South Carolina Gamecocks Odds to win the College Football National Championship with Expert Betting Predictions
Will Muschamp is in his third year at South Carolina. Back when he was an assistant at Texas, he was viewed as a rising genius. Well, he's running out of chances to prove it. He flamed out badly at Florida, and while he won nine games last year there wasn't a particularly impressive one among them. Michigan was the closest, but they played that bowl game without a QB or an offense. Muschamp needs to have a good year this year or he could be out, and he'll have to get used to being a DC again - for a very long time.
2017 in a Nutshell
They beat NC State and Missouri to start the year but then lost at home to Kentucky, which is just horrible. They beat Louisiana Tech but then lost at a Texas A&M team that was a mess and was hurtling towards a coaching change. They beat Arkansas, Tennessee and Vandy - all three teams with serious issues. They predictably lost at Georgia, beat Florida and Wofford, but then got crushed by Clemson to wrap up the season. That 8-4 mark got them into the Outback Bowl despite the lack of quality wins, and they beat a Michigan team that had no interest in being there. A record of 9-4 is a decent enough record for a team like South Carolina, but this was not a good 9-4 record.
Key Additions and Departures
Jake Bentley is back for a third year as starting quarterback. He has been very good already and should be in for his best year yet. He has a lot to work with. His top four running backs are back, and they have added a nice freshman in Deshaun Fenwick. The top four receivers are back as well, and they have some options behind them. Tight end Hayden Hurst was the only player drafted from the school after leaving a year early, but senior K.C. Crosby has been productive in the past and can be again. And they have five guys with experience on the offensive line. Depth could be a concern in areas, but if they can stay healthy they have some nice pieces on offense.
They return several experienced players on the defensive line, and while they could always use more depth - most teams outside of Clemson or Michigan could up front - they should be okay. Linebacker Skai Moore was the top tackler last year, and he's gone. But they have enough talent and experience to replace him without too much of a loss. Corner is a concern with a lack of depth behind two seniors who have played plenty. They are hoping that a couple of transfers - J.T. Ibe was a three-year starter at Rice, and Nick Harvey started at Texas A&M in 2016 before sitting out last year - can step in and be productive at safety, because both starters are gone and established options are in short supply.
The only coaching change of note was the loss of offensive coordinator Kurt Roper, who was fired after the regular season. Bryan McClendon had been wide receiver coach and takes over as full-time coordinator.
Biggest Area of Concern
The secondary is not deep or experienced, and there are some legitimate concerns about it. If they are vulnerable back there then they will have some troubles because there are some solid quarterbacks in the SEC right now.
South Carolina Gamecocks Schedule Analysis
Coastal Carolina is an easy start, but then Georgia is an absolutely brutal matchup in the second game. The next nine games are some version of manageable - Missouri could be tough, and Texas A&M and Florida have some talent if the coaching changes don't impact them too much, but there aren't any nearly certain losses until they play at Clemson to close out the season. There are two definite losses, but all in all the schedule could be worse. Much worse.
2018-19 South Carolina Gamecocks Betting Odds and Trends
South Carolina sits at +20000 to win the national title at Bovada , which pretty much puts them in the realm of no-hopers. They are the third choice to win the SEC East at +750 but just the eighth choice to win the conference at +3300. The season win total sits at just seven, with the "over" quite solidly favored.
2018-19 South Carolina Gamecocks Predictions and College Football Picks
The offense is experienced and should be improved, but Muschamp has not been great at having productive offenses. And the defense has some questions to answer. The floor feels like five wins, with a ceiling around eight. I don't see a lot of reason to have faith in this team. There are those who are optimistic about this team this year, but I am clearly and strongly not one of them.
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