The 2017 season still is months away, but by the looks of it, South Carolina has a tough nonconference slate waiting for it in the 2017 season.
ESPN ranked South Carolina’s 2017 nonconference schedule as the No. 9 toughest slate in the nation on Tuesday, with games against N.C. State and Clemson on the docket for the Gamecocks.
“The Gamecocks have fared well in Charlotte in season-opening games and get North Carolina State to open the 2017 season in the Belk College Kickoff Game,” ESPN’s Chris Low wrote. “The Wolfpack finished last season strongly and will be looking for bigger things in Year No. 5 under Dave Doeren. A few weeks later in September, Louisiana Tech is one of those teams you dread having to play, especially right before a trip to Texas A&M, and the Gamecocks end the season against defending national champion and No. 6 Clemson.”
South Carolina’s three FBS opponents combined for a 30-11 record in 2016, with all three winning their bowl games to cap successful seasons.
The Gamecocks open their 2017 season against N.C. State in Charlotte on Sept. 2. They host Louisiana Tech on Sept. 30. USC also plays Wofford on Nov. 18 before ending the season against Clemson on Nov. 25 at Williams-Brice Stadium.
South Carolina went 3-1 in nonconference play in 2016. The Gamecocks fought through for a win against East Carolina on Sept. 17, before handling UMass with relative ease in October. USC had its highest-scoring game of the year in a win against Western Carolina in November, but took a pounding from Clemson in the final game of the season.