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Steve Spurrier has accomplished at South Carolina what no other coach has been able to do, and that is make the Gamecocks relevant in the SEC. South Carolina won the Eastern division in 2010 and finished second in 2011 despite going undefeated against Eastern division teams.
The Gamecocks don’t lose a lot of players next season, but the ones they do lose are crucial. For example, they only graduate two off the offense. However, it is a forgone conclusion to Alshon Jeffery will declare for the NFL draft. If he does as expected, this will be a huge loss for the Gamecocks.
He is the only receiver that can command a double team. As a result, that means that there is one more man in the box to stop Lattimore.
On defense, it is much the same. They Gamecocks only lose four starters, but one of those is Melvin Ingram, who should be an All-American this season. This defense should still be solid and will keep them in ball games, but losing a play maker like Ingram will hurt.
In my opinion, Tennessee and South Carolina are a push. The difference is Steve Spurrier. However, with South Carolina having to go to Georgia so early in the season and Lattimore fresh off an injury, the Gamecocks will not be able to leap the Bulldogs.