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Spurrier: Gamecocks 'close' to being title team

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BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier felt it would take time to turn the Gamecocks from a mid-level program into a Southeastern Conference power, so he's a bit surprised when outsiders wonder why he's entering his 10th season at the school.

Spurrier, pointing to the team's record book, said he knew he needed about 10 seasons or so at seven wins a year to become the Gamecocks' leader in all-time coaching victories.

Spurrier upped that timetable the past few years with three straight 11-win seasons. And he's not planning to slow down this fall, despite having lost the No. 1 NFL draft pick in Jadeveon Clowney and quarterback Connor Shaw, who Spurrier calls the best QB in South Carolina history.

The Gamecocks are picked to win the SEC Eastern Division.

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