#SECMD16 wrapped up with the media picking the Gamecocks to finish last in the SEC East. Touts like @MrCFB had strong opinions:
I’ve been there. I’ve been to Columbia. I’ve looked at their talent. Their talent is incredibly thin.
The Paul Finebaum Show at 13:20 Barnhart, one of the more respected touts in the southeast, followed that with a negative tweet.
Barnhart had a strong opinion. However, the 247 Composite recruiting rankings for the past several years indicate that the Gamecocks’ talent may be significantly higher than Barnhart opines:
These national recruiting rankings show that the Gamecocks recruited top 25 talent consistently over the past five years. A football roster, if filled with dedicated players who are in condition and who execute together as a team, could easily compete in the SEC East. It is not as if the SEC East is filled with juggernauts. In fact, the level of competition in the SEC East may only be slightly better than that in most of the other Power 5 Divisions
In 2015, the Gamecocks lost to the SEC media’s projected SEC East champion, Tennessee, by just three points in Knoxville. They get the Vols at home this year. Isn’t it is possible that improved coaching on the defensive side of the football, together with a conditioned, determined, smart team, could overcome a three-point difference between the teams?