GREENSBORO, Ga. — The man South Carolina fans love to hate might be warming up to the Gamecocks.
ESPN college football analyst Lee Corso, whose pronouncement four years ago that Steve Spurrier could not win big in Columbia triggered an angry response and a USC marketing campaign, lists the Gamecocks as his sleeper team in the SEC.
That’s what Corso told Spurrier when the two bumped into each other at Augusta National during the first round of the Masters — two days before Corso said the same thing during ESPN’s “Gameday” broadcast prior to Florida’s spring game.
Spurrier said Corso told him he was picking the Gamecocks as his dark horse.
“I said, ‘You serious? You see who we’re playing?’” Spurrier said Tuesday after his victory in the Chick-fil-A Bowl Alma Mater. “He said, ‘Yeah, but you’ve got LSU and Georgia at home.’ I said, ‘Have you checked our home record in the last 30 years? It’s not all that great, either.’ ”
With 10 of 11 starters returning on defense and Kenny McKinley, a preseason All-America candidate, headlining the offense, Spurrier said the Gamecocks have “better players, but are still sort of unknown.”
An analyst with USC ties was not ready to make a prediction.
“I honestly don’t know. I do the NFL so I don’t get to see them much,” said former Gamecock receiver Sterling Sharpe, an analyst with the NFL Network. “(Spurrier) said they’re going to be better, so I’m going to take him at his word.”
— Joseph Person