2013 SEC East Champions

   Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

Predicting the outcome of an entire football season is like predicting the weather six months from now. There is just no certainty, but it is always fun to talk about, what could be?

With the Carolina schedule being more favorable this season from past years, there is no reason not to believe that the Gamecocks have a legitimate chance to play in the Georgia Dome come December 7th. The only real challenge the Gamecocks will face on the road this season will be the Sept. 7th matchup against the Georgia Bulldogs. Carolina has beaten the Bulldogs the past three years, but in 2013 this game will probably be a more contested matchup compared to last year’s 35-7 domination of the Bulldogs. Traveling to Knoxville may present a challenge as well, but the Vols lose gun slinger Tyler Bray and Justin Worley will be under center this year. Worley has shown glimpses of greatness while on the field and with a constantly improving defense this game could be just as close as last season’s contest, but the Gamecocks should prevail. Overall the schedule sets up very nicely for South Carolina, but it is the SEC and you have to come to play every single weekend.

The Gamecocks have 6 returning starters on offense and 5 on defense. The losses of the always exciting Ace Sanders and Marcus Lattimore to the NFL may have the biggest impact on offense along with T.J. Johnson at center, who holds the career all-time start record at 53. Even with key pieces missing, the offense still possesses plenty of fire power. With Thompson/Shaw under center, a stout backfield and an impressive looking bunch of guys on the offensive line there is no doubt the offensive has the ability to put up points. The question who will step up at WR other than Bruce Ellington?

On the defensive side the Gamecocks are basically rebuilding at the linebacker positions but have plenty of talented guys such as Sharrod Golightly, Jordan Diggs, T.J. Holloman and a few incoming freshman who will be more than capable of filling the void. It really will come down to who performs the best at the beginning of the season, as there could be some shuffling the first few games. D.J. Swearinger and DeVonte Holloman have both moved on to the NFL and their presence alone will be dearly missed but the secondary will have plenty of playing experience returning and the group will have to be asked to step up as a whole. The defense will be once again one of the top units in the country and in the SEC that’s were Championships begin.

The Gamecocks will be a top 10 program entering the season and can easily finish inside the top ten and possibly the top 5 after it is all said and done. The icing on the cake of course will be playing in Atlanta on Dec. 7th and potentially playing for the last BCS Championship title before transitioning to the playoff system. We can only imagine what could and can be.

Ryan Hood
Twitter: @BCB_Ryan89
Email: ryan@blockcblog.com