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#pounditSunday, March 7, 2021

Mike Bobo explains why South Carolina players had no choice in bowl bid

South Carolina Gamecocks logo

Many Power 5 schools have decided not to accept bowl bids due to the unusual circumstances of the 2020 season. The South Carolina Gamecocks will not be one of them. In fact, the players didn’t even get a say in the matter.

The Gamecocks accepted an invitation to play in the Gasparilla Bowl against UAB on Dec. 26. It’s hardly a prestige game, and one that some teams may have passed on. Interim coach Mike Bobo explained, however, that players were not even given the chance to vote on whether or not to accept the invitation. The reason? This is the SEC, and SEC teams play ball.

“There’s no vote in the SEC. You come to play in the SEC, you come to play ball,” Bobo said, via Ben Breiner of The State. “I told them we’re going to play in the ballgame, and if guys didn’t want to play, we’re going to report back on this date, if you don’t want to play, you can opt out. We didn’t have a vote.”

It’s definitely a hardline stance by Bobo in what will be the final game of his tenure as interim coach. It’s also something of an outlier — there is a growing list of fairly big-name schools that aren’t going to play in a bowl game. None of them are from the SEC, though.

One motivating factor is that the Gamecocks are getting an opportunity to play that they probably don’t deserve. They went just 2-8 and wouldn’t be anywhere near a bowl game in a typical year. On the other hand, South Carolina taking a bid may not sit well with some teams who did far better but didn’t get an invite.

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