According to Josh Kendall, of The State in Columbia, SC-
Tuesday night, TaxSlayer Gator Bowl president Rick Catlett made two phone calls: one to South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner and one to Texas A&M athletics director Scott Woodward.
Woodward was on a hunting trip with Aggies boosters, but Catlett got ahold of Tanner.
“His cell phone is on speed dial,” Catlett said. “The fan base has always favored South Carolina, and the fact that their athletic director is probably one of the best people in the business certainly helps things.”
South Carolina’s chances of landing in the Gator Bowl, which will be played at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 31, increased Tuesday night when LSU was ranked No. 10 in the CFP rankings, which means the Tigers will play in a New Year’s Six bowl game. That moves everybody else in the SEC pecking order up one spot.
“With the SEC playing four up, that kind of shuffles everything it looked like we were going to do,” Catlett told The State on Wednesday. “I think it’ll take the SEC a few days to sort through that.”
Bowl selections will be finalized Sunday. Bowl officials will send the SEC office a list of their choices ranked Nos. 1-3. The conference office will call each bowl game back later in the day with the options that are available to them.
“We have wanted to have South Carolina now for a couple years,” Catlett said. “Their fan base is tremendous. Ray Tanner is an unbelievable guy to deal with. Will Muschamp is a great coach. I have liked him for a while now, the way he coaches, the kind of kids he recruits. We would love to have them in our bowl game. The process goes through the SEC office now.”