Gamecocks 9th, Tigers 14th in preseason coaches poll

South Carolina is ranked No. 9 and Clemson came in at No. 14 in the college football preseason coaches poll.

The preseason USA Today Coaches poll was released Thursday with LSU narrowly edging Alabama and Southern Cal at No. 1.

LSU received 1,403 total points, ahead of Alabama (1,399), which won the 2011 national championship with a victory over the Tigers in the BCS national championship game.

Southern Cal went 10-2 last season but wasn’t eligible for postseason play. The Trojans are packed with skill-position talent, headlined by quarterback Matt Barkley and wide receiver Robert Woods, and had a total of 1,388 points in Thursday’s poll, well ahead of No. 4 Oklahoma and fifth-ranked Oregon.

Georgia (6), South Carolina (9) and Arkansas (10) give SEC five teams in the top 10. The Bulldogs were picked to beat out the Gamecocks for first place in the SEC East at last month’s SEC Media Days. Other SEC squads making the list are Florida (23) and Auburn (25).

Florida State was ranked No. 7, the only ACC squad ranked ahead of Clemson. The Seminoles and Tigers were picked to finish 1-2 in their division at last month’s ACC Football Kickoff. No. 20 Virginia Tech is the only other ACC squad in the poll.

No. 8 Michigan begins the season Sept. 1 against Alabama at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Big Ten brethren, Wisconsin and Michigan State, are ranked No. 12 and 13.

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