Sports

USA Today/ Coaches’ Poll Ranks Gamecocks No. 9

CLEMSON RANKED NO. 16 IN PRESEASON TALLY The University of South Carolina football team enters the 2014 season ranked No. 9 in the nation, according to the coaches.  Meanwhile the Gamecocks season-opening opponent – the Texas A&M Aggies – are ranked No. 20 despite losing their top three offensive players…

CLEMSON RANKED NO. 16 IN PRESEASON TALLY

The University of South Carolina football team enters the 2014 season ranked No. 9 in the nation, according to the coaches.  Meanwhile the Gamecocks season-opening opponent – the Texas A&M Aggies – are ranked No. 20 despite losing their top three offensive players to the National Football League.

The USA Today/ Coaches poll – released this week – has defending national champion Florida State ranked No. 1, followed by SEC powerhouse Alabama, Oklahoma, Oregon, Auburn, Ohio State, UCLA and Michigan State.

The Seminoles – who went undefeated last year – are led by defending Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, a redshirt sophomore.

“We’re very excited about being No. 1 and happy to be No. 1, but we understand that we have to play like No. 1 and play great football,” FSU coach Jimbo Fisher told USA Today . “That’s going to be our objective. We’re proud to start there and now we just have to go play great football.”

Florida State received 56 of 62 first place votes in the poll.  Oklahoma got three first place votes, while Oregon, Ohio State and South Carolina received one first place vote apiece.  The SEC – which saw its string of six straight national championships snapped last season – has seven teams including in the poll, all of them in the Top 20 (including five in the top fifteen).

Clemson – which is coming off an Orange Bowl victory over the sixth-ranked Buckeyes – is ranked No. 16 in the poll.  Head coach Dabo Swinney’s Tigers (0-0, 0-0 ACC) play the top-ranked Seminoles in Tallahassee on September 20.

Head coach Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks (0-0, 0-0 SEC) are coming off their third straight 11-win season and a school-best No. 4 final ranking – their third consecutive Top Ten finish.

Both USC and Clemson have key losses, though, with the Tigers’ losing starting quarterback Tajh Boyd and the Gamecocks losing starting quarterback Connor Shaw as well as No. 1 overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney, the best defensive player in school history.  South Carolina kicks off its fall practice schedule at 7:15 p.m. EDT on Friday, August 1.   Its season opener against the No. 20 Aggies is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. EDT on Thursday, August 28 – the first game ever to be televised on the new SEC Network.

Speaking of new beginnings, this season marks the end of the controversial Bowl Championship Series and the institution of a four-team playoff.  The 2014 national championship will be decided on January 12, 2015 at AT&T Stadium.

Here are the complete rankings …

usa today

1. Florida State 14-0 1543 (56)
2. Alabama 11-2 1455
3. Oklahoma 11-2 1382 (3)
4. Oregon 11-2 1314 (1)
5. Auburn 12-2 1271
6. Ohio State 12-2 1267 (1)
7. UCLA 10-3 1085
8. Michigan State 13-1 1050
9. South Carolina 11-2 1009 (1)
10. Baylor 11-2 965
11. Stanford 11-3 955
12. Georgia 8-5 905
13. LSU 10-3 833
14. Wisconsin 9-4 654
15. Southern Cal 10-4 627
16. Clemson 11-2 535 
17. Notre Dame 9-4 509
18. Arizona State 10-4 358
19. Mississippi 8-5 346
20. Texas A&M 9-4 266
21. Kansas State 8-5 257
22. Nebraska 9-4 228
23. North Carolina 7-6 175
24. Texas 8-5 143
25. Washington 9-4 142

Pic: Travis Bell Photography

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15 comments

shifty henry July 31, 2014 at 3:32 pm

South Carolina – Clemson – Alabama – Auburn…. the only teams I follow and all ranked purty’ gud’ — heeeyaaah..!!

Reply
shifty henry July 31, 2014 at 4:50 pm

Prospective cheerleaders for Clemson are given oral quizzes to test their IQs. One girl was asked, “What do you think of the Middle East?” She answered, “I like Ohio!”

Q: What did the Clemson cheerleader’s left leg say to her
right?
A: As if they’ve ever met!

Q: Did you hear about the Clemson cheerleader with
a PhD inPsychology?
A: She’ll blow your mind, too.

Reply
VoiceofReason August 1, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Check the admission, ranking and quality standards you moron!!!

Reply
shifty henry August 1, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Yeah, you have a point there so I’ll put a hold on needling Clemson. And no more cheerleader jokes because all the other ones I know are spicy, crude, and sexual.

Reply
Oh yeah July 31, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Ah, just a few more weeks and Saturdays take on a whole new meaning.

Reply
Omaha July 31, 2014 at 4:10 pm

And the typical bashing of the Gamecocks just because they have nothing better to do from LSU, Squishy123 (who both claim to be different people but really aren’t), and Norma Scok, in 3,2,1

Reply
Squishy123 July 31, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Hello.

What’s to say, preseason polls aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. They’re like a kids Christmas wish list, there’s a lot on there but may not be what you get under the tree Christmas Day. Get back to me at mid-season and we’ll talk.

BTW – If I had to vote, I wouldn’t disagree with the results as shown.

So now I’m LSU?

Reply
TontoBubbaGoldstein July 31, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Ohio State : Massively overrated.

One of life’s few constants.

Reply
spurrier is senile July 31, 2014 at 7:50 pm

You are just jealous USC has to play on ESPN 2 on Saturday nights while the Buckeyes are “primetime”.
Get over it.

Reply
not so fast July 31, 2014 at 8:26 pm

The Gamecocks have beaten the “primetime” Buckeyes the last 2 times they played. Not to mention they couldn’t even beat a team USC waxed just last year. You seem to be the jealous one.

Reply
TontoBubbaGoldstein July 31, 2014 at 9:39 pm

You are just jealous USC has to play on ESPN 2 on Saturday nights while the Buckeyes are “primetime”.

Negative, Ghostrider.
TBG is a Clemson alum and does not give a rat’s ass about Sakerlina and Ohio State’s respective TV schedules.

Reply
Mike at the Beach August 1, 2014 at 12:15 am

We like you anyway… ;-)

Reply
Bible Thumper July 31, 2014 at 10:18 pm

Yes, Florida State should be first. Nobody else should be ranked higher than sixth.

Reply
RogueElephant July 31, 2014 at 10:26 pm

Oh, my bad. I thought that was one notch above # f—— 10. My VC is coming out. LOL

Reply
Slartibartfast July 31, 2014 at 11:41 pm

You know, I really wish the Coaches Poll would just shut up. It’s bad enough that I have to change from DirecTV to God-Awful Charter, just to get SEC TV, but suffering under somebody else’s idea of Carolina just makes it harder for me to watch. It’s not like I don’t want to believe.

Reply

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