The Gamecocks continue to make history.
Based on the success they had last season, and their potential to meet or exceed that level this year, Sports Illustrated ranked South Carolina No. 7 on their list of the top 25 teams in college football. That’s one spot higher than in last season’s rankings (you may also remember that was the issue with the “Alshon looks fat” cover which billed the team as the best to ever don the garnet and black).
Citing the new offense (“The Gun is gone…but the Gamecocks will have plenty of Fun”) and the strong defense, Andy Staples highlights the weapons in Steve Spurrier’s arsenal this season.
Among the leaders: Marcus Lattimore, back from injury, Jadeveon Clowney, now fully knowledgeable about the playbook, and Connor Shaw, who now has solid starts under his belt.
The Cocks will no doubt have their work cut out for them this season, especially because UGA, considered to be the favorite to win the East again, has, at least on paper, an easier schedule. The Dawgs will travel to Williams-Brice for this year’s game, though, which will hopefully be an advantage for Carolina.
The SEC also had three other schools make the top 10 (Alabama, LSU, and Georgia) and Arkansas and Auburn landed in the top 25. The Fighting Dabo’s came in at No. 14. The complete SI Top 10:
- Southern Cal
- South Carolina
- Michigan State
- West Virginia
SI also has a feature on top Heisman contenders and unsurprisingly, Lattimore is one of them. Other candidates include Wisconsin’s Montee Ball, Oklahoma’s Landry Jones, and Southern Cal’s Matt Barkley. Each player has a campaign ad and platform; Lattimore’s reads, “Six yards and a cloud of dust.”
All of this is just more reason to get excited about the 2012 season of Carolina football, which kicks off in just two weeks.