Gamecocks Ranked Ninth in Preseason Coaches' Poll
Connor Shaw will lead the Gamecocks in 2012.

 
Connor Shaw will lead the Gamecocks in 2012.

Aug. 2, 2012

The South Carolina Gamecocks are the ninth-best team in the nation, according to the preseason USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches' Poll, which was released today.

The Gamecocks garnered 981 points to rank between Michigan (1,023) and SEC rival Arkansas (833). LSU is the preseason favorite with 1,403 points and 18 first place votes, edging Alabama (1,399, 20) and Southern California (1,388, 19). Oklahoma and Oregon round out the top five.

There are five SEC teams ranked among the top 10 in the country, including LSU (1), Alabama (2), Georgia (6), South Carolina (9) and Arkansas (10).

The Gamecocks finished the 2011 season with a school record 11 wins and an 11-2 overall mark. They were ranked eighth in the final Coaches' poll, their highest finish in school history. They were ranked 12th in the preseason Coaches' poll a year ago.

The Gamecocks will begin fall practice on Friday, Aug. 3, at 7:30 p.m. The first game is scheduled for Thursday, August 30 in Nashville against the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Rank School (2011 record) Points

1. LSU (13-1) 1403

2. Alabama (12-1) 1399

3. Southern California (10-2) 1388

4. Oklahoma (10-3) 1276

5. Oregon (12-2) 1258

6. Georgia (10-4) 1061

7. Florida State (9-4) 1055

8. Michigan (11-2) 1023

9. South Carolina (11-2) 981

10. Arkansas (11-2) 948

11. West Virginia (10-3) 833

12. Wisconsin (11-3) 743

13. Michigan State (11-3) 717

14. Clemson (10-4) 598

15. Texas (8-5) 549

16. Nebraska (9-4) 501

17. TCU (11-2) 499

18. Stanford (11-2) 497

19. Oklahoma State (12-1) 476

20. Virginia Tech (11-3) 461

21. Kansas State (10-3) 398

22. Boise State (12-1) 271

23. Florida (7-6) 250

24. Notre Dame (8-5) 166

25. Auburn (8-5) 66

Others receiving votes (with 2011 records): Washington (7-6) 64; Louisville (7-6) 46; Georgia Tech (8-5) 35; Cincinnati (10-3) 32; Texas A&M (7-6) 28; Baylor (10-3) 23; Utah (8-5) 22; Mississippi State (7-6) 21; South Florida (5-7) 12; N.C. State (8-5) 11; BYU (10-3) 10; Louisiana Tech (8-5) 10; Virginia (8-5) 9; Houston (13-1) 7; Southern Mississippi (12-2) 6; Central Florida (5-7) 5; Rutgers (9-4) 5; Florida International (8-5) 3; Missouri (8-5) 3; Tennessee (5-7) 3; Northern Illinois (11-3) 2; Texas Tech (5-7) 1.