South Carolina set another record Saturday with the release of the Associated Press preseason poll.
The Gamecocks were picked No. 6 in the nation by the 60 national media members who vote on the poll. Alabama, with 58 first place votes, was the runaway pick to win the national title, followed by No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Oregon, No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 Georgia and then the Gamecocks.
“That’s flattering,” ninth-year head coach Steve Spurrier said. “I don’t know if we can live up to it or not. We’ll try, though.”
South Carolina has never been picked so high in a preseason poll. The previous best was ninth, set last year. (The Gamecocks were ranked No. 7 earlier this month in the coaches poll, but the schools uses the AP poll as its official mark.)
“I am excited about that, but that’s just a start,” junior defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles said.
The Gamecocks are scheduled to play three ranked teams in the regular season – the fifth-ranked Bulldogs on Sept. 7, No. 10 Florida on Nov. 16 and No. 8 Clemson on Nov. 30. Regular season opponents Vanderbilt and North Carolina received votes but not enough to earn a spot in the poll.
The SEC led all leagues with six ranked teams, all of whom were placed in the top 12. After the Crimson Tide, Bulldogs and Gamecocks were No. 7 Texas A&M, the Gators and No. 12 LSU.
Clemson’s ranking marked the eighth time the Tigers have started the season in the nation’s top 10. No. 11 Florida State was the only other ACC team ranked in the poll.
|1. Alabama (58)||13-1||1,498||1|
|2. Ohio St. (1)||12-0||1,365||3|
|5. Georgia (1)||12-2||1,249||t5|
|6. South Carolina||11-2||1,154||8|
|7. Texas A&M||11-2||1,104||t5|
|11. Florida St.||12-2||845||10|
|13. Oklahoma St.||8-5||755||NR|
|14. Notre Dame||12-1||748||4|
|19. Boise St.||11-2||328||18|
|24. Southern Cal||7-6||134||NR|
|25. Oregon St.||9-4||129||20|
Others receiving votes: Michigan St. 95, Baylor 92, Virginia Tech 86, Miami 85, Arizona St. 53, Kansas St. 43, Fresno St. 36, Vanderbilt 19, Washington 17, N. Illinois 16, Mississippi 11, Utah St. 8, Georgia Tech 6, Arizona 3, Cincinnati 3, North Carolina 3, Penn St. 2, BYU 1.