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Bowl Picks: 2016 Birmingham Bowl

[lead align=”default”]There will be more college football down in Alabama, but not in Tuscaloosa, thanks to the 2016 Birmingham Bowl.[/lead]

And, of course, it will be SEC football. The South Carolina Gamecocks and Will Muschamp are involved, facing the South Florida Bulls out of the American. Ironically, Florida made the Birmingham Bowl in 2014, Muschamp’s final season with the Gators, but he was fired before he could coach the game. Now he can with the Gamecocks. Life is a funny game sometimes.

Muschamp won just one bowl game at Florida, and that was the Gator Bowl in his first season. He got South Carolina to a bowl in 2016, but this is a tough draw. South Florida is a 10-win team, and their coach got plucked away by Oregon.

If you watched the St. Petersburg Bowl, you saw Mississippi State barely get up for their bowl game against MAC entry Miami-Ohio. South Carolina might not get up for this one, either, but this isn’t the same thing. It was debatable whether or not the RedHawks were better than the Bulldogs. South Florida is better than South Carolina; will they prove it on the field?

2016 Birmingham Bowl: Team Backgrounds

South Florida Bulls
American Athletic Conference
10-2 (7-1 AAC)
8th bowl appearance in school history (4-3)
Best win: vs. Navy, 52-45 on October 28
Worst loss: at Temple, 46-30 on October 21
One stat: 43.6 points per game; 7th-highest scoring offense in FBS

South Carolina Gamecocks
Southeastern Conference
6-6 (3-5 SEC)
21st bowl appearance in school history (8-12)
Best win: vs. Tennessee. 24-21 on October 29
Worst loss: at Clemson, 56-7 on November 26
One stat: On four-bowl win streak (2011 to 2014)

2016 Birmingham Bowl: The Edge

South Carolina’s defense got better from last year to this one, but South Florida has a dangerous offense. The Gamecock offense is terrible with a capital T. South Florida’s defense isn’t that great. Their best might not be good enough for South Carolina, but they can keep it close for a while. The Clemson game was really the only one where they got stomped, and USF isn’t as good as the Tigers.

This feels like USF win, though perhaps not a thumping one. It all depends on who gets up for the game.

2016 Birmingham Bowl: Pick

[header text=”Through 12-27-16 Bowls ATS” subtext=”44-56-2″]

[alert heading=”South Florida (-10) vs. South Carolina” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]South Carolina +10[/alert]

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