Gamecock football, A game-by-game projection by ESPN’s model
July 09, 2019
This past week, ESPN released its first Football Power Index rankings for the 2019 season, with projected results for every team’s games based on 10,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date and the remaining schedule.
And just like most sports outlets, FPI thinks South Carolina has a good team this year but that just might not translate into wins.
The Gamecocks start the preseason ranked No. 18 in the country by FPI, which is 12.3 points above average. But with the nation’s toughest strength of schedule, Carolina is only projected to win 6.1 games, the lowest total of any team in the top 40.
The good news for USC fans is that the index is projecting five of those wins as extremely likely — the Gamecocks are given a 70% chance or better of beating North Carolina, Charleston Southern, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Appalachian State.
Unsurprisingly, FCS foe Charleston Southern is considered the most likely win on South Carolina’s schedule — the Gamecocks are projected to have a 99.3% chance of beating the Buccaneers. There is a sharp dropoff after those five projected wins. Will Muschamp’s squad is given a 74.5% chance to beat Kentucky, and then the next highest percentage is 42.3% against Florida at home. Against Muschamp’s former team, FPI actually likes South Carolina’s odds. Despite Florida checking in at No. 8 in with 8.3 projected wins, it’s the closest the Gamecocks have to a toss-up. Other projection models have Florida as a far more certain favorite.
All told, FPI has South Carolina stealing at least one win against the likes of the Gators, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Georgia, Alabama and Clemson. But as of right now, the Gamecocks aren’t favored in any of those matchups. Clemson, Alabama and Georgia are the top three teams in the country, and FPI agrees — they all are projected to have at least a 79.9 percent chance of beating South Carolina, with Clemson having the best odds at 85.1%.
Of the projected losses, only Missouri ranks behind Carolina in FPI at No. 19, but the Tigers will have the homefield advantage when the two teams meet and a 59% chance of winning.
If ESPN’s numbers are correct, Gamecock fans will likely be relieved to finally beat Kentucky and snap a five-year losing streak to the Wildcats. Muschamp has never lost to Tennessee, with three consecutive wins over the Volunteers, but FPI gives the Gamecocks just a 37% chance of continuing there wining way's over Tennessee.
South Carolina opens its season on Aug. 31 against North Carolina in in Charlotte this will be the first game back under Hall of Fame coach Mack Brown fot the Tarheels. The Gamecocks, who have gone head-to-head with UNC on the recruiting trail as of late, are the comfortable favorites according to FPI, with a 77.1% chance of winning.
ESPN FPI’S SOUTH CAROLINA PROJECTIONS
North Carolina — 77.1% chance of USC winning** *
Charleston Southern — 99.3%**
Alabama — 17.5%
Missouri — 41.0%**
Kentucky — 74.5%**
Georgia — 20.1%
Florida — 42.3%**
Tennessee — 37.0%
Vanderbilt — 77.2%**
Appalachian State — 85.8%**
Texas A&M — 26.2%
Clemson — 14.9%
Home games are in red
- Best chances to win **
- Natural site *