Where South Carolina football stands in latest preseason media projections.
On Wednesday, the SEC released its preseason projections from media members covering the league’s upcoming football season. In no surprise, Alabama was picked to win the conference, earning 77 of the 96 total votes. The remaining 19 votes were split pretty evenly between Georgia, LSU, and Florida.
The most notable race appears to be that of the SEC Eastern division champion. The Georgia Bulldogs are looking to take the crown for a fourth straight season. The media, though, believes that Florida puts an end to that run in 2020, as they’re predicted to meet the Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship Game.
As for the Gamecocks, they’ve been picked to finish fifth in the East, behind Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and Kentucky. South Carolina faces one of the nation’s toughest schedules this year, taking on five teams that were ranked in the preseason top 15, meaning it could be an uphill battle for the Gamecocks all season long. Below are the projected standings.
1. Florida (53) – 624
2. Georgia (43) – 613
3. Tennessee – 434
4. Kentucky – 405
5. South Carolina – 287
6. Missouri – 224
7. Vanderbilt – 101
1. Alabama (86) – 660
2. LSU (8) – 489
3. Auburn – 488
4. Texas A&M (2) – 454
T5. Ole Miss – 238
T5. Mississippi State – 238
7. Arkansas – 121
1. Alabama – 77
T2. Georgia – 7
T2.LSU – 7
4.Florida – 5
Three members of the South Carolina football team were named All-SEC.
The three all-conference teams were also announced, with a trio of Gamecocks earning recognition as projected All-SEC performers. Cornerback Israel Mukuamu and offensive lineman Sadarius Hutcherson were named to the second-team.
Mukuamu led the team in interceptions a year ago, while Hutcherson is the most experienced player on the Gamecock offense. Last year’s sack leader Aaron Sterling was named third-team all-conference.
There were certainly puzzling omissions, at least in the eyes of folks around the South Carolina program. Most notable was the oversight of Jaycee Horn, who may be the Gamecocks’ best defensive back. He doesn’t possess the interception numbers that Mukuamu does, but he’s been more than solid in his first two seasons on campus.
Also missing are linebacker Ernest Jones, who finished fourth in the league last year averaging more than eight tackles a game, Shi Smith, the team’s senior leader at receiver, and Parker White, a Lou Groza Award nominee.
South Carolina will try to prove these projections wrong, and they’ll have an early opportunity to get a leg up in the SEC East race when they face Tennessee this Saturday. The Gamecocks opened the week as a three-point home underdog.