South Carolina, Clemson in top 10 of pre-season poll

There is no surprise at the top of the pre-season Coaches Poll. Defending BCS national champion Alabama racked up 58 of 62 first place votes.

COLUMBIA (WACH) - South Carolina and Clemson are both ranked in the top-10 of the preseason USA Today Coaches poll released Thursday.

The Gamecocks are ranked No. 7, the team's highest preseason ranking in program history, improving on last year's No. 9 preseason ranking.

The Gamecocks are one of five SEC teams in the preseason top-10. Top-ranked Alabama, Georgia and Texas A&M are ahead of South Carolina with Florida settling in at No. 10.

South Carolina finished the 2012 season with an 11-2 record for the second-straight year. They were ranked seventh in the final Coaches poll which was the highest finish in program history.

The Gamecocks open fall practice on Friday, August 2, at 7:15 p.m at the Bluff Road Proving Grounds. The workout is open to the public.

Meanwhile, Clemson is the highest-ranked ACC team in the preseason poll.

This is the eighth time Clemson has been ranked in the top 10 of at least one preseason poll. It is Clemson's highest preaseason ranking since 1988 when the Tigers were ranked fourth in both the preseason Associated Press and Coaches polls.

The release of Thursday's poll marks the 30th consecutive poll Clemson has been ranked in the top 25. The streak dates to early in the 2011 season and is the third longest streak in Clemson history.

The Tigers are also a preseason pick to win the ACC Championship.

Clemson opens fall practice on Friday. They are set to open the season fifth-ranked Georgia at Death Valley. Georgia is the highest- ranked team Clemson has faced in a season opener in 50 years. The Tigers played at fourth-ranked Oklahoma in 1963.

1 Alabama

2 Ohio St.

3 Oregon

4 Stanford

5 Georgia

6 Texas A&M

7 South Carolina

8 Clemson

9 Louisville

10 Florida

11 Notre Dame

12 Florida St.

13 LSU

14 Oklahoma St.

15 Texas

16 Oklahoma

17 Michigan

18 Nebraska

19 Boise St.

20 TCU


22 Northwestern

23 Wisconsin

24 USC

25 Oregon St.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)