The South Carolina Gamecocks were picked to finish fifth in the SEC’s East division and placed multiple players on the conference’s preseason teams, according to media polling on Friday.
South Carolina tallied 662 total votes, surprisingly notching three votes to win the SEC overall. Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Florida were chosen to finish ahead of the Gamecocks, with USC coming out ahead over Missouri and Vanderbilt.
Despite South Carolina coming off an seven-win season capped with an impressive bowl victory over North Carolina in first-year coach Shane Beamer’s debut, it would seem the media isn’t ready to buy the Gamecocks’ stock yet — not even with ballyhooed transfer quarterback (and one-time Heisman hopeful) Spencer Rattler now in the fold. I’m biased, of course, but fifth place feels a little low to me (although admittedly, is also where the Gamecocks finished last year). We’ll see if other resurgent programs like Kentucky and Tennessee can reward the media’s belief in them.
On the player side of the voting, defensive lineman Zacch Pickens and defensive back Cam Smith each nabbed spots on the All-SEC’s second team defense, while wide receiver Josh Vann and tight end Jaheim Bell garnered third-team offense honors.
As usual, Alabama was the overwhelming choice as SEC champion with 158 votes, with Georgia coming in as a distant second with 18 votes.