Spurrier implores USC fans to be on their best behavior
COLUMBIA -- South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier went out of his way Wednesday to implore fans to be on their best behavior for this weekend's Alabama game, and particularly for ESPN's "College GameDay."
"I want to encourage all of our fans and students to be a class act this weekend," Spurrier said. "GameDay is here. The whole nation will be watching us."
In particular, Spurrier asked that fans take it easy on analyst Lee Corso. The former Florida State coach has been something of an antagonizing character at South Carolina after saying Spurrier couldn't win an SEC title at USC if he coached the Gamecocks for 400 years.
In the show's last visit in 2006, Corso was all but verbally abused by fans. (The Confederate flag -- always a hot-button matter in this state -- was on display, as well. Spurrier didn't mention that Wednesday, but he's spoken out against it before.)
"I guarantee he would love to see South Carolina win it," Spurrier said of Corso, who has worked in the past year or so to rally from a debilitating stroke. "He would love to crawl across Williams-Brice Stadium and salute the fans. That's what he said he'd do, if we ever win it. He was just trying to mention how difficult it was since we'd really not been all that close in our history.
"But Lee Corso's a good person and a good man. I guarantee he roots for us most of the time. So, anyway, I hope our fans and our students will show the rest of the country that we are a class bunch of people here in Columbia and we'll have a big Saturday."
ESPN has abandoned the fairgrounds -- partly by choice, partly by necessity -- for USC's campus. "GameDay" will set up on the Historic Horseshoe part of campus, featuring some of the nicest scenery in all of Columbia.
To help fans accommodate going to the "GameDay" taping and the game itself, USC has set up a shuttle service to run from the Horseshoe to the fairgrounds. The shuttle will start running at 8 a.m., picking up from the rocket ship at the fairgrounds.
Additionally, USC says the Senate and Pendleton garages will be open (and free) for those who want to drive to the Horseshoe. Check gamecocksonline.com for more information on shuttles and parking.
Even several Gamecocks were curious about the status of Alabama receiver Julio Jones as they trotted out to practice Wednesday.
Alabama coach Nick Saban said Jones was questionable, because of a bruised knee, on the SEC's teleconference Wednesday morning. But the junior practiced later in the day and is expected to play Saturday. Jones sported a small brace, reporters noted.
Interestingly, Saban also told reporters after practice Wednesday that the USC game could define the Tide's season more than any other. Saban, though, is known for hyperbole.