Sidelines with John Clay

Is South Carolina really the nation’s best 1-3 football team?

On Monday, UK Coach Mark Stoops said that Saturday’s opponent, South Carolina, is the best 1-3 team in the country.

“I’m sure they are a lot like us in that they went on the road last week, and didn’t play their best,” Stoops said of the Gamecocks’ 34-14 loss at Missouri. “ I’m sure they are anxious to get back home and play a good game and get back to doing all the good things they did. I guarantee you, they’re the best 1-3 team in the country, there’s no doubt about that. They’re a talented group. They’ve got very good players.”

So is South Carolina the best 1-3 team in the country?

Here’s a look at how 1-3 teams rank in Jeff Sagarin’s computer rankings:

  • 35 - South Carolina
  • 39 - Stanford
  • 66 - Houston
  • 68 - UCLA
  • 77 - Ohio
  • 82 - Tennessee
  • 112 - Miami (O)
  • 119 - Colorado State
  • 122 - Florida International
  • 127 - Ball State
  • 142 - Texas State
  • 168 - UTSA
  • 173 - Bowling Green
  • 177- South Alabama

Here are Sagarin’s rankings of teams that are currently 1-2:

  • 55 - Northwestern
  • 56 - Fresno State
  • 71 - Purdue
  • 83 - Georgia Tech
  • 86 - Oregon State
  • 93 - South Florida
  • 102 - Northern Illinois
  • 104 - Georgia Southern
  • 117 - Middle Tennessee
  • 120 - Rutgers
  • 125 - Western Kentucky
  • 126 - ULM
  • 128 - UNLV
  • 140 - Old Dominion
  • 170 - Connecticut
  • 180 - UTEP

Here are Sagarin’s rankings of teams that are currently winless:

  • 84 - Vanderbilt
  • 139 - Rice
  • 156 - New Mexico State
  • 172 - Akron
  • 203 - Massachusetts

It should be noted that Sagarin has Stoops’ 2-2 Wildcats ranked 43rd, eight spots behind the Gamecocks.

Bill Connelly’s SP+ rankings put South Carolina at No. 45 and Kentucky at No. 52. Bill’s numbers have the Gamecocks winning by four points on Saturday night.

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John Clay is a sports columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader. A native of Central Kentucky, he covered UK football from 1987 until being named sports columnist in 2000. He has covered 20 Final Fours and 37 consecutive Kentucky Derbys.
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