Sports Illustrated Ranks South Carolina Sixth In Their Preseason Poll, Puts Jadeveon Clowney on the Cover

http://college-football.si.com/2013/08/14/si-college-football-preview-covers/

The venerable sports weekly made big waves on Wednesday morning when they released a top ten that broke from conventional wisdom.

Sports Illustrated turned more than a few heads when they released their preseason top 25 today:

1) Alabama Crimson Tide
2) Stanford Cardinal
3) Texas A&M Aggies
4) Ohio State Buckeyes
5) Oregon Ducks
6) South Carolina Gamecocks
7) Louisville Cardinals
8) Notre Dame Fighting Irish
9) Florida Gators
10) Clemson Tigers
11) Texas Longhorns
12) Georgia Bulldogs
13) Florida State Seminoles
14) LSU Tigers
15) Michigan State Spartans
16) TCU Horned Frogs
17) Baylor Bears
18) Michigan Wolverines
19) Oklahoma Sooners
20) Boise State Broncos
21) UCLA Bruins
22) Northwestern Wildcats
23) Vanderbilt Commodores
24) Northern Illinois Huskies
25) Virginia Tech Hokies

Though I can't claim to have read through all of Andy Staples' furious @ replies, I imagine the biggest points of controversy are Stanford being "too high" at #2 and Georgia being about six spots "too low" at #12. Maybe the complaints are valid, maybe they aren't. What we do know is that preseason polls are pretty terrible predictors of what the final polls will look like.

Is ranking Georgia 12th really that big of a slight? Can we be certain that Georgia won't have greater difficulty replacing nine out of eleven defensive starters than South Carolina will replacing its entire two deep at linebacker, or vice versa? Of course, we won't know for sure until they meet on the field, but let's just be thankful that we're spending today debating something more proximate to actual football than whether or not Jadeveon Clowney signed autographs.

SI also announced that players from the top six teams, including South Carolina, will be featured on regional covers. All indications are that Jadeveon reported to the photo shoot in better shape than the last Gamecock to make the cover of an SI season preview mag.

South-carolina-cover-si_medium

Also check out SI's preseason All-America team, which obviously features Jadeveon Clowney on the first team. Read their 2013 preview of the Gamecocks here.

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