South Carolina Football: Gamecocks don't rank highly in preseason SEC power rankings

247Sports' Brad Crawford did not rank the Gamecocks highly in his preseason SEC power rankings.
South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer
South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina football is coming off a 5-7 season that was held back by injuries on the offensive line, inconsistent play on both sides of the ball, and a tough (as always) schedule.

If a few things go the Gamecocks' way in 2024, sizable improvement is possible. However, there are several questions that remain about the team that have some doubting USC's chances of having a good season.

247Sports' Brad Crawford released his post-spring practice SEC power rankings, and the Gamecocks did not receive a highly-ranked spot as he calls Shane Beamer's group a "wait and see team."

In his explanation of Carolina's 13th (out of 16) ranking, Crawford raised some valid questions about the 2024 Gamecocks, mostly about the offense. Offensive line play, the wide receiver room, and the quarterback position were all things Crawford brought up in his article.

In addressing the concerns about the offensive line, it is hard to imagine that things could be as bad as they were last fall. The Gamecocks posted their worst-ever rushing yards per game in 2023, and Spencer Rattler was among the country's most-sacked quarterbacks, despite several Houdini-like efforts from #7 to avoid being taken down.

The poor play was heavily influenced by 12 injured players on the line, and if health is improved this year, the team's new additions through the transfer portal and freshman class have improvement feeling like an inevitability. How much the unit is improved will be a major factor in 2024's success on offense.

At receiver, the Gamecocks might have their biggest question. The wideout room was pretty bad in 2023 outside of a breakout year from 1st round pick Xavier Legette. With Legette gone, no one else has proven themselves with the Gamecocks.

USC has some promising talent at the wide receiver position, and the coaching staff is still scouring the transfer portal for more receiver help. There is a path to a solid year out wide for Carolina, but doubters will exist until new wide receivers coach Mike Furrey and his unit prove them wrong.

Quarterback is less of a question mark as redshirt freshman LaNorris Sellers seems to have all the tools to be "the man" for the South Carolina football program. In fairness to Crawford, he doesn't question Sellers' abilities at all. Instead, he mentioned that Sellers faces a lot of pressure as a first-time starter at an SEC school, which is accurate.

If Sellers is the player that most of the Gamecock Faithful believe he can be, he will be a solid player or better even as a freshman this fall. However, the bespectacled Sellers will have to show it on the field for South Carolina to have any chance at a good season.

Crawford's assessment that the Gamecocks are a "wait and see team" is fair, but South Carolina football fans remain ever-optimistic that things are improving in Columbia.

Crawford's entire power rankings list can be seen below:

  1. Georgia Bulldogs
  2. Texas Longhorns
  3. Ole Miss Rebels
  4. Alabama Crimson Tide
  5. LSU Tigers
  6. Missouri Tigers
  7. Tennessee Volunteers
  8. Oklahoma Sooners
  9. Texas A&M Aggies
  10. Auburn Tigers
  11. Florida Gators
  12. Kentucky Wildcats
  13. South Carolina Gamecocks
  14. Arkansas Razorbacks
  15. Mississippi State Bulldogs
  16. Vanderbilt Commodores

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