Carolina One of Eight SEC Teams Ranked to Open Season
COLUMBIA, SC August 17, 2014 – The University of South Carolina football team enters the 2014 season ranked ninth in the Associated Press preseason poll, released today. The Gamecocks were also ranked ninth in the preseason USA Today Coaches poll, released earlier this month. Carolina finished the 2013 season ranked fourth in both major polls.
The Gamecocks, coming off three straight 11-2 campaigns, received 1,015 points to place ninth. Florida State garnered 57 of the 60 first place votes and sits atop the poll with 1,496 points, just ahead of Alabama (1,361), Oregon (1,334) and Oklahoma (1,324), all of which received one first place vote. Ohio State (1,207) rounds out the top 5.
Auburn (1,198), UCLA (1,106), Michigan State (1,080) are ranked sixth thru eighth, just ahead of the Gamecocks, with Baylor (966) rounding out the top 10.
The Gamecocks are slated to play five teams that open the season in the top 25 including Auburn (6), Georgia (12), Clemson (16), Texas A&M (21) and Missouri (24).
This marks the 65th-consecutive poll in which the Gamecocks have been ranked among the nation’s top-25, extending their school record. They are tied with Stanford for the fifth-longest current streak in the country, trailing only Alabama (99), LSU (82), Oregon (78) and Oklahoma (66).
This marks the first time in school history that the Gamecocks have been ranked in the AP preseason top 25 (or top 12) in four straight seasons. Only five schools – Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, South Carolina and LSU – have been in preseason AP Top 12 each of last four years.
Carolina has improved its AP pre-season poll finish in the final rankings in each of last four years:
2013 – Preseason 6 / Final 4
2012 – Preseason 9 / Final 8
2011 – Preseason 12 / Final 9
2010 – Preseason 29 / Final 22
The Gamecocks will put their 18-game home winning streak, the nation’s longest, on the line when they open the 2014 season against Texas A&M on Thursday, August 28. Game time is set for 6 p.m. ET at Williams-Brice Stadium. The game will be the first football game shown on the SEC Network.