Will Muschamp hasn't gotten a ton of breaks at South Carolina. Last year, the Gamecocks faced one of college football's toughest schedules, and they may be facing down more of the same.
South Carolina finished 4-8 on the year, and that included one of the signature upset wins in the sport last season. The Gamecocks knocked off the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens 20-17 on Oct. 12. From there, they only managed one win in the season's final six games, against lowly Vanderbilt.
Muschamp enters the year on the hot seat. The 2020 schedule isn't super kind to someone in that situation. South Carolina is on the road for its annual rivalry game against Clemson, one that they haven't won in years. It also has LSU on the rotating cross-division SEC game, in Baton Rouge.
The rest of the schedule isn't overly daunting. They have a trip to Florida and host Georgia in the two toughest SEC East games. The non-conference schedule is rounded out with ECU, Coastal Carolina, and Wofford. Still, the Clemson/LSU duo is tough to top. 247Sports has it ranked as their most difficult schedule entering the season.
As Brad Crawford of 247 points out, the Gamecocks draw three of the top six teams in the country entering the year, and all are during the stretch run where teams round into form:
After succumbing to the nation's toughest schedule in 2019 with Will Muschamp's worst record in Columbia, the Gamecocks again battle arguably the No. 1 most treacherous slate, taking on two of last season's four College Football Playoff teams including national champion LSU. South Carolina is the only team in the country that will play three of the Top 6 teams in our preseason Top 25 (Clemson, LSU, Georgia) and each of those games comes in November when the elites are often playing their best ball. This team must get to the midseason mark prior to playing Texas A&M with at least four wins to get back to bowl eligibility or this could be it for the current coaching regime.
It should be noted that the SEC grind isn't easy for anyone. Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Auburn occupy the next three spots in the rankings, with the other USC out West breaking up the list at No. 5. SEC schools make up seven of the top eight toughest schedules.
For the full list, visit 247Sports.