The Palmetto Bowl could be canceled amid COVID-19 concerns.
College football conferences are canceling non-conference games and imposing travel restrictions for games this fall, and that might be a blessing for the South Carolina Gamecocks if they aren’t able to face the Clemson Tigers this year. If the two rivals step on the field together, the Gamecocks have absolutely no hope of winning that matchup.
If the SEC and/or ACC joins the Big Ten and Pac-12 in playing a conference-only schedule, the game between the Gamecocks and Tigers would be canceled, even though the two schools are in the same state. South Carolina is significantly further from several other SEC opponents, including Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and Florida. While there would definitely be some disappointed fans, South Carolina is probably praying that they won’t have to be embarrassed by Clemson.
Clemson has been pretty much unstoppable the last few years, and this one-sided rivalry won’t be much of a contest if they’re able to play it. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is heading into his junior season and he is fresh off an absolutely unreal 2019 season.
South Carolina hasn’t had much luck vs. Clemson of late.
He led the ACC and ranked inside the top 10 in the NCAA with 3,665 passing yards, and he was fifth in passing touchdowns. The then-sophomore also led the Clemson to a runner-up finish in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, and with another year of experience under his belt, the Tigers will be a favorite to come out on top in 2020.
The Gamecocks, on the other hand, had a miserable 4–8 record in 2019. They also have an incredibly young roster.
Even if the teams were more evenly matched, South Carolina hasn’t had the best luck during the rivalry game over the past several seasons. The Gamecocks have lost to Clemson every year since 2014 and most of the games haven’t even been close. They’ve lost the last four by more than 20 points and last year South Carolina didn’t even put up a single touchdown. The Tigers held the Gamecocks to just a single field goal while putting up 38 points against them.
The two teams have battled every single year since 1896, so it would be pretty depressing to break that streak now. At the same time, the game is already an L on the stat sheet for the Gamecocks, so a cancelation is pretty much their only hope of avoiding another ugly defeat.