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.”
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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.