The Associated Press dropped its preseason top 25 on Monday, and both Clemson and South Carolina were included in some capacity.
Clemson came in at No. 4 in the poll, while USC was unranked but did receive two overall “points.” With the poll’s methodology, that means South Carolina was voted No. 24 by one voter — or No. 25 by two voters. It’s the first time since 2019 that USC has received any votes in the poll, though the Gamecocks haven’t been ranked since the 2018 season.
The Tigers are coming off a 10-3 campaign, but will be replacing both of its coordinators following the departures of Tony Elliott (Virginia) and Brent Venables (Oklahoma). Clemson was previously ranked No. 5 in CBSSports’ preseason poll that came out on Aug. 2.
South Carolina enters its second season under Shane Beamer after recording a surprising 7-6 season, including a win over North Carolina in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. The Gamecocks added former Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler, among others, to an offense that’s undergone an overhaul this offseason.
USC was picked to finish fifth in the SEC East by voters at the league’s media days in July behind Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Florida.
South Carolina’s 2022 schedule includes five teams that were listed in the AP’s preseason poll — Clemson, Georgia, Texas A&M, Kentucky and Arkansas.
Beamer’s squad also received fewer points than fellow SEC members Tennessee (180), LSU (55), Mississippi State (15), Auburn (12) and Florida (14).
Note: The State’s Ben Portnoy is a voter for the Associated Press Top 25.