Will Muschamp and company led the 2016 South Carolina Gamecocks to a relatively successful year. This success, plus the coaching staff’s work on the recruiting trail, has led many pundits to believe South Carolina could be this year’s dark horse in the SEC East. With that being said, here are some things that we could see happening if everything falls into place this season.
Jake Bentley will be the 1st Team All-SEC Quarterback - The hype around Jake Bentley is tremendous. Already being touted by some as a future 1st round NFL draft pick, Jake definitely has the tools to become one of the all-time greats to play at South Carolina. When Jake was inserted into the starting lineup last year, the Gamecock offense immediately received a much needed spark. Now this year, with an improved receiving corps and better coaching on the offensive line, don’t be shocked if Jake takes a drastic step forward and solidifies himself as the top QB in the conference.
South Carolina will sweep Florida, Georgia and Tennessee - South Carolina could very well make a huge jump on the field this season. If the Gamecocks can stay healthy, they will have a puncher’s chance in every single game they play. With an offense as potent as the Bentley, Deebo Samuel, and Bryan Edwards led unit, they should be able to score points on anyone. Last year, with an average offense at best, South Carolina managed to beat Tennessee and give Georgia and Florida all they could handle. If the Gamecocks can make the jump, they could very well get a clean sweep of the top three programs in the SEC East.
South Carolina will win 9 regular season games...including a win over Clemson - Nobody expected South Carolina to sniff bowl eligibility. In fact, many reputable sources were picking Vanderbilt to beat the Gamecocks in the season opener. Of course, we all know what happened there. After a 2-4 start, Jake Bentley would come in and spark the Gamecocks to a 4-2 finish and a bowl berth. This year, expect a similar jump on the field...with a record to go with it. Along with sweeping their SEC East rivals, expect the Gamecocks to come into the Clemson game with a chip on their shoulder after last year’s thrashing. This, along with Muschamp’s improving defense, Clemson living life post Deshaun Watson, and a raucous Williams-Brice Stadium, expect the Gamecocks to edge out their in-state rival on the field.
These are my bold predictions for the upcoming season. Do you agree or disagree? Have different bold predictions? Make sure you tell us in the comments. Oh, and there’s only 35 days until kickoff!