These top-25 team previews also appear in the college football preview issue of ESPN The Magazine. They will be released five per day this week on ESPN Insider.
Team capsules are written by Travis Haney and Mark Schlabach, kick-starter player sections by KC Joyner and Football Outsiders season win projections by Brian Fremeau.
Last season: 11-2 (6-2 SEC East)
OLD COACH, NEW TRICKS
It took just two years for Steve Spurrier and his Fun 'n Gun offense to win an SEC title at Florida, in 1991. And while it's taking a bit longer in Columbia -- seven seasons so far -- the head ball coach now has the Gamecocks looking like contenders. And he's doing it with defense. Coming off USC's first 11-win season, Spurrier is counting on sophomore DE Jadeveon Clowney (8 sacks) and senior FS D.J. Swearinger (80 tackles, 3 INTs) to keep up the pressure on a unit that ranked third in the FBS (267.7 ypg). In current SEC fashion, Spurrier will lean on a running back, junior Marcus Lattimore, who's reportedly 100 percent after an ACL tear last October. If he approaches his true-frosh season (1,197 yards, 17 TDs), the Cocks will gun for the SEC big boys in December.