Like the LSU Tigers with Ed Orgeron, a personal lack of faith in Will Muschamp and the South Carolina Gameocks exists here. That goes into our projections for the team and the assumption that they just got extremely lucky down the stretch of last year, especially facing the Tennessee Vols and Florida Gators as they were coming undone.
However, that’s all irrelevant. The fact of the matter is South Carolina finished second in the SEC East with a 5-3 record and 9-4 record overall. They also won six of their final eight games, with their only two losses coming to the Georgia Bulldogs and Clemson Tigers, both College Football Playoff teams.
The Gamecocks won their bowl game against the Michigan Wolverines. When you factor in finishes to the season and continuity at head coach, South Carolina could actually be No. 3 in our SEC Power Rankings. After all, they stand out above a lot of other teams with so many things working in their favor.
However, there’s a caveat. Michigan in the bowl game was the only winning FBS team this program beat during those final eight games. That’s not impressive and leaves a lot for them to prove heading into this year.
Nothing will really change to help these guys to start this season, as they open up against Coastal Carolina. However, right after that, they face the Dawgs again. That’s a young UGA team traveling to Columbia, so things could get interesting. The match-up will have a huge impact on where this team moves in these rankings afterward.