As talkin’ season winds down and the games close in, the waves of predictions come in.
Many have the South Carolina football team fighting with a group of four SEC East teams for spots behind the triumvirate of Georgia-Florida-Tennessee. CBS Sport’s experts see the Gamecocks’ fortunes differently.
Five of the seven predictions have the Gamecocks coming in second or third. Dennis Dodd, Chip Patterson, Ben Kercheval and Barrett Sallee have USC third, and Barton Simmons is the most bullish, putting South Carolina second behind Georgia.
“South Carolina will enter November with a legitimate shot at an SEC East title,” Simmons wrote.
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Jerry Palm put South Carolina fourth, behind the big three but still ahead of Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Missouri. Tom Fornelli had the Gamecocks ahead of only Vandy.
“Though the Muschamp hire at South Carolina was generally lampooned, he led the team left in a bad spot to a surprising bowl appearance right away,” Kercheval wrote. “South Carolina enters 2017 with a good, young quarterback in Jake Bentley, a proven defender in linebacker Skai Moore and a winnable division. It'll be a longshot for South Carolina to take the SEC East, but don't be surprised if they're in the running.”