South Carolina is favored in the Outback Bowl against Michigan, and the Gamecocks got another boost with the announcement from Tampa that USC graduate Darius Rucker will sing the national anthem at the Jan. 1 football game at Raymond James Stadium.

Sure, Rucker as Hootie and the Blowfish frontman and as a chart-topping country singer, is immensely popular.

But consider Michigan music history and contributions ranging from Motown to Madonna (born in Bay City), Eminem and Kid Rock.

Other rock? How about Alice Cooper, Bob Seger and Ted Nugent?

Rucker, however, is well-known as a sports fan. The Charleston native often wears Gamecocks gear at shows and for promotional photos. He has appeared as a “guest picker” on ESPN “GameDay” programs.

Rucker’s third country album, titled “True Believers,” is due out Jan. 22.

Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff