Steele on South Carolina

Surprisingly, he’s a little down on the ‘Cocks, ranking them 23rd.  Honestly, it’s a little hard to see why, at least from a talent standpoint.  But I’m wondering if he sees SC’s 2011 season as a bit of an overachievement, based on a few items he mentions:

  • Garcia, in 2009, was the first and only of Spurrier’s South Carolina quarterbacks to start for an entire season.
  • Last year, South Carolina started out 7-1 and ranked #10 but hadn’t scored first in any of the 8 games.
  • Last season marked only the third time in 118 years that the Gamecocks recorded double-digit wins.

Add to that SC only returns 11 starters and you may have an explanation for his ranking.  If Lattimore’s healthy, I think Steele’s on the low side there.


Filed under Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

30 responses to “Steele on South Carolina

  1. ChicagoDawg

    Seems low to me also. Having said that, it is hard to imagine #21 picks up where he left off. That first year back from surgery seems to be a tough one — either physically or mentally. Also, despite the play of Clowney, which will only get more disruptive this season, I thought Ingram was the unblockable presence on their defense last year — especially in Athens.


  2. Andy

    I agree with Steele. A healthy Lattimore equals 8 or 9 wins. But I think too little is being made about the loss of Ellis Johnson, Gilmore, and Ingram on defense. Comparing them to UGA, Georgia has a much higher ceiling than SC this year, and should be the clear favorite in the East.


  3. Bubs

    SC will be good this year. I see them making a serious run at the East title, along with us and Florida. Currently I would put SC above us if I had my own rankings (and both teams would be in the 15-20 range).

    That game in Columbia in early October will be pivotal for us especially if we have stumbled early against Missouri or Tennessee. Right now I think we win both, but we have a track record of getting off to slow starts.

    SC doesn’t have a difficult early schedule. @Vandy and a home game against Missouri are their toughest tests before they get us in Columbia. Most likely they will go into our game undefeated, which will have them even more ready and excited to play us. Luckily for us our game begins a tough SEC stretch for them. UGA, @LSU, @UF, UTk, and ARK.

    SC is a talented team despite losing some guys to the draft. I expect this team, as it stands right now, to be one of the toughest we play all year.


    • Patrick

      Let’s not pretend that we’ve reached a point where SC can stroll into Nashville and get a win.
      Those programs are on similar historical footing, and Vandy is up right now.
      That game is a toss-up.


  4. Biggus Rickus

    I think their losses on defense are substantial and that Steele is right. Even with a completely healthy Lattimore, a questionable proposition, they would be lucky to repeat last year’s success.


  5. Cojones

    Steele may have also viewed our game with them the way we view it. We were the better team and gave them the game. They are down compared to last year and we are up. While one man, Clowney, can’t make the D tough by himself, I personally feel as if they have good players recruited and ready to jump in and help him. They always play nasty and close in score.

    When I read this in the last couple of days, it also jumped out that 23rd to Steele is about 11th to us.


  6. Mg4life0331

    They did lose one or more of those 9 ft wide outs also correct? Game plan seemed to be based on interior defense. Box loaded? Lob to the Giants. Defend the pass? Give to Lattimore. At first glance it may seem like Im over simplifying, but they had some dude under center named Garcia.


  7. The other Doug

    Shaw isn’t a good quarterback.


  8. OWO

    We havn’t had any luck against Spurrier since 2009, what my friends refer to as the “pre-Murray” era. Real good chance we lose that one, and at least the Florida game, we havn’t beat Florida consecutively in decades. So 10-2, and SC loses to LSU & Ark ro finish 10-2, but their win over us gives them the tiebreaker.


    • Bubs

      That’s about how I see it going for us right now. Losses to SC and UF (with a possible 3rd loss to Mizz or UTk). SC loses to LSU and either UF or ARK. Right now I would bet they lose to UF since it’s in the Swamp.


  9. Bounty, The Dawg Hunter

    Steele knows the state of Georgia has a lot more pontnetial magazine readers than the state of South Carolina. I’ve noticed Steele always ranks Georgia high, and I’ve come to not put any stock in his preseason rankings of Georgia, because it seems more based on magazine sales than anything else. He almost always overshoot son Georgia. I predict Steele will be the only major guy to place georgia top 5 preseason, and as usual, he’ll be wrong again on Georgia, as they’re just not a top 25 team.


  10. Signal Mountain Dawg

    UGA bottomed out in 2010 and were a bottom 3rd SEC team – but 2011 proved UGA was at the #5 SEC team – behind BAMA. LSU, ARK, USCe.
    UGA should be a little better in 2012 based on defense and stability and better depth at the RB position – whichs has been a liability the last few years. Four wildcards regarding UGA:

    1. QB position – Murray has not performed against great competition and he just gets too excited for his own good and forces the issue.

    2. Yet again – the OL has questions.

    3. Coaching – details. Anyone notice that Boise punted away from our returners to prevent momentum and potential big plays. Yet. UGA punted deep to LSU – which resulted in a touchdown and a long return setting up another – changing the momentum of the game. Anyone notice how UGA started to play not to lose against Michigan State ……. Coaching.


    • Governor Milledge

      Really, 5th best SEC team, behind USCe?


      • Uglydawg

        I think Georgia was better than Arkansas…and lost to a lesser SC in a fluke. Georgia was the third best SEC team at the end of last year.


        • Macallanlover

          Yep. Arky was overrated by the national media, SC was definitely a fluke game……and the honest SC fans admit that. Spurrier did, but has now retreated to pump up the volume for 2012. Illusion used to work for him with UGA, he thought he would try another distraction.


  11. FRED

    With Lattermore i see them 15


  12. Slaw Dawg

    Steele’s ranking seems about right to me. He’s had a good track record with the SEC East, despite what some others here are saying. S Car could win the East and still wind up ranked @ 20th. East overall won’t be much stronger than last year.

    We’ll all be a lot smarter come late August, but I’m personally feeling more and more confident that UGA will win the East. I do think So Car is our biggest roadblock and it’s certainly no gimme. Mizzou will be tough, and you never know what’ll happen with AU. But, personally, I’m not too worried about the UF game, which is first time I’ve said that in more than 20 years, nor about UT–that’s a program disintegrating before our eyes. Vandy will not catch us napping this year, and UK and Ole Miss will be godawful. So, yeah, UGA v So Car is likely to decide the thing.


  13. DRebels

    Phil Steele was way off last year form consenses on Georgia. I think Phil had Georgia at No. 9, while concensus had Geoprgia at 19, where they ended up. No one really takes this guy seriously on his Georgia preseason picks. It’s all about poushing his magazine product, and Georgia is one of the biggest followings. it’s just business.


  14. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Steele’s right. The Dicks…er…Cocks have to play UGA, LSU, Florida (who is going to be better than expected) and UT (who is also going to be better than expected) in 4 consecutive weeks, then an off week, then Arkansas. I see at least 3 losses coming out of that group. I’ll be pulling big-time for the ‘Dores in Nashville for USCe’s first game and the ‘Dores have a real shot at winning that game IMHO.


  15. Juicer

    Did Steele mention that:
    1) Georgia never has a back that plays an entire season
    2) Last year, Georgia went 10-0 vs. unranked teams, but 0-4 vs. ranked teams
    3) Mark Richt has always won less games the next season, after finishing 1st in the SEC East, all 4 times, so you’re looking at 8, maybe 9 wins
    4) Georgia will have an offensive line among the least experienced in the NCAA, such teams rarely win 10 games
    5) South Carolina is 2-0 vs. Georgia since Grantham started coaching, he has no problem running on a 3 man defensive line
    6) South Carolina’s defensive line will be the best in the NCAA
    7) Lattimore is better than Crowell, Shaw better than Murray