Forget diving into anything that was released by SEC Media Relations today, let’s talk about this one soul who thinks South Carolina will win the SEC.
Here’s how the voting broke down. To be fair, eight teams received votes to win the SEC title.
Alabama - 217
Auburn - 11
Georgia - 6
LSU - 3
Florida - 3
South Carolina - 1
Vanderbilt - 1
Arkansas - 1
Yes, one person from this mysterious voting panel thinks South Carolina will win the SEC Championship. I don’t like to be the guy who says “never” on anything, but this doesn’t seem very likely to happen in 2017. Actually, I think this is a pretty good job by the media breaking down who the legit favorite are in the conference.
I.e., Alabama will probably win the conference easily unless Auburn does the thing where they become unstoppable on offense and beat Alabama in the most heartbreaking way possible. But hey — guy who thinks South Carolina has a chance — you’re welcome here anytime!
I digress, here are the other talking points to come out of the latest preseason news from the SEC regarding the Gamecocks:
SC gets five votes to win the East
Yes, more pleasantly hopeful journalists are out there fighting the good fight for South Carolina. Even though the Gamecocks are predicted to finish fourth behind Tennessee, Florida and Georgia — South Carolina did have more first place votes than the Vols.
Fourth seems like a fair place for South Carolina at this point. Tennessee, Georgia and Florida have been recruiting at a much higher level than South Carolina and don’t nearly have as tough a schedule. Fourth would be one place better than last season and would represent some semblance of progress for head coach Will Muschamp.
No first team players for SC
Not a single player from South Carolina was voted SEC first team, something I found genuinely surprising. Athlon and Phil Steele both had Hayden Hurst as the first team SEC tight end, but as for the SEC Media they felt Georgia’s Isaac Nauta was a better option.
In fairness to Nauta, he was the second team option on both the Steele and Athlon teams. Deebo Samuel was also a first-teamer on the Athlon team, but doesn’t appear until the third team for the media. No Zack Bailey, Bryan Edwards or Jake Bentley appears on the list either.
Bailey and Edwards appear on Steele’s fourth team, but it’s been made clear by the surrounding media Bentley sits outside the top four quarterbacks in the SEC: Jalen Hurst — a consensus first team pick — followed by a mixture of Austin Allen, Nick Fitzgerald and Jarrett Stidham.
As for the defense, only one Gamecock found his way on to the three sets of lists. After missing an entire year by injury, Skai Moore found his way to the second team and deservedly so. He was a second team selection after the 2015 season and when he’s healthy is an incredibly versatile defender.
Bryson Allen-Williams, Taylor Stallworth and Chris Lammons all made Steele’s 2nd and 3rd teams, but were nowhere to be found on the SEC preseason list. In conclusion, it’s pretty clear the SEC Media isn’t sold on the Gamecocks from an individual standpoint.
But to you handful of voters who believe South Carolina will win the East and even the SEC Championship, you’re good by us.