Gamecocks fans proud of season despite SEC loss

Fans watch the game inside Colonial Life Arena
Fans watch the game inside Colonial Life Arena

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - South Carolina fans snapped pictures in front of large-screen TVs and watched the Southeastern Conference championship game on outdoor terraces in the rain in Columbia and inside Colonial Life Arena.

And when pursuit of a first-ever SEC title finally died amid Cam Newton's stellar performance in Auburn's 56-17 victory, Gamecocks supporters picked up their heads and applauded a season like few others in school history.

The hundreds of fans that gathered inside Colonial Life Arena cleared out just before the beginning of the fourth quarter.

"It was a great game and I'm glad we went to the SEC Championship," said Nathan Bloom. "Our only bad game was playing against Kentucky.  We went to the SEC Championship, so that is something that we can say that we did."

"I thought it was kind of embarrassing because we lost by a lot and it was really sad," said Christian Hubbard.

"It was so sad because they'd done so well up to this point and Auburn has been winning their games," said Catherine Spence.

"I wasn't really that surprised," said Dustin Gaffin. "I really hoped we'd pull it out, but Auburn has been a really good team this season...I think all in all they looked alright.  We could have done much better."

"I can't complain because Carolina has played for the best this year," said Khan Loau. "I have never been prouder of my team."

There will be one more chance for Gamecock fans to cheer on their team this season.  Bowl game pairings will be announced throughout the day on Sunday.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.