USC football predicted as title threat

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) - One of the foremost authorities on football forecasting says South Carolina is a national title contender.

Phil Steele's 2013 Top 40 Countdown lists the Gamecocks at No. 14, but predicts they will only be an underdog in one game this season during week two when the team travels to Georgia. South Carolina has beaten the Bulldogs for three straight seasons.

Steele calls the Gamecocks "a legitimate national title contender" that has two capable quarterbacks who should help South Carolina top 300 yards passing per game for the first time under coach Steve Spurrier.

When the official preseason polls are released, South Carolina will be ranked for the 48th consecutive week, which will be the longest streak for the football program.

The Gamecocks open the 2013 season August 29 when they host North Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium.