By PETE IACOBELLI
AP Sports Writer
COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier has successfully handled high expectations for most of his college career. He knows his ninth-ranked Gamecocks will have to quickly learn the same lesson.
Excitement among South Carolina fans is at an all-time high after last season's 11-2 season, the most victories the program's ever produced. To achieve their goals in the Southeastern Conference, the Gamecocks have to stay focused.
The Gamecocks were picked in the preseason top 10 for the first time, the school announced a record membership for its athletic booster group and talk of SEC titles and more fills local airwaves.
Spurrier said Monday the Gamecocks have set their goals to go beyond last year's showing. The run at the top starts Thursday night when South Carolina opens the season at Vanderbilt.