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South Carolina Cracks Top 25

Gamecocks breathing football’s rarified air once again … but for how long?

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The University of South Carolina football team is back in the national rankings … although it could wind up being a very short stay.

Head coach Will Muschamp’s Gamecocks (1-0, 0-0 SEC) are ranked No. 24 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and Amway coaches’ poll this week on the heels of their 49-15 win over Coastal Carolina on Saturday.  Of course the ranking wasn’t so much about what South Carolina did last week, it was about what several teams ahead of them in the preseason polls didn’t do – win.

Texas and Florida State both fell from the rankings after season-opening losses, clearing a path for the Gamecocks and the previously unranked Florida Gators.

The problem?  South Carolina hosts No. 3 Georgia next week – with last year’s national championship runners-up having been installed as 10.5-point favorites on the road.  Even a close loss at home would likely bounce the Gamecocks from the polls … for the time being, anyway.

Muschamp has also poked the bear, errr … Bulldog … criticizing Georgia for its failure to provide his staff with an updated team depth chart heading into this Saturday’s SEC East bellwether battle.

“Maybe Claude Felton’s slipping, I don’t know,” Muschamp said, referring jokingly to the school’s legendary sports information director.

Muschamp was a walk-on at Georgia – where he played safety from 1991 through 1994.

(Click to view)

(Via Travis Bell Photography)

South Carolina was ranked among the nation’s top 25 teams for a school-record 69 consecutive polls between September 2010 through September 2014 under former head coach Steve Spurrier.  After a 21-20 loss to Missouri on September 27, 2014, the team was bounced from the Top 25 – and didn’t return until last November when the College Football Playoff (CFP) poll ranked South Carolina No. 24 just prior to its annual showdown against arch-rival Clemson.

They lost that game – and were bounced from the CFP the following week.

Will this stay be similarly short?  We will find out beginning at 3:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, when the Bulldogs roll into Williams-Brice Stadium.  CBS Sports is televising the game nationally with Brad Nessler on play-by-play, Gary Danielson providing color and Jamie Erdahl working the sidelines.

While Gamecock fans get their first taste of the national limelight this season, Clemson continues to roll in the polls …

The Tigers (1-0, 0-0 ACC) remained at No. 2 in the rankings following their 48-7 pounding of the Furman Paladins.  Head coach Dabo Swinney’s squad received 12 first place votes from sports writers in the week one rankings, down from the 18 votes it earned in the preseason poll.  The team received three first-place votes from the coaches – same as the preseason poll.

Clemson travels to College Station on Saturday for a showdown against the Texas A&M Aggies (1-0, 0-0 SEC).  Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. EDT with ESPN providing national coverage (Rece Davis on play-by-play, Kirk Herbstreit providing color and Maria Taylor working the sidelines).

In the meantime, here are this week’s rankings …


1. Alabama (48) 1-0, 1511
2. Clemson (12) 1-0, 1467 
3. Georgia 1-0, 1350
4. Ohio State 1-0, 1262
5. Wisconsin (1) 1-0, 1258
6. Oklahoma 1-0, 1251
7. Auburn 1-0, 1236
8. Notre Dame 1-0, 1080
9. Washington 0-1, 870
10. Stanford 1-0, 865
11. LSU 1-0, 801
12. Virginia Tech 1-0, 777
13. Penn State 1-0, 768
14. West Virginia 1-0, 762
15. Michigan State 1-0, 684
16. TCU 1-0, 632
17. USC 1-0, 628
18. Mississippi State 1-0, 538
19. UCF 1-0, 407
20. Boise State 1-0, 391
21. Michigan 0-1, 318
22. Miami 0-1, 241
23. Oregon 1-0, 217
24. South Carolina 1-0, 125
25. Florida 1-0, 89

Dropped from rankings: Florida State 19, Texas 23

Others receiving votes: Utah 71, Oklahoma State 62, Boston College 31, Texas A&M 29, Northwestern 28, Maryland 12, Ole Miss 11, NC State 9, Florida State 8, Houston 6, Memphis 6, Washington State 6, Iowa State 4, Hawai’i 3, BYU 3, Iowa 3, Kansas State 3, Fresno State 1, Arkansas State 1.

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1. Alabama (59) 1-0, 1571
2. Clemson (3) 1-0, 1498 
3. Georgia 1-0, 1414
4. Ohio State (1) 1-0, 1398
5. Oklahoma 1-0, 1312
6. Wisconsin 1-0 ,1249
7. Auburn 1-0, 1219
8. Notre Dame 1-0, 1077
9. Stanford 1-0, 909
10. Penn State 1-0, 893
11. Washington 0-1, 800
12. USC 1-0, 766
13. Michigan State 1-0, 733
14. Virginia Tech 1-0, 730
15. LSU 1-0, 724
16. TCU 1-0, 699
17. West Virginia 1-0, 612
18. Mississippi State 1-0, 531
19. Boise State 1-0, 362
20. UCF 1-0, 339
21. Miami 0-1, 277
22. Michigan 0-1, 227
23. Oklahoma State 1-0, 225
24. South Carolina 1-0, 189 
25. Florida 1-0, 138

Dropped from rankings: Florida State 19, Texas 21

Others receiving votes: Oregon 136, Northwestern 87, Texas A&M 84, Utah 70, Florida State 46, Memphis 27, Boston College 21, Kentucky 13, Washington State 11, Duke 9, NC State 9, South Florida 9, Appalachian State 9, Iowa 9, Fresno State 7, Arkansas 6, Iowa State 6, Arkansas State 5, Kansas State 4, Hawai’i 4, Houston 4, Cincinnati 3, Maryland 2, San Diego State 1, Georgia Tech 1.

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