USC, Bama fans pack Horseshoe for ESPN GameDay

Traffic crawled through downtown as fans headed to the game
Traffic crawled through downtown as fans headed to the game

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Football fans and television workers have descended on USC's Horseshoe as ESPN's GameDay broadcasts from the historic area before the Gamecocks take on Alabama.

Coach Steve Spurrier wants USC fans to "stay classy," reminding Gamecock nation of the last time the broadcast came to the city in 2006, when some fans were harsh with analyst Lee Corso over his comments that it would be almost impossible to win a Southeastern Conference championship with the Gamecocks. That may prove difficult for some fans, as Corso picked Alabama over USC as well as Clemson over UNC on Saturday.

Still, many Gamecocks are simply happy that is back in Columbia. "This is like the coolest thing I've ever seen," said Nicole Cullins, a USC fan who came to the Horseshoe to check out ESPN's setup.

For football fans, this is the show that has all the opinions, stats, analysis and more opinions on anything college football. "We're going to get out here really early tomorrow morning," said Cullins.

Robert Hehir is also among the throngs of fans expected to show up for the program Saturday morning. "Spend the night here, camp out, try to be here, do what it takes," said Hehir.

Hundreds of people camped out on the Horseshoe Friday night to get a prime spot for Saturday's broadcast. But it's more than just fans trying to get on national television -- it's also a university president's dream. "I think it's really cool that they're doing the GameDay in the Horseshoe because it's the best place on campus, I mean, everyone hangs out here," said Cullins. "So, they'll really get a chance to show off our school and how beautiful it is."

Let's not forget there's a football game on Saturday afternoon. ESPN's Chris Fowler says an assured Alabama victory is anything but a slam dunk. "I think this represents a pretty significant challenge and a hurdle for the number one team," said Fowler. "Steve Spurrier had some fun saying, 'This is the Alabama show and we're just along for the ride.' Well, Alabama being number one does have a lot to do with us being here, but South Carolina being a worthy challenger has a lot to do with it, as well."

Win or lose the game, USC still wins. It's winning national attention while showing off its best for the students now and to come.

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