Josh Kendall

Analyst: South Carolina ‘can drastically change the landscape in the SEC East’

The official media predictions about South Carolina’s fate in the 2018 season won’t be released until later this week, but one CBS analyst already knows what he thinks of the Gamecocks.

“I think they’re the second-best team in the SEC East,” said Barrett Sallee, a writer and analyst for CBS Sports. “I think they will jump up and scare some folks. I think if they catch Georgia right on Week 2 in Columbia, they can drastically change the landscape in the SEC East.”

Sallee’s confidence in the Gamecocks is based on several factors, he said, including an improved offense and the fact that head coach Will Muschamp “figured out how to coach football.”

“They have a very high floor, don’t know what the ceiling is,” Sallee said. “Better offensive line, healthy running back corps, Deebo (Samuel) back another year, Jake Bentley another year, an offense that is not run by Kurt Roper. Their bad days are still going to be pretty good.”

Muschamp made a good decision in firing Roper and replacing him with Bryan McClendon, an indication that he has learned from mistakes made while head coach at Florida, Sallee said.

“Even his last year at Florida, he made the right decision to go to the right offense at the right time, didn’t have the right personnel to run it and got fired,” Sallee said. “He swallowed his pride, he humbled himself, when he went to South Carolina he kept that philosophy the exact same, not swaying from it.”