The Gamecocks are No. 10 in Phil Steele's 2014 Top 40 Countdown, as revealed on Friday.
"When the preseason poll debuts, the Gamecocks will have been ranked for 65 consecutive weeks, the longest streak in SC history," Steele wrote in his preview of the Gamecocks. "SC's last conference title, however, came in the ACC in 1969. Steve Spurrier has now had 0 losing seasons in 9 years (8 bowls)."
Steele pointed out that the Gamecocks have had three-straight 11-win seasons and joined Oregon and Alabama as teams to finish inside the Top 10 in each of the last three years.
"This year they do lose the bulk of their D-line and QB [Connor] Shaw but have 14 returning starters," he wrote. "SC draws both Auburn and A&M out of the West. They have an excellent shot at getting to the SEC title game."
TV and radio personality Tim Brando on Friday said he believes the Gamecocks will finish the 2014 season ranked No. 5.
The Gamecocks were ranked No. 10 in the Sporting News preseason Top 25 that was released in May. USC also was ranked No. 9 in Athlon Sports' preseason football poll and No. 10 in ESPN's latest "way too early" Top 25.