Monday, April 23, 2018
Colleges

Joey Knight’s takeaways from the Outback Bowl

1. What a resurrection by Will Muschamp, whom many thought wouldn’t get a sniff at another SEC head coaching job after languishing his final two seasons (2013-14) at Florida. Monday’s triumph gave South Carolina only its seventh season of nine or more wins, and 11 Gamecocks starters in the Outback Bowl were freshmen or sophomores. It’s hardly a stretch to project USC as the No. 2 team in the SEC East entering 2018.

2. While Muschamp has it rolling, Jim Harbaugh is reeling. Monday’s loss gave Harbaugh his first three-game losing streak as Michigan coach, and he’s now a combined 2-7 against Ohio State, Michigan State and in bowl games. They still love him in Ann Arbor, but the limits of that adoration now are being tested. Can’t imagine the Go-Blue contingent settling for another eight- or nine-win campaign.

3. Based on what we heard and observed during Outback Bowl week, interim South Carolina offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon seems the odds-on favorite to land the gig permanently. Players spoke of the energy McClendon brought to meeting rooms, and it’s always a plus when guys have a coach with whom they feel comfortable. That second half Monday (214 yards, 23 points) didn’t hurt McClendon’s cause either.

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