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South Carolina Gamecocks
Schedule and Odds
South Carolina finished No. 7 in the polls in 2012, their best ranking in school history, but they were still the third-best team in the SEC East. They'll be returning 11 starters which shouldn't hurt them too much in the long run. While the Gamecocks are losing top playmakers on offense, they'll still have Connor Shaw and a great offensive line that is only losing their center. Defensively, their linebacking core took a major hit, but with a top defensive line and Jadeveon Clowney still in the mix, they should be able to transition just fine. South Carolina was 11-2 overall last year and have a slightly easier schedule in 2013. However, it doesn't start too kindly for them.
Oddsmakers give the Gamecocks a legitimate chance of being in the mix this year as well. They are currently listed at 21 to 1 odds at 5 Dimes Sportsbook and 20 to 1 at Sportsbook.ag to win the BCS Title. That places them around 8th overall, going by the odds, of all college football BCS teams. We shall see.
2013 South Carolina Football Schedule
Aug. 29 vs. North Carolina (Thur.)
Sept. 7 at Georgia
Sept. 14 vs. Vanderbilt
Sept. 28 at UCF
Oct. 5 vs. Kentucky
Oct. 12 at Arkansas
Oct. 19 at Tennessee
Oct. 26 at Missouri
Nov. 2 vs. Mississippi State
Nov. 16 vs. Florida
Nov. 23 vs. Coastal Carolina
Nov. 30 vs. Clemson
Quarterback Connor Shaw is still dealing with a foot injury, but he should be ready once the season begins. If he gets hurt at all, they also have newcomer Connor Mitch to look at. At running back, the Gamecocks will have a few guys to use, but they managed last season after Marcus Lattimore went down. Their top wide receiver and tight end are also gone, but Shaw still has a few reliable players to look for like Bruce Ellington.
South Carolina will get a tough North Carolina team in their first game and while they should win, it won't be easy. An even more telling game comes the week after when they have to travel to Georgia. Let's just say they can't expect another 28-point win, especially on the road. This game will answer a lot of questions about their defense as Georgia has one of the best offenses in the nation. Offensively, neither of these first two games will be easy for the Gamecocks.
After those two openers, their schedule opens up a bit, but they'll have a stretch of three straight road games in the middle of October. While none of those opponents are expected to be in the Top 25, it's never easy playing on the road that many times in a row. The good news for South Carolina is that they get both Florida and Clemson at home this year.
Both of those games could end up being pretty big, as well. The Gators destroyed the Gamecocks last year 44-11, but a much closer game should be expected this time around as long as South Carolina has their offense figured out. Clemson presents almost an opposite battle with quarterback Tajh Boyd and a less than average defense.
The possibility is there for another 11-win season for the Gamecocks as long as their offense can stay healthy and score consistently.
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