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South Carolina Gamecocks Betting - South Carolina Gamecocks 2011 College Football Preview

Posted by Blake Frazier on 7/27/2011 10:40:06 AM
south carolina gamecocks betting

In the past, it was all too easy for MLB baseball betting gurus to reflexively say that the South Carolina Gamecocks football team would not win the SEC East Division. People who knew very little, if anything, about college football could say that the Gamecocks would not be able to fight their way past Tennessee, Florida and Georgia in college football’s most cutthroat conference.

Now, as sports betting experts know all too well, the landscape has substantially changed in the region where college football is king. South Carolina, as the defending SEC East champion, has a very good chance of maintaining its hold on the SEC’s weaker division.

While the quarterback position will always be front and center in a Steve Spurrier-coached offense, there’s no denying who the go-to guy is in Columbia. Marcus Lattimore was as highly touted a prospect as Spurrier had ever lured to South Carolina, and he delivered the goods in 2010. Lattimore rushed for just under 1,200 yards with 20 touchdowns on his way to being named SEC freshman of the year. 

Spurrier has an array of weapons at receiver as well. Alshon Jeffery returns for his junior season and is easily the best returning receiver in the SEC. Alongside him are fleet-footed flankers D.L. Moore and Ace Sanders. Even with the questions lingering over Garcia and his composure, Connor Shaw has played some over the past two seasons. If Garcia runs afoul of the rules again, Shaw will have a boatload of talent around him to ease his potential insertion into the lineup. It also helps that the Gamecocks return four of five offensive linemen and had some freshman offensive linemen enroll early so that they could participate in spring practice. There’s depth and talent everywhere on offense for the Gamecocks.

Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson has quietly built a reputation as one of the better defensive coordinators in college football. This season he’ll field seven returning starters and inject some of the most talented freshmen in the country into an already stout defense. Up front, South Carolina returns All-SEC end Devin Taylor and starter Travian Robertson. Those returning players are nice, but the man most observers want to hear about is ballyhooed prospect Jadeveon Clowney. At 6-6 and 250 pounds, his highlight tapes have become the stuff of legend. He was the consensus number one player in America and is expected to be an impact player right away. If Clowney lives up to his billing, the Gamecocks will be formidable up front. If not, they should still be sound in the front seven with linebackers Rodney Paulk, DeVonte Holloman, and Shaq Wilson all back for more action in 2011.

The secondary is every bit as loaded as the front seven - three of four starters return along with a number of seasoned backups. Corners Stephon Gilmore and Akeem Auguste form as good a tandem as there is in the SEC. Strong safety D.J. Swearinger is a ferocious hitter, and Jimmy Legree will take over at free safety. It would not surprise many for freshman Sheldon Royster to step in and see the field at safety as well. Regardless of how the depth chart works out, the Gamecocks have an experienced group returning, a group that will only be helped by the addition of talented freshmen.

The 2011 schedule will certainly challenge Spurrier and his crew. After opening on a neutral field against East Carolina, the Gamecocks must travel to Athens and face a desperate Georgia team in the game that is likely to be the tonesetter for the SEC East season. October is only slightly better, ending with trips to Mississippi State’s home stadium and Tennessee’s own lair in consecutive weeks. November features a trip to improved Arkansas (which whipped South Carolina last year) before hosting Florida and rival Clemson to end the season. If everything goes smoothly, South Carolina should make a return trip to Atlanta to contend for an SEC title. A wise sports bet will put the South Carolina-Georgia winner in the SEC Championship Game. Take Carolina to win that game.

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