|The SC student newspaper cover, building up the hype on 10/1.|
COLUMBIA, SC -- On a wet, dreary, and overcast day in South Carolina, even the weather cannot dampen the irrational exuberance that is part and parcel of the natives' passion for the Gamecocks. Especially on campus, the excitement for the game is noticeably palpable, with 4-5 conversations between myself and Gamechicken fans immediately before & after the normally quiet 8am class bloc.
The excitement is very much justified however, with this being the first top-10 matchup between SC and UGA in the rivalry's historically infrequent matchup. The highest-ranked matchup between our Dawgs and SC occurred, coincidentally enough, in 1980 in a matchup of future Heisman trophy winners George Rogers and Herschel Walker, with #4 UGA beating #14 SC 13-10 in Athens. The 7pm game will also be the first time SC and UGA have played each other in October since 1971.
The only complaint I have heard so far regarding the ESPN College Gameday selection is the site location of the broadcast. While ESPN itself considers the Historic Horseshoe as "one of the best sites we've ever had for College GameDay," the Horseshoe is nearly 3 long miles away from Williams-Brice Stadium, located across several railroad tracks and with rows of seedy warehouses and industrial areas further separating the two locations. Especially with the new Farmers Market tailgating grounds, located in an otherwise bleak area surrounding the stadium, it is surprising to me that SC did not try to convince ESPN to more extensively highlight the big upgrade.
As an open question, what pro-UGA ideas come to mind for Gameday sign material for this weekend? With the later than average opening of the Fairground parking lots and surrounding lots, all of the travelling Georgia fans should have plenty of time to visit the Gameday scene before getting down to tailgating business before the big night game.
As things further develop here in Columbia, and the hype/smack talk unfolds, I'll try to add more location-specific coverage as we rapidly approach the big game.
Feel free to toss your visor into the ring in the comments below, or on Twitter!