Head Coach Steve Spurrier says the magazines have his Gamecocks ranked between ninth and eleventh in the country.
Spurrier says he thinks his team can live up to those rankings.
The Gamecocks lost Jadeveon Clowney to the Houston Texans as the first pick of the NFL Draft. They also begin the season without Bruce Ellington and quarterback Connor Shaw.
Fifth year senior Dylan Thompson is set to replace Shaw under center.
"We really believe he's a very good player, has a chance to lead us to a big season, has a chance. He's a fifth-year player. He's been to all the games. He's a 3-0 starter. He's the only quarterback in the nation to beat UCF. He's obviously played, he's a good player, ready to go. " Spurrier said.
Thompson says he's ready to take on the starting job.
"I don't think there will be any pressure as a team leader. Being a leader is fun for me; not just in football but in life. Being a leader is caring about people, and that's what I try to do with our team. "
Even though the Gamecocks lose big talents in Clowney, Ellington and Shaw, most of the offense is returning. The offensive line has had three years together.
Senior Guard A.J. Cann said,
"As long as we stay focused, stay humble, and keep working hard, I think we'll have another solid group this year. A lot of people look at us and say we're one of the best offensive lines Coach Spurrier has had, but as long as we keep working hard, we will have the chance to be that."