hosts the longest-running rivalry series between the ACC and SEC. Now in its 43rd year, the Chick-fil-A Bowl has established itself as one of the nation’s elite bowl games with a string of 13 consecutive sellouts and has earned a reputation as one of the most competitive bowls in the nation. Ten of the last 18 games have been decided by a touchdown or less. The Chick-fil-A Bowl has disbursed more than $97 million in team payouts over its 42-year history and has increased team payout every year since 1996. The Bowl also leads all other bowl games in charitable and scholarship contributions, giving more than $5.8 million to organizations in need since 2002. Other events under the Chick-fil-A Bowl brand include the Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge head coach and celebrity golf event each April and the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game season-opening game over Labor Day weekend which hosted No. 16 LSU and No. 18 North Carolina, to open the season Sept. 4.