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A coaching change at South Carolina would carry a heavy cost

There's no denying things are tenuous at South Carolina, which has lost nine of its last 12 games including a 2-4 start to this season.

Moreover, the Gamecocks oftentimes have not been competitive this year; their last three losses have been by a combined 87 points to Florida, LSU and Texas A&M. Now, the Gators and Aggies both are top-10 teams. But the Gamecocks have registered nine losses by 14 or more points since the start of the '19 season.

There's unrest for the Gamecocks at quarterback, where Will Muschamp this week indicated his starting quarterback Saturday at Ole Miss would likely be a game-time decision. Collin Hill, Ryan Hilinksi and even Luke Doty have gotten first-team reps according to, though it's been indicated the battle is more of a two-man race between Hill and Hilinski.

Additionally, South Carolina's defense has been particularly porous this season; it's ranked 80th nationally as it has allowed an average of 33 points-per-game this season.

Muschamp, however, is generally well-liked in Columbia, S.C., and took over a skidding program on a downturn after the 2015 season following Steve Spurrier's abrupt, mid-season retirement.

Muschamp also has a large buyout that makes any move very costly. He's owed approximately $12-13 million guaranteed from South Carolina thanks to a deal that pays Muschamp 70% of the remaining full value of his contract. He's under contract through 2024 after receiving extensions after winning a combined 16 games during the 2017-18 seasons and leading the Gamecocks to bowl games in each of his first three years at South Carolina.

However, there would be additional assistant coaches' buyouts also to be completed as well as the cost of hiring a new head coach and his staff. A couple different industry experts told this week that they tagged the price tag for a South Carolina coaching move in the range of $30 million, on the conservative side, between the Muschamp and staff buyout coupled with the cost of a new head coaching staff, which would come with a minimum four-year guaranteed deal if not the more likely five years guaranteed.

The Gamecocks need a win Saturday (6:30CT SECN) at Ole Miss to avoid dropping to 2-5 on the season.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest coaching news.