What’s not to love about supreme optimism?

It’s the best time of the year for college football fans, especially those favoring the SEC. Dreams of a national championship aren’t yet crushed and homers abound can all take a stab at guessing wins and losses on their respective team’s schedule.

‘Best Case Scenario’ Series


2013 record: 11-2, 6-2
2014 best case: 12-2, 7-1
Closer look: Projecting an unbeaten, national championship season is a bit too best case for South Carolina, a program still in the hunt for its first SEC Championship and first division title in four years. The Gamecocks are as talented as any conference elite, but replacing their all-time winningest quarterback, a No. 1 draft pick and leading receiver has to account for at least one road loss. If everything goes right and Dylan Thompson’s the quarterback South Carolina’s fanbase and his coaching staff is expecting him to be, South Carolina should win the East, but then fall to the Western Division champ in Atlanta. A bowl victory would then give the Gamecocks their program-record 12th win.
Silver lining: We’ve mentioned how underrated South Carolina will be on defense despite heavy personnel losses in the secondary, which could be a huge factor in road games at Auburn and Florida. The Gamecocks haven’t beaten the Tigers since 1933 and have only won in Gainesville once, but this year’s team arguably has more depth up front than the 2010 Eastern Division champion squad. Mike Davis is one of SEC’s most explosive weapons and if utilized properly behind the program’s best offensive line, South Carolina could be playing for a spot in the first College Football Playoff if all goes according to plan.