Quarterback Connor Shaw will be key player to the Gamecocks' success in 2012.
For the SEC, Harris gave Alabama the best odds to win the SEC (+220 to win the West and +145 to win the conference). LSU was second (+225 for the West and +145 for the conference).
But his best value pick came from the East, which has been overlooked by the West in the last few years. Harris made South Carolina the best play in the SEC (+1,100/+240).
Harris reiterated some of my same sentiments when it came to the Gamecocks' chances of winning the SEC in 2012. All the talk has been about running back Marcus Lattimore and his health, but one area that South Carolina's faithful has to be pleased with is the quarterback spot.
A position that was marred in inconsistency for the last few seasons saw vast improvement during the latter part of the 2011 season with Connor Shaw under center. While he went through some growing pains when he first took over for the drama-ridden Stephen Garcia, who was dismissed halfway through the season, he really came alive in the season finale against Clemson and carried that over to the bowl win against Nebraska.
Lattimore is very important and could decide whether this team returns to Atlanta, but Shaw's play will mean a lot for this team in the fall, especially if Lattimore isn't 100 percent healthy. Coach Steve Spurrier wanted him to become a more consistent passer and we saw that toward the end of last year and during the spring.
There are some concerns with the youth and inexperience in the secondary, but overall, South Carolina certainly has the talent all around to get through the SEC East for the second time in three years and could take the whole thing.