5 Reasons Why South Carolina Gamecocks Will Win SEC East

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5 Reasons Why South Carolina Gamecocks Will Win SEC East

5 Reasons Why South Carolina Gamecocks Will Win SEC East
Kim Klement - USATODAY Sports

Steve Spurrier has accomplished a great deal since becoming the head coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks, but a SEC Championship is something that has eluded him. The closest he came was in 2010 when South Carolina won a rather mediocre SEC East, only to run into Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton and the Auburn Tigers in the SEC Championship Game. In 2013, just like they do every year, Spurrier and the Gamecocks have their sights set on a return trip to the SEC title game and a conference championship.

Just like they have in years past, the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs are both standing in the way of South Carolina having a chance to play for the conference championship. Georgia has won the SEC East the last two seasons and could be considered the favorites to win it again this year, while the Gators are coming off a resurgent season in which they won 11 games and went to a BCS Bowl Game. The Gamecocks will have their work cut out for them if they’re going to win the East and earn a spot in the SEC title game.

Of course, there are plenty of reasons to think that South Carolina is also capable of competing for an SEC championship. Rarely are three teams so close in talent level and difficult to distinguish from one another, which means the East is anybody’s to win. Here are five reasons why South Carolina will be the team that wins the East and plays in the SEC championship game:

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5. They Have Georgia's Number

5. They Have Georgia's Number
Daniel Shirey - USATODAY Sports

The Gamecocks usually match up withs Georgia Bulldogs early in the season in a game that has had profound meaning in the SEC East race in recent years. South Carolina makes a trip to Athens in the second week of the season riding a three-game winning streak against the Bulldogs. The Gamecocks have gotten the best of Georgia recently, and they’ve really been a thorn at the side of quarterback Aaron Murray. This will be the toughest road game the Gamecocks have this season, and if they can continue their dominance over Georgia, they’ll be in the driver’s seat in the SEC East.

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4. They Spend November At Home

4. They Spend November At Home
Jeff Blake - USATODAY Sports

The Gamecocks will have three straight road games in October, all against mediocre teams they should beat, and then they’ll be able to spend the entire month of November at home, which could go a long way towards closing out the SEC East. Not only will South Carolina spend the last month of the season at home, but they’ll also have an extra week to prepare for their conference finale against the Florida Gators, a game that could be a de facto play-in game for the SEC championship game. Spending the entire month of November at home could be a huge advantage for the Gamecocks when it comes to winning the East.

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3. Dual Quarterback Situation

3. Dual Quarterback Situation
Kim Klement - USATODAY Sports

For most teams, having two quarterbacks is a problem, but South Carolina is going to make it a problem for other teams. Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson are both capable of being the full-time starter, but Steve Spurrier is going to use both of them, which will be dangerous for opponents because they have different skill sets and a creative offensive mastermind like Spurrier orchestrating the offense. Preparing for one of them is tough enough, but having a week to prepare to face both quarterbacks could prove to be a nightmare for SEC defenses. If anybody can make this situation work, it’s Spurrier, and he’s going to make two quarterbacks better than one and ride both of them to a division championship.

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2. SEC West Crossovers

2. SEC West Crossovers
Jeff Blake - USATODAY Sports

South Carolina’s two crossovers with the SEC West are a road game against the Arkansas Razorbacks and a home game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. With all due respect to those two teams, that’s as easy as it gets in the SEC West. Meanwhile, both Florida and Georgia will have to play the LSU Tigers. That scheduling advantage will go a long way toward putting the Gamecocks atop the SEC East at season’s end.

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1. Jadeveon Clowney

1. Jadeveon Clowney
Kim Klement - USATODAY Sports

Jadeveon Clowney is the biggest reason why the Gamecocks will win the SEC East this season. South Carolina lost some key defensive players from last year, but having Clowney can more than make up for some deficiencies elsewhere on the field. He’s capable of being an unstoppable force that can carry an entire defense on his back. Clowney is the biggest difference-maker in the country and he’s the biggest reason why you can expect South Carolina to win the SEC East this year and play in the conference title game.

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