It was national exposure for the South Carolina football program ... the kind it would like to avoid.
The Gamecocks were front and center at the Heisman Trophy award ceremony two years ago - as the team that Florida's Tim Tebow and Arkansas' Darren McFadden put highlight-reel performances up against.
Two years later, South Carolina needs to guard against a repeat.
Tebow is again in the Heisman running, and he and his No. 1 ranked Gators visit today in a nationally-televised game. Two weeks later, Clemson's C.J. Spiller visits Williams-Brice.
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At the moment, both Tebow and Spiller seem to trail Alabama's Mark Ingram, who may have gained front-runner status by rushing for 246 yards against the Gamecocks on Oct. 17.
"Ingram has got a pretty good command of the race, starting with that game against South Carolina," said Chris Huston of HeismanPundit.com. "That's where he really made his mark, got everybody's attention."
South Carolina has had a good defense the past few seasons. But the timing has been bad: They have managed to face Heisman candidates as the race winds down, when voters are paying the most attention.
Ellis Johnson, USC's assistant head coach for defense, came aboard after the 2007 season. His mission this year is to somehow contain Tebow, the quarterback who can burn a team running or passing.
"There's players we've played who were faster or players we've played who were more schooled-up in the dropback passing game. But when you look at all the things he can do, you can't call a defense that can cover it all," Johnson said. "You'd never have the right defense that can take everything away because he can not only deliver the football, he can run the football. And he can hand the football off. And he can read the option. ... He's very hard to defend."
Tebow needs a big finish to win the race. Voters may be reluctant to bestow the Heisman on him for the second time, joining Ohio State's Archie Griffin (1974-75) as the only two-time winner.
In this week's poll of ESPN experts, Tebow ranked third. Ingram is the runaway leader, netting 10 first-place votes, with Tebow, Houston quarterback Case Keenum and Texas quarterback Colt McCoy getting one apiece.
A panel of voters on HeismanPundit.com has Tebow fourth this week. Ingram leads the pack, followed by Keenum, McCoy, Tebow and Spiller.
Huston believes Ingram's hold on the award is a "tentative" one, so Tebow still has a chance - provided he has a strong finishing stretch, including in the SEC championship game when he goes head-to-head with Ingram.
"(Tebow's) season has been pretty underwhelming in the context of the other players. I just don't see them giving it to him based on what he's done so far," Huston said. "Now if he goes on a tear and averages four touchdowns a game the rest of the way and they beat Alabama and Ingram gets bottled up, he could win it."
The SEC championship game could decide the race, as long as enough voters hold their ballot until after that game. Votes are due the Wednesday after the game; with people able to vote via the Web and a younger electorate, Huston believes more voting will take place after Alabama plays Florida.
Of course, South Carolina could still play a large factor.
"They could also be the spoilers," Huston said of the Gamecocks. "They could basically eliminate Tebow as a factor after (today). They can also eliminate Spiller as a factor. Ingram's already had his fun against them. But they can still affect his race."