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SHREVEPORT, La. -- Fallout from last weekend's brawl in the South Carolina-Clemson game could leave the Independence Bowl
without a team from the Southeastern Conference.
South Carolina officials pulled their team from bowl consideration as a self-imposed punishment for the fight on Saturday. The Gamecocks' exit leaves just six SEC teams eligible for seven bowl berths.
Independence Bowl executive director Glen Krupica said the bowl is "in a situation of need" -- meaning officials desperately want an SEC team to boost interest in the Dec. 28 game.
If Arkansas defeats No. 14 LSU on Friday, that would make the Razorbacks (5-5) an Independence Bowl possibility. The Razorbacks beat Missouri 27-14 in last year's game.
"It's something we're going to roll with and obviously be focused on the LSU-Arkansas game this weekend and hope that the Razorbacks qualify," Krupica said. "It's going to be tough for a few of our committee members that are LSU fans, but I think they're going to take one for the team."
The I-Bowl and the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn., share the sixth and seventh overall selections. If Arkansas doesn't beat LSU, Independence Bowl officials would just have to hope that a school picks them.
Without an SEC team, Krupica said the bowl would look at possibilities from the Big East, Conference USA, Mid-American, Sun Belt and Conference USA conferences.
I-Bowl officials are hoping for a big turnout and big TV rating on Dec. 28 because it is still in the market for a title sponsor. Krupica said the bowl planned to have potential sponsors at the game.
-- Associated Press