South Carolina is coming off a 9-4 season, returning a starting quarterback, a slew of top skill players and getting top-flight playmaker Deebo Samuel back on the field.
So it’s little wonder South Carolina appeared in one too-early Top-25 and it likely won’t be the last.
USC was No. 23 in Sporting News’ “pre-preseason top 25 for 2018.” The Gamecocks are behind only four other SEC teams: No. 1 Alabama, N. 3 Georgia, No. 8 Auburn, No. 13 LSU.
“Florida and Tennessee are breaking in first-year coaches, so this is a unique opportunity for Will Muschamp to lead the Gamecocks to a breakthrough in the SEC East,” Bill Bender wrote in the story. “Quarterback Jake Bentley is back and should continue to improve with his supporting cast, too.”
South Carolina finished second in the division in Muschamp’s second season. He led the Gamecocks to an upset of Michigan in the Outback Bowl.